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Endangered Species Bulletin - Spring 2011

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Special DoD-Focused issue of the Endangered Species Bulletin

Special DoD-Focused issue of the Endangered Species Bulletin

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  • 1. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Spring 2011 Volume 36, No.1Wildlife Stewardshipand National Defense
  • 2. In This Edition The Department of Defense and the military services work hard to ensure that soldiers have high-quality natural environments in which to train. They also work to sustain our nation’s natural resources for future generations. Achieving these dual missions requires commitment and perseverance. A few of the many projects dedicated managers Spring 2011 Volume 36, No. 1 have undertaken in the past 10 years are featured in this edition of the Endangered Species Bulletin. These projects not only Editor: Mike Bender enable the military mission, but also help to defend and sustain endangered species and Associate Editor: Sarah Leon their habitats. Art Director: Jennifer A. Hennessey To learn more about DoD’s stewardship efforts and successes, take time to read the stories in this edition of the Bulletin. You Contributors L. Peter Boice R. Fischer Priya Nanjappa can also learn more at its website, Alison Dalsimer M. Convertino Ernesto Garcia www.DoDNaturalResources.net. Erica Evans M. Chu-Agor Michael Lannoo Kathryn Sabella G. Kiker Christopher Dobony Jane Mallory C.J. Martinez Eric Britzke Hannah E. Anderson R. Muñoz-Carpena Mark Ford Send Us Your Comments David Clouse H.R. Akçakaya Raymond Rainbolt Todd Zuchowski M. Aiello-Lammens Dr. Joseph M. Szewczak We are very interested in your comments and Bernd Blossey Richard A. Fischer Jim Brannen suggestions about the Endangered Species Victoria Nuzzo Jonathon J. Valente Josh Wilhelm Aaron Moody Michael P. Guilfoyle Howard Jelks Bulletin. Please send them to esb@fws.gov Donald George Sidney A. Gauthreaux Bill Tate or mail them to Endangered Species Bulletin, Nancy Natoli T. Mitchell Aide Frank Jordan Carlos Corrada-Bravo U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Suite 420, Tammy Conkle Robert E. Lovich Eric Wolf Lorri Schwartz Verl Emrick 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA I. Linkov Chris Petersen Douglas Ripley 22203-1610. You can also call us at 703-358-2171. The Endangered Species Bulletin is available online at www.fws.gov/en- dangered//news/bulletin.html. To be notified when a new on-line edition has been posted, sign up for our list-serv by clicking on “E-Mail List” on the Bulletin Web page. The Bulletin welcomes manuscripts on a wide range of topics related to endangered species. Please send an inquiry before drafting the article. We invite you to visit the Endangered Species Program web site ( www. fws.gov/endangered ), where you can download podcasts and find links to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. On the cover: 2011 has been designated “The Year of the Turtle” by Partners in Amphbian and Reptile Conservation (parcplace.org), an organization that counts the Department of Defense as a member. Last summer, personnel with the Air National Guard participated in a green sea turtle nesting beach clean-up on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu in cooperation with “Malama nu Honu,” a non-profit group that works to protect the species through education, public awareness and conservation. Photo by © Martin Strmiska / Alamy. Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 3. FEATURES 4 Why We Care About 31 Radaring in on Migrating Endangered Species Birds 6 Defense Secretary 32 Automated Biodiversity Announces Monitoring Environmental Awards 34 Developing a Strategic 7 National Public Lands Plan for Herpetofauna Day on Military Lands 8 Cooperative 36 Do Frogs Still Get Their Conservation on the Kicks on Route 66? Puget Sound Prairies 40 DoD Joins the Battle to 10 Sustaining the Mission Save Bats at Joint Base Lewis McChord 42 A Call in the Night 12 Conservation Frontiers 44 Restoring the Pallid Sturgeon 16 Banking Seeds for the 46 Weapons Testing and Future Endangered Fish Coexist in Florida 18 Connecting Landscapes for Biodiversity 48 Defending Mussel Populations on Military 20 The Readiness and Lands Environmental Protection Initiative 50 Conserving Biodiversity on Military Lands 22 Partnerships from Hawaii to North Carolina 24 From Sea to Shining Sea 51 USFWS Contacts 28 The Proof of Sea-level Rise is in the Ploverwww.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin
  • 4. by Kathryn Sabella,interviewing L. Peter Boice Why We Care About Endangered Species The DoD Natural Resources ProgramT he Department of Defense driven DoD’s successes during his KS: Why does DoD care about (DoD) mission is to defend career. Our conversation provides a endangered species? our nation, train our troops, glimpse into the extensive conservation LPB: DoD protects endangeredand test equipment needed for efforts underway within the United species to comply with the Endangerednational defense, peacekeeping, and States military, and reveals that the Species Act and to avoid the need foremergency response. It requires air, link between our military services and critical habitat designations, whichland, and sea space for training and environmental stewardship is clear. could restrict training. To achieve thistesting activities. Such activities may wildlife protection goal, the militarynot immediately conjure thoughts of KS: What is DoD’s natural resources services must also comply with theenvironmental stewardship. However, mission? requirements of another law, the SikesL. Peter Boice, Deputy Director of LPB: DoD’s core mission is to enable Act. Congress passed this law inNatural Resources for the Office of our military service men and women, 1960, requiring DoD to assess naturalthe Secretary of Defense, offers 20 soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines to resources on installations, completeyears of experience and a different train as they would fight. DoD pursues Integrated Natural Resourcesperspective on this subject. During its natural resource goals to provide Management Plans (INRMPs), anda short interview near his office in realistic training lands while at the coordinate with the U.S. Fish andArlington, Virginia, Peter spoke same time meeting legal requirements Wildlife Service (FWS) and state fishwith me about DoD’s commitment to to provide habitat for a wide variety of and wildlife agencies to manage naturalnatural resources conservation, and he threatened, endangered, and at-risk resources with no net loss to thediscussed some of the natural resource species. military mission. However, legislativepolicies and partnerships that have compliance is not the sole reason for Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 5. protecting endangered species on Readiness and Environmental in Flight, a public/private conservationmilitary lands. DoD manages over Protection Initiative Program works partnership, is celebrating its 20th29 million acres of land and more with communities that surround year by working with airfield operatorslisted, threatened, endangered, and military installations and training areas to promote better habitat for speciesat-risk species per acre than any to create buffer zones of protected and reduce bird/animal aircraft strikeother federal agency. As development habitats. This allows our soldiers to hazards, resulting in potential costincreases in areas surrounding military have more training space while the savings. The Nature Conservancyinstallations, some installations have species that depend on those habitats works with DoD to identify lands onbecome islands of biodiversity that can better flourish. The Strategic or surrounding bases that are primeprovide habitat for certain species. In and Environmental Research and for protection. Together, DoD andfact, more than 40 species occur only Development Program (SERDP) The Nature Conservancy populated aon DoD lands. DoD recognizes that and the Environmental Security database for future land managementpart of defending our nation involves Technology Certification Program decisions aimed at preventing the needdefending these natural resources for (ESTCP) fulfill DoD-specific needs to list at-risk species in places such asfuture generations. for all DoD environmental programs, Fort Lewis, Washington, in the Puget including munitions, restoration, Sound area.KS: Which DoD programs weapons platforms, and naturalare involved with threatened, resources. SERDP focuses specifically KS: What do you hope readers willendangered, and at-risk species on research and development, take away from this issue of theconservation efforts? while ESTCP funds technology Endangered Species Bulletin?LPB: There are four main programs demonstration and validation. LPB: I hope that our readers willinvolved with conservation efforts understand that DoD’s mission is towithin DoD. I head the Natural KS: What are some key conservation defend our nation and its resources.Resources Office, which is part of successes that have resulted from Our natural resource managersDoD’s Environmental Management DoD partnerships? care about and protect threatened,Office. We implement the Secretary of LPB: DoD conservation successes endangered, and at-risk species, andDefense’s priorities; conduct program not only prevent critical habitat I hope readers will appreciate theoversight, advocacy, and outreach; designation and loss of training, but range of habitats and species underand develop policy. The DoD Legacy also create realistic training grounds DoD stewardship. Most importantly,Resource Management Program is the for soldiers. During my career, many I hope that our readers leave withfunding arm for the Natural Resources accomplishments have resulted from the knowledge that defending theseOffice, and it provides money for DoD partnerships with programs species and other natural resourcesnational and regional projects in such as Partners in Flight and The truly enables the military’s testing andsupport of stewardship needs. The Nature Conservancy. DoD Partners training mission. L. Peter Boice, Deputy Director of Natural Resources at the Department of Defense, can be reached at peter. boice@osd.mil. (Opposite page): L. Peter Boice visiting O‘ahu, Hawaii. (This page): Capt. Aaron Cudnohufsky, Commanding Officer, Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), along with Dennis Rowley, Tom Clements, Don Heacock, and Bobby Ragassa, carry an injured green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) to an all-terrain vehicle at Nohili Ditch on PMRF. The turtle was later transported to O‘ahu for medical treatment and released back into the wild. Photo by MC2 Jay C. Pugh, U.S. Navy.www.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin
