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Melanism (dark coloration) is a condition resulting from a greater than normal expres-sion of the eumelanin pigments in the plumage (Gill 1990). The dark coloration can be advantageous to raptors by increasing the feathers’ resistance to bacterial degradation (Goldstein et al. 2004). conversely, abnormally dark pigmentation can reduce success in pairing by disguising key species-identification cues (García 2003) and decrease lifetime reproductive success by increasing mortality (krüger and lindström 2001). Polymorphism in color, of which melanism is one example, occurs in at least 3.5% of avian species worldwide and in 22% of raptors of the family Accipitridae (harriers, hawks, eagles, kites, and Old World vultures;...
This presentation aired as part of the Great Basin LCC webinar series on December 6, 2017. The presentation was given by Dr. Tamara Wall of the Desert Research InstituteOne of the challenges facing public land managers in the Great Basin is identifying adaptation strategies to increase resiliency to climate change in an area that is already struggling with profound environmental challenges. Recent efforts to understand how the Great Basin weathered past droughts and climate variability may offer insight into approaches that could work in future decades. One approach to gather this information is to understand Traditional Knowledge. Gathering this information is challenging and requires an acknowledgment that much...
FY2014One of the primary challenges facing public land managers in the Great Basin is identifying adaptation strategies to increase resiliency to climate change in an area that is already struggling with profound environmental challenges. Recent efforts to understand how the Great Basin weathered past droughts and climate variability may offer insight into approaches that could work in future decades. One approach to gather this information is to understand Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK). Gathering this information is challenging and requires an acknowledgment that much of this information is highly sensitive and proprietary. Translating this information into actionable management plans is even more challenging.This...
FY2013The proposed project’s objective is to provide a scientific review of(1) current priority species management practices in Nevada, (2) status of our combined scientific knowledge of priority species’ needs and gaps in that knowledge, and(3) adequacy of current monitoring programs of priority species.The project builds on recent, well-researched species conservation plans for Nevada (GBBO 2010, NWPT 2012), and it will leverage funds that are already obligated to research on scientifically based disturbance buffer recommendations and to evaluate GBBO’s statewide landbird monitoring program, the Nevada Bird Count.The outcome of the proposed work will be an online open-source compendium document that summarizes...
FY2011Research is showing that populations of wintering raptors, including Northern Harriers, Rough-Legged Hawks, Prairie Falcons, American Kestrels. Red-Tailed Hawks and Golden Eagles, have stayed relatively constant in the last 20 years are being used by the Bureau of Land Management and Idaho Army National Guard in developing raptor conservation management practices. The American Wind and WildlifeInstitute will also use the results for their wind energy siting support tools.
Categories: Data, Project; Types: Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: Data Acquisition and Development, Federal resource managers, LCC Network Science Catalog, Monitoring, Population & Habitat Evaluation/Projection, All tags...
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FY2017There is an increasing concern and need for the conservation of springsnails and other endemic mollusks and for conservation of the unique spring and springbrook habitats on which they depend (Hershler et al 2014; Abele 2011). Nationwide, several of these species have been listed as endangered or threatened under provisions of the ESA; others are candidates for federal listing or are undergoing review by USFWS for possible future listing actions. These species can be particularly susceptible to localized threats and specific knowledge necessary for effective site-based conservation is often limited or lacking.Springsnail are particularly susceptible to extinction because the entire population of any single...
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FY2014There is increasing interest in climate change adaptation, particularly since the release of the Presidents Executive Order on Climate Preparedness in November, 2013, yet many field staff remain uncertain how to put adaptation into practice. Our goal with this project is to bridge the gap between the wealth of high-level climate adaptation guidance and the field staff who carry out specific regulatory processes, specifically Habitat Conservation Plans. Following best practices from the literature on linking science and management, we will begin with a focus on what people do rather than on the climate science. We will map the current HCP development and approval process in Region 8, identify where and how...
Knowing where a species is found or may be found in the future is critical to developing a successful habitat conservation plan. This quick guide reviews correlation-based and process-based species distribution models and their uses in the context of HCPs. It also addresses considerations for evaluating species distribution models, using multiple models, and working with model uncertainty. Examples are provided.
With HCPs, reserves are created as one means of mitigating take. This means they are designed to provide a target level of benefits for a particular species or set of species. This quick guide reviews approaches for designing and implementing reserves that address climate change impacts, vulnerabilities, and uncertainty. Examples are provided.
Speaker: Dr. Keirith Snyder, USDA ARS, Great Basin Rangelands Research Unit, Reno, NV The opportunistic encroachment of native pinyon and juniper trees into areas formerly dominated by sagebrush has reduced the presence of shrubs and grasses, impacting critical habitat and forage availability. Pinyon and juniper currently occupy 19 million hectares in the Intermountain West. Prior to 1860, it is estimated that 2/3 of pinyon and juniper woodlands were sagebrush communities. This presentation will give an overview of the Porter Canyon Experimental Watershed, where tree-felling treatments are being studied. Porter Canyon is located in central Nevada in the Desatoya Mountains. A network of sensors has been installed...