  • 6. Defense Secretary Announces Environmental Awards by Erica Evans and Kathryn SabellaT he Secretary of Defense and the promotion of the cultural • Mr. Stephen M. Seiber, Eglin recognizes the importance of resources ethic; Air Force Base, Florida: Natural defending our nation’s natural Resources Conservationresources to support the military • prevent or eliminate pollution at – Individual/Teamtraining and testing mission. Each the source, including practices thatyear since 1962, the Secretary has increase efficiency and sustainability • Mr. Awni M. Almasri, Navalhonored military installations, teams, in the use of raw materials, energy, Facilities Engineering Commandand individuals for their outstanding water, or other resources; Europe Africa Southwestachievements to sustain the natural Asia: Environmental Qualityand cultural resources entrusted to • protect human health and the – Individual/Teamthe Department of Defense (DoD). environment by cleaning upFor 2010, DoD’s Environment, Safety identified DoD sites in a timely, cost- • Ms. Regina Dixon Butler, Patrick Airand Occupational Health Policy efficient, and responsive manner; and Force Base, Florida: EnvironmentalBoard approved 17 awards within Restoration – Individual/Teamthe categories of natural resources • incorporate environmental,conservation, cultural resources safety, and occupational health • Aeronautical Systems Centermanagement, environmental quality, requirements into the weapon Environmental and Occupationalpollution prevention, environmental system acquisition program’s Health Team, Wright-Patterson Airrestoration, and environmental decision-making process. Force Base, Ohio: Environmentalexcellence in weapon system Excellence in Weapons Systemsacquisition. The 2010 Environmental Award Acquisition – Team winners are:The DoD environmental awards Each year, a growing number ofrecognize small and large military • Fort Custer Training Center, outstanding nominees present theirinstallations, teams, and individuals Michigan Army National Guard: work for consideration. These awardsthat: Natural Resources Conservation acknowledge some of the premier – Small Installation environmental projects that DoD• promote natural resources supports. For more information on conservation, including the • Camp Guernsey, Wyoming Army DoD’s award winning environmental identification, protection, and National Guard: Cultural Resources efforts, visit http://www.denix.osd. restoration of biological resources Management – Installation mil/awards/. and habitats; the sound management and use of the land and its • Marine Corps Base Hawaii: resources; and the promotion of the Environmental Quality – Non- Erica Evans, with the consulting conservation ethic; industrial Installation firm Booz Allen Hamilton,can be reached at evans_erica@bah.com,• promote cultural resources • Fleet Readiness Center Southwest, and Kathryn Sabella, also with Booz management, including the California: Sustainability – Industrial Allen Hamilton, can be contacted at identification, protection, and Installation sabella_kathryn@bah.com. restoration of historical buildings and structures; archaeological sites; • Hill Air Force Base, Utah: Native American tribes and Native Environmental Restoration Hawaiian sacred objects and sites; – Installation Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 7. National Public Lands Day Engaging Volunteers in Natural Resources Conservation by Jane MalloryS ince 1991, the Department ofprojects, and teams of volunteers long way toward conserving species Defense (DoD) has participated provide the labor. Throughout the and habitat under DoD stewardship. in National Public Lands Dayyears, they have worked together on(NPLD), an annual event that bringsa variety of projects: building batvolunteers and public land managersboxes, bee condos, and bird houses; Jane Mallory (contracted support), atogether to work for the restoration, pulling invasive plants; planting native botanist working with the Departmentconservation, and protection of essential species; creating pollinator gardens; of Defense Legacy Resourcenatural resources. With the help ofand clearing trash. Whether it is work Management Program, can bethousands of on- and off-post volunteers that benefits a specific sensitive species contacted at Jane.Mallory.ctr@osd.since 1999, and with funding from the (such as clearing debris from desert mil.DoD Legacy Resource Management tortoise habitat on the Marine CorpsProgram, more than 320 individual Logistics Base in Barstow, California)projects throughout the country, and or improving landscapes to benefit Volunteers installing native plants and weedingon Kwajalein Atoll and Guam in the multiple species (such as planting invasive species to improve coastal marsh habitat onPacific, have benefitted military base healthy native trees, shrubs, and Naval Weapons Station, Seal Beach, CA.environments. forbs on Greenbury Point at the Naval Photo by Robert Schallmann. Academy in Annapolis, Maryland), theThe DoD Legacy Resource Management annual NPLD events prove that a littleProgram provides supplies for NPLD hard work from volunteers can go awww.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin
  • 8. CooperativeConservation on thePuget Sound PrairiesThe Joint Base Lewis-McChord ArmyCompatible Use Buffer Programby Hannah E. AndersonN ative prairie habitat once species and preclude the need to list candidates. The overall goal is to occupied 150,000 acres them under the ESA. preclude the need to list or, if listing (60,000 hectares) in the does occur, minimize the consequences.southern Puget Lowland of western One significant conservation programWashington State. Ninety percent of in the region is the JBLM Army The team does this through acquiringthis habitat has disappeared or been Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) important prairie lands, restoringecologically degraded. Human uses program. Most ACUB programs degraded habitats, and increasingincompatible with conservation, along throughout the nation are geared the numbers and sizes of candidatewith the suppression of fire across the towards acquiring and protecting land species populations on the acquiredlandscape, threaten the remaining around military installations to serve lands. By supporting conservationprairies. Conifers and non-native as a buffer, which reduces the threat actions on lands outside the base, thevegetation are encroaching on the once of “encroachment” (constraints on military shares the burden of recoveryopen ecosystem. military training) due to incompatible with the other ACUB partners: The development. The JBLM ACUB is Nature Conservancy, the WashingtonA variety of rare species rely on prairie different. In 2006, a team began using Departments of Fish Wildlife andhabitat for survival. Among them are a cooperative approach to help sustain Natural Resources, and Wolf Havenfour that are candidates for listing military readiness by implementing International. The partners haveunder the Endangered Species Act conservation actions for the four listing acquired the prairie preserves and the(ESA): two rare butterflies - Taylor’scheckerspot (Euphydryas edithataylori) and the Mardon skipper(Polites mardon) - the streakedhorned lark (Eremophila alpestrisstrigata), and the Mazama pocketgopher (Thomomys mazama). Thelargest expanse and the highest qualityprairie habitat in the region occurs onJoint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM),a 91,000-acre (37,000-ha) militaryinstallation 40 miles (65 kilometers)south of Seattle, Washington. If any ofthese species were to become listed, theU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service couldimpose significant military trainingrestrictions. A group of concernedpartners in the south Puget Soundare working together to recover these Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 9. Department of Defense has provided ha) that were already in conservation when working together rather thanessential funding support ($3.3 million status, and reintroduced Taylor’s individually. Each entity is able to learnto date) for on-the-ground conservation checkerspots and Mazama pocket from the others, exchange information,actions. gophers onto several ACUB properties. and integrate its expertise into the The team has answered significant collaborative effort. Most of theThe team is overcoming a common questions about the target species, projects involve multiple years, sites,problem in conservation: insufficient such as specific habitat requirements and partners. The goal is to promoteresources for managing protected and predator identification. It has continued military training, specieslands. In this case, management also conducted wall-to-wall vegetation recovery, open space protection, and theincludes activities such as controlling mapping of all protected sites, mutual respect and trust that come withinvasive plants; using prescribed fire information that has already been cooperating toward a common purpose.to restore historic natural ecological extremely useful for identifying newprocesses; growing, planting, and non-native species infestations andseeding native plants; breeding and targeting areas for intensive habitat Hannah E. Anderson of The Naturereintroducing butterflies; reintroducing restoration. The JBLM ACUB Conservancy of Washington can bepocket gophers to ACUB properties; projects have contributed significantly reached at handerson@tnc.org.and planning, monitoring, and research. to the regional recovery of these rare native species. (Opposite page top): Streaked horned larkSince the program’s inception, the (Eremophila alpestris strigata). Rod Gilbert.JBLM ACUB has acquired 1,025 The collaborative nature of the JBLM (Opposite page bottom): Managers prepare for aacres (415 ha) of new conservation ACUB is one of the main strengths prescribed burn. Photo by DoD.land, conducted ongoing restoration of the program. The partners agree (This page): Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly.of these lands and 3,222 acres (1,303 that they accomplish much more Photo by Aaron Barna.www.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin
  • 10. Sustaining theMission at JointBase Lewis McChordby David Clouse and Todd ZuchowskiA t the Joint Base Lewis current and future uses of the area creates habitat for nesting bald eagles. McChord (JBLM) in western for training purposes. Compatibility Since 1982, eagle nesting territories Washington State, each of its is based on the requirements of the have increased from two to 10.major ecosystems -- late-successional species targeted for augmentationforests, wetlands, and prairies -- and reintroduction. The following are In addition to managing forests, naturalprovide unique opportunities to support examples from each of our ecosystems resource managers at JBLM work toboth conservation and the military in which this process has been protect wetland habitats for variousmission. In fact, projects to improve successful for both military training plant and fish species. Wetlandswildlife habitat frequently enhance and species recovery. management focuses on controllingmilitary training opportunities. This non-native plant species and protectingmakes it possible for managers to Managing for late-successional forests Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchusmaintain viable populations of native on the military installation maintains tshawytscha), steelheadflora and fauna, including listed species. overhead cover for training and a (Onconrhynchus mykiss), and water relatively open understory. This allows howellia (Howellia aquatilis), anNatural resource personnel manage trainers to maneuver through the area aquatic plant federally listed assites on military lands for the recovery and potentially enhances the site for threatened. A major managementof listed and federal candidate the western gray squirrel (Sciurus problem within wetlands and streamsspecies, but they focus on areas of the griseus), a species of concern and at JBLM is the spread of reed canaryinstallation that are compatible with a state threatened species. It also grass (Phalaris arundinacea). This10 Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 11. non-native grass species can completely choke off stream channels and displace other wetland plants. Sites that are overgrown with reed canary grass can lose their effectiveness for such military training uses as practice zones for airdrops. Prairies in the Puget Sound region are the focus of yet another stewardship effort. They were once naturally maintained by periodic burning, but fires have been suppressed there for more than 100 years. As a result, trees and invasive species, such as the nonnative Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius), have colonized prairie habitats. This shrub, which can grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) in height, significantly impedes military training and reduces habitat for prairie- dependent species. The Joint Base Lewis-McChord Fish and Wildlife program has responded by using the likelihood of federal listing and squirrel augmentation are now a prescribed burning, which benefits both significant impacts on military training. cornerstone of management practices the ecosystem and military training. In some cases, limited disturbance of on the installation, and a model for non-native ground cover can benefit the recovery of rare species on other When present on a site, Scotch broom a native species by recreating open military bases. degrades open prairie habitat for four habitat. Such is the case with the federal listing candidates. Eliminating streaked horned lark (Eremophila this noxious shrub is the first step alpestris strigata), which prefers David Clouse, Joint Base Lewis- to recover a site’s natural state, some bare ground on which to locate McChord Fish Wildlife Program although efforts to restore habitats its nests. Other species, such as the Manager, can be reached at david. for native plants take place only on Taylor’s checkerspot (Euphydryas c.clouse@us.army.mil or - - sites where the designated military editha taylori) butterfly, require nectar . Todd Zuchowski, Joint Base use is compatible. By increasing the producing native plants and larval host Lewis-McChord Wildlife Biologist, populations of rare species, we reduce plants, which grow on sites with limited can be reached at todd.zuchowski@ ground disturbance, such as drop us.army.mil or - -. zones. (Opposite page top): Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly By focusing on a regional cooperative (Euphydryas editha taylori). Photo by DoD. approach to natural resources management with partners such as the (Opposite page bottom): Muck Creek Channel filled Nisqually Indian Tribe, Washington with reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) State Department of Fish and Wildlife, before and after mechanical removal enhancement. Photo by Rod Gilbert. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and The Nature Conservancy, JBLM is working (This page top): Taylor’s checkersport. Photo by Ted to conserve rare species and prevent Thomas, USFWS. Endangered Species Act impacts onPhoto by Rod Gilbert. training. JBLM’s use of sustainable (This page bottom): Mazama pocket gopher programs, such as ecological (Thomomys mazama). Photo by Rod Gilbert. burning, Taylor’s checkerspot reintroduction, and Western gray www.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin 11
  • 12. Conservation Frontiers fragmentation, the spread of invasive plants, animals, and diseases and climate change. Protecting the last remaining populations of rare plantPlants Conservation on Military Lands and Beyond species from extinction, re-building and restoring larger populations of these species, and preventing further declineby Bernd Blossey and Victoria Nuzzo of species currently at risk of extinction is paramount to conservation efforts. With funding provided by theH undreds of plant species often at the center of conservation Strategic Environmental Research and in the United States face actions for land managers at military Development Program (SERDP), a extinction, despite significant installations, their declines are team of ecologists from the Departmentefforts to protect these species and troubling and threats are often multi- of Natural Resources at Cornelltheir habitats. Because plants are facetted, among them habitat loss and University is working to disentangle the effects of various threats, or stressors, that contribute to the rarity of four state-listed or vulnerable plant species in New York – beaked agrimony (Agrimonia rostellata), Virginia snakeroot (Aristolochia serpentaria), reflexed sedge (Carex retroflexa) and red trillium (Trillium erectum). The team conducts their work at West Point Military Academy (USMA), 50 miles (80 km) north of New York City in the Hudson Highlands ecoregion. Established in 1802, USMA is the oldest of five service academies in the United States. The site, which overlooks the Hudson River, boasts significant forested areas and wetlands, where the team is able to investigate different stressors including invasions by a number of European and Asian earthworms, particularly Amynthas and Lumbricus spp.; invasions by three plant species, garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), barberry (Berberis thunbergii), and Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum); invasions by European slugs, mainly Arion subfuscus, and root weevils (Barypeithes pellucidus); nutrient loading through aerial deposition; and the impact of overabundant white- tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). This work is conducted in multiple venues: large (30x30 m) deer exclosures erected at USMA paired with similar-sized unfenced control areas,1 Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 13. experimental plantings and seedings toassess potential restoration techniques,and a variety of common garden andlaboratory experiments to tease apartthe contribution of individual andcombined stressors on demographyof the four state-listed plant species.The team selected the target plantspecies not only for their status asregionally listed species, but also fortheir assumed different vulnerabilityto earthworm invasions, or deerherbivory.Based on the results of previousresearch, the team assumed deerherbivory and earthworm invasionswould overwhelm the importance ofother stressors in the demise of theserare target plant species. In an attemptto assess deer browse intensity at thevarious field sites, the team employs asentinel approach using 3-month oldoak seedlings. The team monitors theseoak seedlings, along with individuallymarked specimens of the target nativeplant species growing inside andoutside of deer exclosures, for theirsurvival, growth, and deer browseintensity.After only 2 years of field observation,the team’s results show that deerherbivory on oak seedlings and threeof the four ‘rare’ plant species isexcessive, and considerably reducesgrowth, flowering, and fruiting. This isfurther increasing concerns for long-term survival of rare browse-sensitivespecies.Work by other scientists demonstratesthat for the closely related whitetrillium (Trillium grandiflorum),browse intensity exceeding 15 percentof reproductive individuals leads to(Opposite page): Virginia snakeroot.(This page top): West Point oak seedling.(This page bottom): Red trillium. Photos by Bernd Blossey.www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 14. long-term population decline. Unlike importance of deer herbivory inindividuals exposed to deer, individuals the decline of many plant species inof the listed plant species growing eastern forests. Conservation efforts,inside exclosures show strong signs of particularly managing invasive plantrecovery, and the taller, more robust species in preserves or on militaryplants bear little resemblance to the installations, should focus on the sourcetiny individuals initially encountered. of degradation to prevent furtherIn the absence of deer herbivory, native decline. Merely removing invasiveplants are better able to stand their plant species will not achieve the sameground against invasive plants, at least level of conservation benefits for stateagainst the three invasive plants that and federally listed browse sensitivethe team monitors in eastern deciduous plant species as reducing overabundantforests. deer herds across much of North America would.Managers often blame invasiveplants for deteriorating native plant (Inset): A good example of rich groundlayercommunities, but the team’s work vegetation protected from deer herbivory.indicates it is a complex of stressors Photo by Victoria Nuzzo.responsible for this degradation. Theresults of this research, although (Opposite page): Deer exclosure.preliminary, point to the overwhelming Photo by Bernd Blossey.1 Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 15. www.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin 1
  • 16. D epartment of Defense (DoD)-Banking Seeds for managed lands contain habitats that support 186 plant species that are listed underthe Future the Endangered Species Act or are candidates for listing. Because listed species on DoD lands can lead to restrictions on training and operations, working towards species recoveryAn Essential Tool for Plant Recovery whenever possible benefits not only the species but also installation operations and the military mission. To conserve these rare species, the DoD Legacyby Jane Mallory Resource Management Program enlisted the assistance of the Center for Plant Conservation, a non-profit network of institutions dedicated to conserving and restoring America’s native plants. According to the Center, a number of recovery plans for federally-listed plants propose the reintroduction of nursery-grown stock as one way to increase wild populations to a sustainable level. Such reintroductions originate from ex-situ (off-site) collections of plant cuttings, seeds, spores, and/or tissue cultures. However, existing collections are distributed widely among many institutions, and there was no public database on the amount, condition, and age of material potentially available for restoration work. The DoD Legacy Program addressed this problem by funding the Center to conduct a comprehensive study on the state of ex-situ material for all DoD-protected plant species. The Center’s report provides detailed information for each species, a description of ex-situ material and the collection sites, and identifies species that lack such material. DoD installations and the military services can use this information to examine efforts to secure the genome of vulnerable plant species and improve the potential for any future reintroductions. For example, the study revealed that 130 of the1 Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 17. 186 imperiled plant species found on and restoration work. They will store DoD managers and presented it duringDoD lands lack any DoD site-specific the actual seeds and cuttings at the a workshop in Honolulu, Hawaii, ancollections. They also found that ex- U.S. Department of Agriculture’s area that supports the lion’s share ofsitu material for 61 of the 186 species National Center for Genetic Resources imperiled plants in the United States.had never been collected and stored Preservation in Ft. Collins, Colorado. Thirty DoD personnel, state agencyanywhere, possibly hindering recovery This effort will secure DoD site-specific personnel, DoD contracted support,efforts and leaving these species wild-collected seed for the most and partners attended this workshop.particularly vulnerable to extinction. vulnerable species and help safeguard Over the course of six days, nine PhD the genetic integrity of declining faculty members taught 17 differentIn 2010, the DoD Legacy Program populations. This research can be topics, such as Concepts of Rarityawarded the Center additional funding used to provide a seed bank resource and Imperiled Plants, Importance ofto use the study results as a guide for for immediate and future restoration Systematics, Population Evaluationthe next DoD endeavor, the “Seed needs and create a safety net against using Demography Population ViabilityBanking Federally-listed Mainland unforeseen threats to wild populations. Analysis, and Recovery Criteria. ThePlant Species on DoD Lands” project. These seed collections could also be course was such a success that theThis is a multi-year effort to collect used for additional research tasks Center presented it again in 2009 inseeds and other material from species identified in recovery plans and serve California, and is hoping for a thirdfound on DoD mainland installations. as a source material for possible offering in North Carolina in the nearField biologists from the Center out-planting efforts by DoD natural future.and its partner institutions, such resources managers.as botanical gardens, arboreta, and (Opposite page): Ute ladies’-tresses (Spiranthesuniversities, are now working with In addition to collecting data and diluvialis). Photo by Bekee Hotze, USFWS.natural resource managers at military material that could one day helpinstallations to collect material for the recover rare plants on military (This page): Golden paintbrush (Castilleja levisecta). Photo by Ted Thomas, USFWS.20 highest priority species and will installations, DoD is also providingcollect additional species in the coming training for its natural resourcesyear. Scientists will store collection managers in topics that relateinformation in the Center’s central specifically to plant conservation. Indatabase to track various attributes 2007, the Center used funding from the(propagule counts, age, location, etc) DoD Legacy Program to tailor theirof ex-situ material for future research plant conservation training course forwww.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin 1