Although biotic responses to contemporary climate change are spatially pervasive and often reflect synergies between climate and other ecological disturbances, the relative importance of climatic factors versus habitat extent for species persistence remains poorly understood. To address this shortcoming, we performed surveys for American pikas (Ochotona princeps) at > 910 locations in 3 geographic regions of western North America during 2014 and 2015, complementing earlier modern (1994–2013) and historical (1898–1990) surveys. We sought to compare extirpation rates and the relative importance of climatic factors versus habitat area for pikas in a mainland-versus-islands framework. In each region, we found widespread...
This presentation aired as part of the Great Basin LCC webinar series on October 11, 2017. Speakers included Erica Fleishman, U.C. Davis, and Jimi Gragg, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.Description: As the distribution and abundance of non-native cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) in the Great Basin has increased, the extent and frequency of fire in the region has increased by as much as 200%. These changes in fire regimes are associated with loss of the sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) and native grasses and forbs in which many native animals, including Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), breed and feed. Managers have suggested changes in fire regimes, fuels treatments and post-fire restoration with...
Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) has widely invaded the Great Basin, U.S.A. The sporadic natural phenomenon of complete stand failure (‘die- off’) of this invader may present opportunities to restore native plants. A recent die-off in Nevada was precision-planted with seeds of the native grasses Poa secunda (Sandberg bluegrass) and Elymus elymoides (bottlebrush squirreltail), of both local and nonlocal origin, to ask: 1) Can native species be restored in recent B. tectorum die-offs? And 2) Do local and nonlocal seeds differ in performance? Additionally, we asked how litter removal and water addition affected responses. Although emergence and growth of native seeds was lower in die-off than control plots early in year...
We examined patterns of genetic variation and diversity of extant pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) populations across the species’ current range in Nevada and California. Our aims were to determine population genetic structure and levels of diversity across the southern portion of the species’ range. We genotyped 13 microsatellite loci from 194 fecal samples collected across 14 localities. Our Bayesian cluster analyses found 2 genetically distinct groups: 1 in the Mono Basin of California and the other encompassing all remaining Nevada Great Basin populations. Considering only the Nevada Great Basin group, we found 4 minimally divergent groups that overlap spatially with many individuals maintaining composite...
Land managers in the Great Basin are working to maintain or restore sagebrush ecosystems as climate change exacerbates existing threats. Web applications delivering climate change and climate impacts information have the potential to assist their efforts. Although many web applications containing climate information currently exist, few have been co-produced with land managers or have incorporated information specifically focused on land managers’ needs. Through surveys and interviews, we gathered detailed feedback from federal, state, and tribal sagebrush land managers in the Great Basin on climate information web applications targeting land management. We found that a) managers are searching for weather and climate...
The goal of the Northwest Basin and Range (NWBR) Synthesis project is to synthesize existing landscape planning and science and develop a shared conservation vision for stakeholders in the region. This webinar provides an overview of the NWBR Synthesis’ work to identify shared conservation priorities, including: - The Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation framework - How the NWBR is using the framework to synthesize current landscape planning and science - How experts will vet this process
FY2014Although the future of sage grouse depends on the future of sagebrush, we have limited ability to anticipate impacts of climate change on sagebrush populations. Current efforts to forecast sagebrush habitat typically rely on species distribution models (SDMs), which suffer from a variety of well-known weaknesses. However, by integrating SDMs with complementary research approaches, such as historical data analysis and mechanistic models, we can provide increased confidence in projections of habitat change. Our goal is to forecast the effect of climate change on the distribution and abundance of big sagebrush in order to inform conservation planning, and sage grouse management in particular, across the Intermountain...
FY2014This project builds upon the springs and seeps inventory funded by the Desert LCC.This project will: Fill a significant gap in aquatic habitat information for scenario planning. Create a publically available geospatial database of approximately 2,000+ known Great Basin springs. Create a summary report on the biotic and abiotic conditions of the known springs.
FY2015Collaborators are investigating the effect of low rise dams water supply, ecosystem functions and health, and habitat for a wide range of organisms, including sage grouse. They are assessing the economic cost and attitudes of ranchers and managers towards both low-rise dams and proposed re-introductions of beavers. Remote sensing is used to identify locations of incised streams across the Great Basin.


map background search result map search result map Evaluating Species Management Guidance and Monitoring Programs for the Great Basin in Nevada Environmental Characteristics of Great Basin and Mojave Desert Spring Systems Evaluating Riparian and Meadow Vegetation Change Relative to Climate, Restoration and Land Management Forecasting Changes in Sagebrush Distribution and Abundance Under Climate Change: Integration of Spatial, Temporal, and Mechanistic Models Using Narrative Stories to Understand Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the Great Basin Current Versus Historical Trends in Habitat Use by Wintering Raptors in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area Adding Climate Smart Principles into Habitat Conservation Planning Development of a Regional Springsnail Conservation Strategy Evaluating Riparian and Meadow Vegetation Change Relative to Climate, Restoration and Land Management Evaluating Species Management Guidance and Monitoring Programs for the Great Basin in Nevada Development of a Regional Springsnail Conservation Strategy Using Narrative Stories to Understand Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the Great Basin Current Versus Historical Trends in Habitat Use by Wintering Raptors in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area Environmental Characteristics of Great Basin and Mojave Desert Spring Systems Forecasting Changes in Sagebrush Distribution and Abundance Under Climate Change: Integration of Spatial, Temporal, and Mechanistic Models Adding Climate Smart Principles into Habitat Conservation Planning