  • 18. Connecting Landscapes forBiodiversityHabitat Conservation On and Around DoD Landsby Aaron MoodyH abitat fragmentation due lands to preserve is challenging, to land-use changes near especially for multiple species that military bases poses major vary in their abilities to dispersechallenges for wildlife conservation through different natural, managed, oron Department of Defense (DoD) developed habitats (Ricketts 2001).lands. Fragmentation isolates speciespopulations, thereby increasing their Historically, lands have been selectedexposure to risks from demographic, using expert opinion on a species-by-genetic, and environmental factors species basis (Beier et al. 2009). More(Gilpin and Soule 1986). This recently, computational approachespotentially undermines the wildlife have been developed to reducerecovery efforts on installations by subjectivity and automate the processDoD land managers. of quantifying the value of land for habitat connectivity (Calabrese andFort Bragg, situated in the Sandhills Fagan 2005). For most species, theseecoregion of North Carolina, is approaches are limited by a lack ofemblematic of this situation. One information about how landscapeof the largest and most active U.S. features affect movement behavior andmilitary bases, Ft. Bragg is an island by the persistence of a single-speciesof nearly intact forest surrounded focus for connectivity assessment.by agriculture and development. Asa result of fire management that Study species include not only the USFWSmimics natural processes, Fort Bragg red-cockaded woodpecker and Saintcontains some of the most extensive Francis’ satyr but also two amphibian The Saint Francis’ satyr survives only on Fort Bragg.high-quality long-leaf pine habitat species, the eastern tiger salamanderfor the endangered red-cockaded (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum) andwoodpecker (Picoides borealis). It Carolina gopher frog (Rana capitofully encompasses the known range capito), both of which are listed byof an endangered butterfly, the Saint accommodating the base’s military North Carolina as threatened at theFrancis’ satyr (Neonympha mitchellii readiness mission. state level. The team collected detailedfrancisci). Fort Bragg also is home to data on movement behavior for thesethree other endangered species and One approach to offsetting the isolating species using multiple methods,approximately 70 species of concern. effects of fragmentation is to preserve including radio-telemetry, in-situOur research team is working on behalf connections among protected habitats (on site) observations, experimentalof DoD’s Strategic Environmental (Beier Noss 1998, Tewksbury et releases of captive-bred animals andResearch and Development Program al. 2002). The DoD has accelerated translocated animals into differentto determine how to conserve habitat land acquisition around some bases to landscape types and at landscapeconnectivity between on- and off-base enhance connectivity among existing boundaries, tracking movement pathshabitats where multiple species must habitats for rare species (Herring using fluorescent dye powder, andbe managed simultaneously, while also 2004). However, identifying the best pit-trapping for amphibians near1 Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 19. breeding ponds. The team is linking open areas, these habitats may serve as Calabrese JM and Fagan WF. 2004.these data with detailed environmental dispersal barriers. A comparison-shoppers guide tomaps derived from field data, satellite connectivity metrics. Fron. Ecol.remote sensing, and aircraft-based To streamline the process of developing Environ. 2: 529-536.light detection and range (LiDAR), and integrating connectivity models,which uses a laser pulse return to map the team developed a user-friendly Gilpin ME and Soule ME. 1986.the 3-D structure of the land surface, software package called “CONNECT” Minimum viable populations: Processesto understand how different landscape that operates seamlessly with of species extinction. In: ME Soule (ed.)features affect animal movement mainstream geographic information Conservation Biology: The Scienceand dispersal and to map habitat software (ESRI ArcGIS 9.3). of Scarcity and Diversity. Sinauerconnectivity. The goal is to provide CONNECT combines habitat data Associates. Sunderland. Mass.information on the habitat connectivity and resistance surfaces (maps thatvalue of each land parcel that might be depict how difficult it is for animals Herring H (2004 -winter) Room toacquired for conservation. to move through the landscape) to maneuver. Nature Conservancy. 54: generate likely dispersal corridorsThe team developed statistical models and habitat networks. CONNECT Ricketts T (2001) The matrix matters:of habitat connectivity for the red- also allows combining connectivity effective isolation in fragmentedcockaded woodpecker by using radio- models for multiple species to identify landscapes. Am. Nat. 158: 87-99.telemetry data from dispersing juvenile the highest value locations for multi-females as they searched for breeding species connectivity. CONNECT Tewksbury JJ, Levey DJ, Haddadsites. Dispersing birds avoided open makes it easy for users to incorporate NM, Sargent S, Orrock JL, Weldonand developed areas and preferred to animal movement models into larger A, Danielson BJ, Brinkerhoff J,disperse through forested landscapes, work flows and to explore the affects Damschen EI, and Townsend P (2002)including forest types that are not of alternate land management, Corridors affect plants, animals,used for nesting. The research team conservation, and restoration scenarios and their interactions in fragmentedused the data to measure the relative on regional-scale habitat connectivity landscapes. PNAS 99: 12923-12926.resistance of the landscape to dispersal for wildlife conservation.and to map those lands that promotedispersal. Our research team is using data, Aaron Moody, Department of models, and CONNECT to address Geography Curriculum for theFor the Saint Francis’ satyr, models questions relevant to wildlife Environment and Ecology, Universityof habitat connectivity are based on conservation on and around of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, can bethe simulated dispersal of butterflies DoD installations. The Sandhills contacted at aaronm@email.unc.eduthrough a virtual representation Conservation Partnership, a multiple- or 1--0.of Fort Bragg and surrounding stakeholder group that coordinateslandscapes. The simulation is based conservation activities in the Sandhillson movement behaviors observed from ecoregion, can use the informationbutterflies in their natural habitats and and methods developed through thisbutterflies experimentally translocated project to set land acquisition prioritiesand released into different types of in order to benefit both the base andnatural and developed habitats. To the fauna and flora of the region.map habitat connectivity, the teamrecorded the frequency with which References:simulated butterflies passed througheach grid cell in the virtual landscape. Beier P Majka DR, and Newell SL. ,Interestingly, butterflies make longer, 2009. Uncertainty analysis of least-straighter movements in upland cost modeling for designing wildlifeforests, suggesting that this may be linkages. Ecol. App. 19: 2067-2077.important dispersal habitat. Butterflybehavior at riparian forest edges Beier P and Noss RF. 1998. Do habitatindicated that these lands also function corridors really provide connectivity?as dispersal corridors. In contrast, Cons. Biol. 12:1241-1252.because butterflies rarely enter largewww.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin 1
  • 20. The Readiness and conserve their habitat on lands off the military base. Installations can accrue credits and alleviate restrictionsand by contributing to a species’ recovery on these non-DoD lands. Similarly, installations can receive credits forEnvironmental protecting off-post habitat, which can be applied to mitigate construction or other on-post habitat uses.Protection While a number of REPI projectsInitiative have preserved valuable habitats and allowed DoD missions to continue, the project at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida illustrates the mutually beneficial relationship between species conservation andConserving Off-base DoD’s readiness efforts.Habitat Opens Defense Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is theLands to Military Use only U.S. space launch site capable of placing satellites into geosynchronous orbit (an orbit that places a satellite stationary over a given spot). Both government and commercial space operations rely heavily on Cape Canaveral’s launch capability.by Donald George However, because Cape Canaveral AFS is a critical conservation area for the threatened Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), current launch programs are confined to their existing footprints to prevent loss of scrub habitat. The only available land for any new “heavy” launch vehicle or processing facilities is mostly scrub jay habitat, and all activities that impact scrub habitat on the base incur a 4:1 mitigation requirement to offset the habitat loss.O ne of the core purposes of for species migration, and provides Since the Station is only 15,800 the U.S. Department of greater opportunities for adapting to, acres (about 6,395 hectares) and Defense’s (DoD) Readiness and mitigating, the effects of climate surrounded on three sides by water,and Environmental Protection change. the land available for new facilitiesInitiative (REPI) projects is to is limited. Cape Canaveral has onlyconserve such environmental assets When threatened and endangered 8,000 acres (3,240 ha) of undevelopedas wildlife in a manner that supports species are present on installation lands remaining, with 2,000 acresmilitary mission readiness and habitat, training can be severely (8,000 ha) acres of that land currentlynational security. These projects restricted. To alleviate this problem, set aside for conservation as a resultalso demonstrate a commitment installations are working with an of endangered species consultationsto landscape-level planning, which off-post local conservation entity to with the U.S. Fish and Wildlifehelps preserve biodiversity, allows promote the recovery of listed species Service (FWS). Based on the offset0 Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 21. requirements, only 1,200 acres (500 successful REPI project in Air Force for alleviating training restrictions isha) on the base remain available for Space Command will allow continued being closely inspected as a model formilitary mission use. launches of satellites to support other installations. Lessons learned GPS, communications, and weather from the Army’s efforts at Camp BullisTo protect its military mission and forecasting for the entire nation. will help a number of other installationsconserve habitat, Cape Canaveral currently discussing recovery effortspartnered with Brevard County and In another example of the REPI with the FWS, such as Marine Corpsits voter-approved Environmentally program, Camp Bullis Military Base Camp Lejeune.Endangered Lands Program to Training Reservation in Texas willpreserve nearby undeveloped scrub protect off-post habitat to supporthabitat. The County acquired 188 acres the recovery of the golden-cheeked Donald George, U.S. Air Force, can be(76 ha) of scrub habitat, and the Air warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia). contacted at donald.george@patrick.Force received a conservation easement Through a consultation with the FWS af.mil or 1--.on 101 acres (40 ha) of that parcel. This under section 7 of the Endangeredproject will help protect the survival of Species Act, Camp Bullis will be able (Opposite page): Florida scrub jay.the Florida scrub-jay and, in working to clear unoccupied warbler habitat Photo by Thomas G. Barnes.with the FWS, Cape Canaveral may on post for medic field training,receive Recovery Credits to alleviate which is its primary training mission. (This page): Golden-checked warbler.future mitigation requirements Warbler habitat conserved off-post Photo by Gil Eckrich.when mission development exceeds will mitigate for the on-post loss. Thisthe1,250-acre level. This first innovative use of REPI as a new toolwww.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin 1
  • 22. Partnershipsfrom Hawaii toNorth CarolinaThe Readiness and EnvironmentalProtection Initiativeby Nancy NatoliT he U.S. Department of for Public Land to protect the two Camp Pendleton’s conservation efforts Defense’s (DoD) Readiness locations. involving REPI aim to create and and Environmental Protection maintain linkages between San DiegoInitiative (REPI) supports public- The Trust for Public Land supports County’s North County Multipleprivate conservation partnerships that the Army with aggressive land Species Conservation Plan, California’swork on a cost-share basis. These management of these parcels, Santa Ana-Palomar Mountains Linkagemutually beneficial partnerships assisted by a large coalition of other Conceptual Area Protection Plan,succeed when a partner’s focus area partners including the FWS, the and the Mount Olympic Magee Ridgeincludes habitat for endangered species City and County of Honolulu, the Reserve Conceptual Area Protectionregulated on nearby military lands, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and the Plan. In addition to working with theseor when partners are interested in Hawaii Department of Land and conservation efforts, Camp Pendletonareas where open space is important Natural Resources. Together, these has partnered with the Trust for Publicto maintaining the military’s ability to organizations protect endangered Land and San Diego County to pooltest and train nearby. REPI’s purpose species habitat from development, and more than $4 million to conserve nearlyis to sustain the military mission by have conserved an additional 3,004 1,300 acres (526 ha) of wildlife habitat.proactively conserving the landscape acres (1,215 hectares) of open spaceand natural infrastructure beyond adjacent to DoD lands. North CarolinaDoD owned land. For six years, this In the late 1990s, training activities atinitiative has helped protect threatened California Fort Bragg—one of the most combat-and endangered species and their Camp Pendleton, a Marine Corps ready and active military installationshabitat across the country. training base in Southern California, in the country—were heavily restricted is the largest oasis of undeveloped due to the presence of the endangeredHawaii coastal open space between Los red-cockaded woodpecker (PicoidesA biological opinion resulting from Angeles and San Diego. It is also borealis). In 2000, the Army andendangered species consultation with home to 14 threatened and endangered The Nature Conservancy initiated anthe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service animal species including San unconventional partnership to protect(FWS) requires the Army to manage Diego fairy shrimp (Branchinecta habitat for the species on private75 pairs of ‘elepaio (Chasiempis sandiegonensis), Riverside fairy lands. Thanks to this partnership, thesandwichensis ibidis), a small bird shrimp (Streptocephalus wootori), FWS and the Army can now celebratenative to Hawaii that inhabits DoD arroyo southwestern toad (Bufo having met their goal of recoveringland. REPI funding supports the californicus microscaphus), steelhead 350 potential breeding groups ofpermanent protection of ‘elepaio salmon (Oncorhynchus mykiss), woodpeckers in the Sandhills Easthabitat at the Honouliuli Preserve and tidewater goby (Eucyclogobius Recovery unit, a core recovery areaMoanalua Valley on the island of O‘ahu. newberry), Stephens’ kangaroo rat for the species. In fact, this goal wasThe U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii has a (Dipodomys stephensi), Pacific pocket achieved in 2006, five years earliercooperative agreement with the Trust mouse (Perognathus longimembris than anticipated. Fort Bragg’s success pacificus), and seven species of birds. served as the model Congress used for Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 23. creating the enabling legislation that isnow the foundation for REPI.Integrating DoD’s conservation ofendangered species into a largerlandscape through REPI allows theagency to use its own real estate moreeffectively to support the current andfuture military mission. Conservingendangered species both on and nearmilitary lands across the country is amission enabler.Nancy Natoli, the Department ofDefense Readiness and EnvironmentalProtection Initiative Coordinator, canbe reached at nancy.natoli@osd.mil or0-0-10.(Opposite page): O’ahu elepaio.Photo by Eric Vander Werf of Pacific Rim Conservation.(This page): Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris).Photo by the Department of Defense Military Services.www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 24. From Sea to Shining Sea Conservation and the U.S. Navy by Tammy Conkle and Lorri SchwartzT he U.S. Navy strives to species populations can thrive while cooperation with the U.S. Fish and be a good steward of the ensuring that there is a no net loss to Wildlife Service, the Navy’s coastal environment while carrying out critical training and operations. The and inland installations in this regionits primary mission of national security following examples from the Pacific work to conserve more than 40at sea. On its bases, which encompass Southwest and along the Atlantic Coast federally listed species. Two island2.1 million acres (0.8 million hectares) illustrate some of the Navy’s successful ecosystems, San Clemente Islandof land, and in surrounding areas, the INRMP-driven conservation programs. (SCI) and San Nicolas Island (SNI),Navy manages ecosystems that support highlight the Navy’s efforts. SCI hasmore than 100 federally listed species. Flagship Efforts in the Pacific the highest number of endemic speciesThese lands are distributed across Southwest of all the California Channel Islands.seven “Navy regions” in the United It is part of the southern CaliforniaStates. Navy lands in the Southwest contain Range Complex, a Navy range that some of the nation’s most diverse supports simultaneous ship to shore,Many of the Navy’s conservation ecosystems in terms of plant and air to ground, and ground troopsuccesses stem from using ecosystem wildlife communities. Due to massive training. The Navy’s natural resourcesprinciples as the foundation of its growth and urbanization, Navy programs have dramatically benefittedIntegrated Natural Resources lands have become some of the last the San Clemente loggerhead shrikeManagement Plans (INRMPs). remaining islands of biodiversity (Lanius ludovicianus mearnsi), onceINRMPs are designed to ensure that within a sea of development. In considered the most endangered bird Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 25. in North America. Its numbers have lizard (Xantusia riversiana) due to (Euphydryas editha quino), arroyoincreased from a low of 13 to about 300. recovery. toad (Bufo californicus), coastalSix of the island’s listed plants are also California gnatcatcher (Polioptilashowing trends toward recovery. Mainland resources found on Naval californica californica), least Bell’s Base Coronado, Naval Base Ventura vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus), andSan Nicolas Island supports research, County, and Naval Weapons Station Stephens’ kangaroo rat (Dipodomysdevelopment, testing, and evaluation Seal Beach are key contributors toward stephensi). The last four of theseof air weapons and associated the recovery of the California least species are managed in concert withaircraft systems while managing tern (Sterna antillarum browni). the Navy munitions storage mission attwo federally listed species and This bird’s nesting numbers have Detachment Fallbrook.four marine mammals. Some of dramatically increased in conjunctionCalifornia’s threatened southern sea with management programs began The Tortoise and the Hareotters (Enhydra lutris nereis) were in the early 1980s. In addition,translocated from coastal waters to management of beach and dune Installations in the Navy’s SoutheastSNI several decades ago to create a ecosystems as well as coastal marshes region encompass more than 130,000separate population in case the main on many Navy installations has proven acres (52,609 ha) across seven statespopulation is struck by a catastrophic effective for the western snowy plover and Cuba (Naval Station Guantanamooil spill or disease event. The SNI (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus), Bay Cuba). These properties supportpopulation now numbers 30 to 40 salt marsh bird’s-beak (Cordylanthusadults. Our management programs maritimus ssp. maritimus), and light- (Opposite page): The threatened California sea otterat both SCI and SNI have prevented footed clapper rail (Rallus longirostris is one of the rare animals found in Navy-managedthe need for federal listing of island levipes). Our management of inland waters. Photo by Lilian Carswell, USFWS.fox (Urocyon littoralis) subspecies on ecosystems, including coastal sageNavy islands and has also supported a scrub and riparian areas, has benefited (This page): The gopher tortoise depends at least inrequest for delisting of the island night the Quino checkerspot butterfly part on Navy lands in the Southeast. Photo by U.S. Navy.www.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin
  • 26. habitat for more than 30 federally- listed species and other state-listed species. The unique plants and animals range from delicate flowers to huge whales, from Caribbean corals to ancient cactus plants, and from the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) to the lower keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri). For many of these species, Navy properties contain some of the last vestiges of their habitat. In addition to our own management efforts, partnerships (such as Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability) allow the Navy to collaborate with other interests on the recovery of listed species while supporting its military mission. Many of the Navy’s efforts in the Southeast focus on range-wide conservation and management, specifically in the native longleaf pine ecosystem. Listed species such as the endangered reticulated flatwoods salamander (Ambystoma bishopi), Mississippi gopher frog (Rana capito), and eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), as well as keystone species like the gopher tortoise, depend on this ecosystem. On Naval Air Station Whiting Field’s Outlying Landing Field Holley, a cooperative effort with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowed habitat managers to conduct a prescribed burn, which benefits fire-adapted species like the salamander. The effectiveness of restoring fire to the longleaf forest was demonstrated by the discovery of a gravid (pregnant) adult female flatwoods salamander where no individuals had been documented in 12 years. A significant portion of the lower keys marsh rabbit population can be found on Naval Air Station Key West. Navy ecosystem management strategies focus on eliminating invasive plant species, restoring native plants, Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 27. prescribed burning, and predatorcontrol.The Navy’s management efforts oftenencompass estuarine and near-shoreenvironments. The West Indianmanatee (Trichechus manatus) is anendangered species that can be foundat several Navy installations in coastalwaters of Georgia and Florida. TheNavy program centers on methods toavoid manatees, such as the use of no-wake zones, manatee lookouts, manateesightings reporting, and eliminationof such human-caused attractants asfreshwater discharges.For additional information about theNavy’s natural resources programs,as well as news about energy andenvironmental initiatives, we inviteyou to explore Currents, the Navy’senvironmental magazine. It canbe found online at http://www.enviro-navair.navy.mil/currents.cfm,or by visiting the Navy’s energy,environment, and climate changewebsite at http://greenfleet.dodlive.mil.For more information pleasecontact Tammy Conkle, with theNavy Installations Command inWashington, D.C., at tamara.conkle@navy.mil or 0--.Lorri Schwartz, a natural resourcesspecialist with the Naval FacilitiesEngineering Command Headquarters.in Washington, D.C., can be reached atLorri.A.Schwartz@us.army.mil.(Opposite page top): San Clemente loggerheadshrike.(Opposite page bottom): Lower Keys marsh rabbit.(This page top): Prescribed fire at OLF Field Holleymaintains habitat for species that depend on long-leaf pine forest.(This page bottom): Reticulated flatwoodssalamander. Photos by U.S. Navy.www.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin
  • 28. The Proof of Sea-level Riseis in the PloverClimate Change and Shorebirds in Floridaby I. Linkov, R. Fischer, M. Convertino, M. Chu-Agor,G. Kiker, C.J. Martinez, R. Muñoz-Carpena,H.R. Akçakaya, and M. Aiello-LammensM any of Florida’s military dependent bird species. Potential frequency and intensity, pose difficult installations are near sizeable land-cover and terrain changes, management challenges for natural coastal barrier islands that coupled with uncertain predictions for resource managers.provide habitat for many shoreline- sea-level rise and increases in storm Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 29. For example, Eglin Air Force Base high-quality intertidal and near-shore balance multiple, potentially-conflictingand Tyndall Air Force Base maintain habitats for foraging. The snowy objectives.coastal areas that provide breeding and plover also needs undisturbed beachwintering habitats for the snowy plover and dune habitat for nesting. The U.S. Department of Defense’s(Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus), (DoD) Strategic Environmentalwintering habitat for the piping plover The main use of coastal beaches on Research and Development Program(Charadrius melodus), and migratory military installations is to provide provided funding to the U.S. Armystopover habitat for the red knot realistic training areas for the U.S. Engineer Research and Development(Calidris canutus). Unfortunately, Armed Forces. For example, the Center, University of Florida,all three species are imperiled at barrier island habitat on Eglin Airthe state or national scales, making Force Base is being assessed for futureany changes in habitat a matter of engineering projects (e.g., access road (Facing page, background image): The distribution ofimportance from both a policy and armoring, dune rebuilding, shoreline the snowy plover breeding/nesting areas (red dots)conservation perspective. The limited nourishment to protect infrastructure in Florida. A snowy plover male and a fledgling is athuman disturbance at these military and maintain training sites, and the top-right corner, a piping plover is below, and asites, along with the conservation of creation of seawalls and bulkheads) red knot is at the left-bottom. Photos by NASA and USFWS.other habitats on parcels of shoreline to maintain suitable conditions for (Below): Favorable nesting habitat for the snowymanaged by the National Park Service training. Land and facility managers plover: forefront dune areas comprised of fine whiteand the state of Florida, are major must meet this primary military sand and scattered debris at East Santa Rosa Island,factors contributing to the survival mission while conserving natural Florida. A snowy plover nest is shown in the inset.of these species. All three require resources to the extent possible and to Photos by M. Convertino and R.A. Fischer.www.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin
  • 30. State University of New York, and Coast shoreline habitat and future be useful in predicting risks for otherApplied Biomathematics (a research habitat availability for the snowy species and other coastal locations inand software company) to build an plover, piping plover, and red knot the U.S.interdisciplinary team. The team’s under several climate change scenariosgoals were to 1) develop an integrated and environmental managementmodeling framework that will be alternatives. Preliminary results I. Linkov and R. Fischer are with theused to assess the effects of sea- indicate a likelihood of habitat loss and U.S. Army Engineer Research andlevel rise on the viability of Florida fragmentation (mainly salt-marshes, Development Center. M. Convertino,snowy plover, piping plover, and red estuaries, and ocean beaches) for these M. Chu-Agor, G. Kiker, C.J. Martinez,knot populations, and 2) link bird species. Results also suggest that and R. Muñoz-Carpena are with themanagement alternatives at both the sea-level rise will cause a decline in University of Florida. H.R. Akçakayalocal installation scale and the regional suitable habitat and carrying capacity and M. Aiello-Lammens are with the(Florida Gulf Coast) scale. It will for the snowy plover, with a significant State University of NY.investigate the threat of a potential sea- population decline and a substantiallylevel rise on the long-term persistence increased risk of local extirpation.of shoreline-dependent birds and Variations in the complexity of coastlineshorelines for military training. landforms and the processes that shape them are strongly associatedThe team is developing a series with the shrinking and splitting ofof integrated models that include suitable habitat patches. The futurea land-cover change model (Sea connectivity among snowy ploverLevel Affecting Marshes Model, or subpopulations along the FloridaSLAMM) driven by sea level rise, a Gulf Coast should remain stable.habitat model, and a metapopulation However, the risk of local extirpationsmodel (for snowy plovers) with a may strongly increase as populationdecision model for selection and numbers drop and foraging andevaluating environmental management breeding sites shrink.alternatives. The decision-makingmodel will evaluate the ecological, This integrated modeling approachpolitical, and economical criteria of will provide military decision-makersthe involved stakeholders to allow with a wide range of likely outcomesthe selection of the best management for shoreline-dependent birdsalternative. Coupled with targeted under various land managementmonitoring of the species, it will form approaches. The alternatives maythe basis of adaptive management include concentrating military trainingpolicies. The SLAMM model simulates and testing in areas projected to bethe dominant processes involved less sensitive to birds and schedulingwith coastal wetland conversions training activities in seasons when theand shoreline modifications during birds are less vulnerable. Althoughlong-term sea level rise. Among the impacts of beach nourishmentthese processes are inundation, (pumping sand from the ocean floorerosion, over wash, saturation, and onto beaches) on shoreline-dependentaccretion. The habitat model builds birds are not fully understood, it mayon SLAMM projections to predict the be a necessary engineering solution formost favorable habitats for birds. The maintaining coastal military trainingmetapopulation model projects snowy lands. Nourishment designs thatplover population viability based on preserve the vertical beach profile (theprojections of future habitat availability beach slope), dunes, and overwashand information about population areas important to nesting and brooddynamics and life history. foraging habitats may be necessary for the long-term conservation ofThe project team is in the process of shorebirds. The modeling approachassessing the vulnerability of Gulf being applied in coastal Florida may0 Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 31. Radaring in onMigrating Birdsby Richard A. Fischer, Jonathon J. Valente,Michael P Guilfoyle, and Sidney A. Gauthreaux .D epartment of Defense migration forecast models for those (DoD) lands include large, locations for use in reducing the undeveloped landscapes with probability of collisions between birdsimportant habitat for birds during and military aircraft. The team alsoall phases of their life cycle. Military compared nightly radar estimates oflands and waters can be particularly migrant exodus from and input to thevaluable for migrating birds requiring study areas and observed daily changes Lucy’s warbler (Vermivora luciae), a species ofstopover habitat to rest and refuel en- in migrant abundances. The team concern. Photo by Dominic Sherony.route between distant seasonal ranges. used traditional ground-based transectThis provides an opportunity for DoD surveys to compare the results frominstallations, many of which occur the two methods and to evaluate the those habitats containing significantalong major migration routes, to play effectiveness of estimating migrant amounts of saltcedar (Tamarix spp.)a critical role in protecting migrant stopover abundances with NEXRAD had the lowest metric values. Thisbirds. Recent developments in radar technology. Lastly, the team compared research collectively suggests thattechnology have provided powerful migrant use of diverse riparian habitats NEXRAD can be used to broadlytools for investigating migrant along the Colorado River near the identify migratory hotspots on militarydeparture from stopover habitat, as Yuma Proving Ground. installations, as well as improve flightwell as movements through military safety on those installations withairspace, information that is crucial for Results indicated that approximately an aviation-based military mission.assisting with flight safety of aircrews. half of the installations examined Smaller mobile radar technology and via radar contained migrant intensive ground-based surveys are The DoD Strategic Environmental stopover “hotspots,” reaffirming the needed to further distinguish fine-scaleResearch and Development Program importance of military installations differences in habitat use by migrants(SERDP) provided funding to the to migrating birds. For the three within an installation’s boundaries.U.S. Army Engineer Research installations examined in detail, theand Development Center, Clemson team successfully developed robustUniversity Radar Ornithology forecast models that natural resources Richard A. Fischer, a research wildlifeLaboratory, and the University of managers can easily implement. biologist with the U.S. Army EngineerSouthern Mississippi to investigate Interestingly, the team found that daily Research and Development Center,migratory bird use of military changes in migrant abundances and can be reached at Richard.A.Fischer@installations. The team used WSR- species composition, as estimated by usace.army.mil. Jonathon J. Valente,88D (NEXRAD) radar to investigate ground-based surveys, showed very a data analyst with the U.S. Armyspring and fall migrations at 40 military poor correlation with the number of Engineer Research and Developmentinstallations across the United States, migrants estimated to be leaving and Center, can be reached at Jonathon.and to identify stopover hotspots based arriving at the study area nightly. J.Valente@gmail.com. Michaelon radar images of birds departing Further research is necessary to P Guilfoyle is a research wildlife .from installation habitats (“exodus understand when each technique biologist with the U.S. Army Engineerevents”). It closely examined patterns should be used. Lastly, the team Research and Development Center.on or near three military installations found that migrant abundance, species Sidney A. Gauthreaux, a Professor(Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Fort richness, and community composition Emeritus with the Clemson UniversityPolk, Louisiana; and Yuma Proving in Arizona were all influenced by Radar Ornithology Laboratory, can beGround, Arizona) and developed riparian vegetation composition, and reached at sagth@clemson.edu.www.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin 1
  • 32. Automated Biodiversity Monitoringby T. Mitchell Aide andCarlos Corrada-BravoA bout three years ago, a team network is to help researchers in the near future using hydrophones of students and professors gather data in the field by creating to detect marine mammals and fish, studying biology, computer software and hardware for continuous, and cameras to study threats to reefscience, and electronic engineering long-term, remote monitoring of communities (e.g., coral bleaching).established the Automated Remote biodiversity. The team initially focusedBiodiversity Monitoring Network on acoustically monitoring birds, During the first stage of the project,(ARBIMON) at the University of amphibians, and insects. However, the team designed two monitoringPuerto Rico. The purpose of the it hopes to begin aquatic monitoring hardware systems: portable and permanent stations. The portable stations are less expensive and are easily moved to sample different habitats. They are powered by a 12-volt 12-amp battery that lasts about 10 days, and they record using a microphone, a preamp, an Apple iPod Touch, and a voltage regulator. The system records one minute of audio every 10 minutes, allowing 144 one- minute recordings per day. Permanent stations are powered by a solar panel and car battery, and the data are transmitted to a base station by a Yagi antenna. The base station includes a receiving antenna connected to the local network and a laptop computer with an external hard drive for local backup. Once the files are stored locally, they are forwarded to the project server in Puerto Rico, where they are stored, processed, and displayed on the project website, virtually in real-time. Permanent recording stations are located in Puerto Rico, the Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island in Hawai‘i, and Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, where other remote research projects take place. Recently, the ARBIMON team made a major breakthrough in automating species identification using Hidden Markov Models (http://en.wikipedia. Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 33. org/wiki/Hidden_Markov_model). the team is working on a web interfaceThey accomplished this by developing that will allow any user to develop anda formula that automatically marks test species identification models forall acoustic events (such as the additional species.sounds made by various species)above background noise to determineregions of interest for the next phase T. Mitchell Aide, a Professor in theof research. Following this step, Department of Biology, Universityexperts are brought in to listen to of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras, canmultiple examples of a species’ call be contacted at tmaide@yahoo.com.and associate the acoustic events (i.e., Carlos Corrada-Bravo, Associatenotes) that compose each individual Professor, Department of Computercall. This information is then used to Science, University of Puerto Ricocreate a filter that feeds data to the – Rio Piedras, can be reached atHidden Markov Models and create cjcorrada@uprrp.edu.a match between certain species and Caption heretheir vocalizations. For example,the first species identification model (Opposite page): A permanent biodiversity monitoring station located on the Pohakuloafocused on the common coqui frog Training Area in Hawaii. Photo courtesy of DoD.(Eleutherodactylus coqui). Twentyrandom calls were used to train the (This page top): In this recording from Sabanasystem, and then more than 20,000 Seca, Puerto Rico, algorithms have automatedone-minute recordings were processed the identification of three species frogs. We arein 30 minutes. Inspection of 100 working on algorithms for the fourth species andrandom recordings showed that the for the bird species in the area. Photo courtesy of DoD.model correctly identified the presence (This page bottom): A red-eye coquior absence of this species with a high (Eleutherodactylus antillensis) endemic to Puertolevel of accuracy (over 90 percent). In Rico. Photo by Leopoldo Miranda-Castro.light of these encouraging findings,www.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin
  • 34. Developing a Strategic Plan forHerpetofauna on Military Landsby Robert E. Lovich, Chris Petersen,Priya Nanjappa, Ernesto Garcia, andMichael LannooD epartment of Defense (DoD) training platform and minimize the installations exist to provide potential for regulatory/statutory a foundation for military restrictions, such as those that couldreadiness in order to defend and result from the Endangered Speciesprotect the United States and its allies. Act. In 2009, the DoD LegacyIn support of the military mission, Resource Management Programmany of these installations maintain initiated the development of a Strategicexpanses of largely undeveloped open Plan for the recently established DoD conservation and management on thespace that often contain ecologically Partners in Amphibian and Reptile DoD landscape.significant natural resources. These Conservation (PARC) Program. Theresources provide habitat for a broad purpose of the plan is to develop an With the comprehensive resourcesspectrum of native flora and fauna, amphibian and reptile conservation that PARC and DoD bring to bear,including herpetofauna (amphibians strategy that can be implemented we anticipate that DoD will beand reptiles), many of which are rare through partnerships. The focus is on better able to address amphibianor federally listed as threatened or reducing and mitigating the threats to and reptile conservation issues whileendangered species. amphibians and reptiles on DoD lands, simultaneously supporting military while protecting and sustaining the readiness. This strategic plan willDoD also recognizes that conserving military mission. The objective is to promote enhanced conservationthe essential components of ecosystems better integrate amphibian and reptile and natural resources managementis necessary to ensure a sustainable on military installations in the U.S. Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 35. and provide a framework for similar copies available both online and in Robert E. Lovich, a natural resourcesactivities on DoD installations print. Doing so will allow DoD natural specialist with the Naval Facilitiesthroughout the world. resources staff and land managers Engineering Command (NAVFAC) to integrate the broad herpetological in San Diego, CA, can be reachedThe draft version of the plan was expertise of the PARC network with at robert.lovich@navy.mil . Chriscompleted by March 2011, in time for specific management activities on Petersen, a natural resources specialistthe National Military Fish and Wildlife DoD installations. This combination with NAVFAC in Norfolk, VA, canAssociation annual meeting and will of guidance and expertise will help be reached at chris.petersen@navy.be made available for comment by the ensure that military readiness is not mil. Priya Nanjappa, Amphibian DoD natural resources community impacted as a result of degrading Reptile Coordinator and State Liaisonat large. It is essential to involve ecosystem health (amphibian and to PARC for the Association of FishDoD natural resources personnel in reptile population die-offs, declines, or and Wildlife Agencies, Washington,the development of the plan, as its extirpations). DC, can be reached at pnanjappa@implementation will give all of DoD the fishwildlife.org. Ernesto Garcia,chance to programmatically manage In this time of disappearing natural Executive Director of Friends ofand conserve herpetofauna for the first resources, habitats, and species, the PARC, can be reached at egarcia@time. defenders of our great nation have the friendsofparc.org. Michael Lannoo, opportunity to count themselves among a professor in the Department ofThe final DoD PARC Strategic Plan the nation’s leaders in herpetofaunal Anatomy and Cell Biology Indianawill be distributed widely to DoD and landscape conservation. DoD University School of Medicine, Terreinstallations and personnel, with PARC is proud to support the nation’s Haute, can be reached at mlannoo@ iupui.edu. Photos by DoD.www.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin
  • 36. Do Frogs Still Get Their Kicks onRoute 66?A Transcontinental Surveyfor a Killer Fungusby Christopher Petersen,Robert E. Lovich,Michael J. Lannoo,Priya Nanjappa andErnesto R. GarciaOne of the species surveyed during the cross-sountry study was the green frog (Rana clamitans). Photo by Dr. Joe Mitchell.A fter surviving the last 300 Conservation (PARC), U.S Fish and So, you might ask, what does this million years, amphibian Wildlife Service (FWS) Division of the have to do with Route 66? In 2009, populations are in precipitous National Fish Hatchery System, and we (the authors) received fundingdecline worldwide. One-fifth of the other partners and sponsors held an from the DoD Legacy Resourceworld’s amphibians may now face international conference, “Amphibian Management Program to conduct aextinction. The decline is the result of Declines Chytridiomycosis: transcontinental transect designednumerous problems, including habitat Translating Science into Urgent to assess the presence of Bd on DoDloss and fragmentation, competition Action” in 2007. The aim of the lands. We sampled 15 installationsand predation from non-native species, conference was to share information on along U.S. Highway 66 from Californiaincreased ultraviolet radiation, climate research and management related to to central Illinois. The transect thenchange, and diseases and pathogens. amphibian declines, with an emphasis continued from the Midwest to the on chytridiomycosis. One result has Atlantic Seaboard along Route 64.The amphibian disease chytridio- been a worldwide mapping effort With the completion of this project,mycosis (caused by the fungus (see http://www.spatialepidemiology. we anticipated answers to, or at leastBatrachochytrium dendrobatidis or net/bd/). As mapping progressed, it insight into, these questions:Bd) has been a major factor in many became apparent that little samplingpopulation declines and extinctions. Bd had occurred on Department of • At which DoD sites would Bd beis now widespread throughout many Defense (DoD) installations. DoD detected?geographic regions and is known to lands provide an impressive array ofoccur in native amphibian populations amphibian and reptile diversity and • What are the infection rates at theon every continent (except Antarctica, habitats. Sampling DoD sites for Bd surveyed sites?where there are no amphibians). was identified as an important part of the North American mapping effort • Is there a temporal pattern to theTo address this growing problem, the and equally important for evaluating presence of Bd?Partners in Amphibian and Reptile the general health of amphibians on DoD lands. Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 37. (Below): Swabbing a pine woods treefrog (Hyla femoralis) to detect fungal disase . Photo by Dr. Joe Mitchell.• Is there a spatial pattern to the presence of Bd?• What species tested positive for Bd?• Are some species more susceptible to Bd fungus than others?A team of more than 15 peoplecomprised of PARC members, DoDbiologists/environmental managers, andvolunteers conducted the field work.They sampled three wetland habitatson each of the 15 installations inspring/early summer, mid-summer, andlate summer/fall in 2009. The studyrepresents the most geographicallyextensive single survey/transect for Bdinfection ever conducted.The team followed a non-invasiveprotocol for capturing and swabbingamphibians. This ensured consistencyin data collection and prevented thepotential transfer of Bd, if present,from one amphibian to another andfrom one installation to another. Theteam then sent field collected swabs toa laboratory to test for the presence ofthe genetic Bd “fingerprint.”www.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin
  • 38. The results indicated Bd presence Naval Support Activity Crane, Fort and a peer-reviewed manuscript withat 13 of the 15 installations sampled. Knox, Radford Army Ammunitions complete details are forthcoming.It was not detected at the other two Plant, Fort A.P Hill, Fort Belvoir, Fort .sites, Camp Navajo in Arizona and Lee, and Naval Air Station Oceana) The study findings will supportFort Sill in Oklahoma. A total of 1,306 had higher rates of Bd infection (18.9 DoD natural resources managersamphibians were sampled, and 217 percent) than the five bases (Marine and environmental specialists by(16.6 percent) of the swabs tested Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Camp providing baseline data on the healthpositive for Bd. Half of the species Navajo, Kirtland Air Force Base, of amphibian populations. They willsurveyed (15 of 30) tested positive for Cannon Air Force Base, and Fort also be incorporated into the emergingBd. Species infected with Bd covered Sill) situated in the arid west (4.8 disease mapping project, helpinga wide phylogenetic range including percent). There also was a strong researchers look at national patternsfour species of plethodontid (lungless) temporal (seasonal) component, with and trends of surveyed sites, die-offs,salamanders, three species of toads, 78.5 percent of positive samples found and spread of this disease. We hope thefive hylid frogs (or “tree frogs”), and in the first (spring/early-summer) data may ultimately aid in preventingfour ranid frogs (or “true frogs”). At sampling period. Taken together, the population declines and avoidingno point during this study did the team data suggest that the spatial pattern further restrictions on current militaryobserve any dead or dying amphibians. of Bd presence is due to variations base operations. in moisture levels (with moistureThere was a strong spatial component promoting infection rates), whereas The DoD Legacy Resourceto the dataset. The 10 tested DoD temporal patterns may be due to Management Program has fundedinstallations in the nation’s eastern moisture availability (with Bd present additional sampling, scheduled fortemperate zone (Camp Gruber, Fort at the highest rates during the wettest 2011, at other DoD installations acrossLeonard Wood, Sparta Training Center, times of the year). The final report the U.S.Green treefrogs (Hyla cinerea) resting on a cattail. Photo by Paul Block. Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 39. A Cope’s gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) emits its call. Photo by Dr. Joe Mitchell.AcknowledgementsThe authors would like to recognize Dr.Joseph Mitchell and Dr. ChristopherPhillips for their extensive field workand dedication on this project. Wealso would like to recognize IreneMacallister (USACOE) for herlaboratory analysis of the field collecteddata. Lastly, this study could nothave been conducted without theassistance of the natural resource andenvironmental managers at the DoDinstallations or without the fundingfrom the DoD Legacy ResourceManagement Program.www.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin
  • 40. DoD Joins the Battle to Save Bats by Christopher Dobony, Eric Britzke, Mark Ford, and Raymond RainboltW hite-nose syndrome (WNS) during normal hibernation, the immune are also believed to contribute to the is a wildlife health concern system of bats becomes relatively problem. of unprecedented scale inactive, leaving them vulnerable tothat has decimated bat populations this fungal infection. Bats with white WNS has most severely affected thein eastern North America. WNS, or muzzles, dead bats on cave floors, or Northeast’s most common “cave” batits presumptive cause, the cold-hardy emergence of bats from hibernacula species: the big brown bat (Eptesicusfungus Geomyces destructans, has during mid-winter months (too early in fuscus), eastern small-footed batspread in recent years throughout the the year to have a reliable food supply) (Myotis leibii), little brown bateastern United States and Canada, and are signs of WNS. It is unknown (Myotis lucifugus), northern batas far south and west as Oklahoma. whether affected bats emerge early (Myotis septentrionalis), tricoloredDepartment of Defense (DoD) natural in an attempt to forage to restore bat (Perimyotis subflavus), and theresource managers and biologists depleted fat reserves, or to escape endangered Indiana bat (Myotisare working with their counterparts the increased individual agitation and sodalis). The endangered gray batin other agencies on research to group disturbance as WNS-infected (Myotis griescens), the cave batcombat the threat of widespread bat bats become active. Regardless, bats (Myotis velifer), and southeasternextinctions. then die from cold weather exposure. bat (Myotis austroriparius) have recently tested positive for the fungus.The distinctive white fungus often Although variable among bat species, The timing of WNS has postponedappears on the muzzles, wings, ears, mortality rates at hibernacula of 70 considerations for delisting theand tails of bats during and just after to 95 percent have been reported gray bat, tempered the optimism ofhibernation. It grows at temperatures within 2 years of an initial infection. increasing Indiana bat populations,from approximately 0 to 20 C Bat-to-bat transmission is known to and led to a petition to list the eastern(approximately 32 to 68 F), which occur, and the effects of humans and small-footed and northern myotiscorresponds to the body temperature other environmental factors in the species under the Endangered Speciesof hibernating bats. Unfortunately, transmission cycle, though unknown, Act. Concern for the viability of the0 Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 41. the installations and to manage for bats and WNS. A similar workshop is also being developed for late summer or fall 2011. It is difficult to predict the role WNS will play in natural resource management in the context of sustaining military mission requirements. However, it is vital for military installations to begin communicating with state and federal regulators about potential approaches for dealing with this important issue. If strategies can be developed early, potential military mission impacts may be identified, avoided, and/or mitigated prior to the arrival of WNS. DoD is known for its ability to adapt and overcome, and we hope that dealing with this disease threat will be noendangered Virginia big-eared bat although WNS mortality is most different.(Corynorhinus townsendii) prompted prevalent and obvious at hibernacula,the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, research at this Army installation hasSmithsonian Institution, and West also documented how disease impacts Christopher Dobony, a fish and wildlifeVirginia Division of Natural Resources are manifested during non-hibernation biologist with Fort Drum Militaryto develop a captive holding program months. Numbers of bats captured per Installation, can be reached at Chris.as an “ark” in an attempt to prevent net-survey site at Fort Drum dropped Dobony@us.army.mil. Eric Britzke,outright extinction. by more than half since the onset of a research wildlife biologist with the WNS on the installation, with the US Army Engineer Research andAlthough our understanding of greatest declines occurring among the Development Center EnvironmentalWNS is still limited, researchers at northern and little brown bat. Lab, Vicksburg, MS, can be reached atnumerous federal and state agencies, Eric.R.Britzke@usace.army.mil.universities, and non-governmental Unfortunately, with precipitous drops W. Mark Ford, Unit Leader of theorganizations are diligently working in the numbers of these formerly USGS Virginia Cooperative Fishto answer basic questions about WNS, common bats and declines in already and Wildlife Research Unit, Virginiadevise management guidelines, and endangered species due to WNS, the Tech University in Blacksburg, VA,prepare managers in unaffected complexities of accomplishing the can be reached at wmford@vt.edu .areas for its arrival. DoD natural military training mission and managing Raymond Rainbolt, Fish and Wildliferesource specialists have historically other uses of DoD lands will multiply. Program Manager at the Fort Drumcollaborated with federal and state Military Installation, can be reachedbiologists to manage endangered In collaboration with Bat Conservation at Raymond.E.Rainbolt@us.army.mil.species like the Indiana and gray bats, International, DoD hosted workshopsand with the onset of WNS at military in Nashville, Tennessee, and at (Opposite page): A bat showing signs of WNS.installations, DoD has also become nearby Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Photo by Marvin Moriarty, USFWS.involved with research on this disease. in November 2010 to help prepare military installations for the arrival (This page): Department of Defense, U.S. Fish andArmy biologists at Fort Drum, of WNS. This workshop, funded Wildlife Service, and NY State Department ofNew York, have been working with by the DoD Legacy Resource Environmental Conservation personnel work to understand the impacts of WNS on bat survival andfederal and state agencies to collect Management Program, focused on reproduction at Fort Drum Military Installation ininformation at a summer maternity challenges and opportunities unique to northern NY. Photo by DoD.colony of little brown batknown to military installations, and provided abe infected with WNS. Additionally, framework for DoD to assess risk onwww.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin 1
  • 42. A Call in the NightMonitoring Bats Acousticallyby Dr. Joseph M. SzewczakT he U.S. Fish and Wildlife out of reach, and are mostly silent Fortunately, bats, like birds, do “leak” Service lists six North American to human ears. Their small size and considerable information about bat species as endangered often cryptic appearance frequently themselves into the environmentand many of them frequent U.S. make capture necessary in order to through their vocalizations, and weDepartment of Defense (DoD) military ensure correct species identification. can use these signals for non-contactinstallations. Bats perform a number However, capture is invasive, stressful monitoring. However, unlike birds, batof vital ecological services, such as for the animals, and resource intensive. vocalizations do not so readily facilitateacting as the primary consumers of Further, it subverts long-term identification. Bats navigate by anocturnal insects. Unfortunately, monitoring, as bats will learn to avoid process called echolocation, sendingmonitoring and assessing the health of recapture and may not even return to calls into the night and listeningbat populations has traditionally proven the capture site. for the sound reflected from theirdifficult since bats operate in the dark, surroundings. Bats have optimized Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 43. their vocalizations for navigation and Recordings made from the ziplinedforaging rather than for identifying bats provided calls like those that batsor attracting others of their species. typically make when they fly near theAccordingly, they have undergone no ground or among obstacles. To recordselective pressure to differentiate the the kinds of calls that bats make incalls of one species from another. As a open air flight, we temporarily attachedfurther complication, bats adjust their small cyalume light sticks that enabledcall structure to suit particular tasks. visual tracking of known bats.Identifying bat species from theircalls thus presents the challenge of Recording bat echolocation calls withdistinguishing subtle signal differences high-resolution, full-spectrum datafrom a repertoire of call types with enables an intelligent call trendingmany overlapping characteristics routine we developed that canamong species. automatically track the trend of a call through noise, echoes, and otherWith support from the DoD Strategic distorting effects and automatically recognizing potential effects of windEnvironmental Research and extract signal characteristics. The energy development on bats and theDevelopment Program (SERDP), automated data extraction routines impacts of white nose syndrome on batI worked with colleagues and my embody the heart of the system. populations.graduate students at Humboldt State Applying them to the approximatelyUniversity to develop technology that 10,000 recorded sequences of knownautomatically records and classifies bats we recorded across the United Joseph M. Szewczak, Associatebats by species from their echolocation States generated a database of several Professor, Humboldt State University,calls. This initiative builds upon a million call parameters. can be reached at joe@humboldt.edu.bat call analysis program I developednamed SonoBat. Learning to identify From these data, the team developedbat species by voice would seem automated classifiers for bat species (Opposite page): A canyon bat (Parastrellusstraightforward: go out and record in Northeastern, Midwestern, Pacific hesperus) flying along a zipline attached by anthem and see who says what. However, Northwest, Great Basin, and Montane elastic tether. The elastic tether gently keeps thealthough ultrasound microphones can North regions of the United States. bat on track and enables the bat to achieve a steadyrecord bats with relative ease, knowing Systems to classify bat species from flight along a known path to facilitate recording the bat’s echolocation calls.which species and which individual their calls in other regions will follow.made the sound in the dark sky Because the call characteristics of (This page): Eastern red bat (Lasiurus borealis)presented a challenge. Furthermore, many species overlap in parts of their released with a cyalume light tag to enable visuala held captive bat does not provide repertoires, the classifiers cannot tracking and recording the bat’s calls as a knownvocalizations that are representative discriminate all recordings to species. species. Adhesive from nontoxic paper glue sticksof those they make in free flight, so The classifier performance varies by affix the tags and enable the bats to groom the tagsresearchers cannot just capture and region, but they typically achieve a off when they reach a roost. Photos courtesy of Joseph M. Szewczak.record sounds. 95-98 percent correct identification rate. Our team also collaboratedMy crew and I used a variety of with hardware developers to providemethods to pair recordings with automated recording units that enableknown species, and we constructed long-term unattended recording.an extensive reference library fromeach species to complete their call These hardware and softwarerepertoires. These methods included solutions enable the monitoring offlying bats on tethered ziplines and bat populations on unprecedentedtracking light-tagged bats. Working spatial and temporal scales comparedsomewhat like an inverted dog run, to traditional capture and surveyan elastic tether slides along a fixed methods. They will contribute vitalzipline to constrain the bat’s flight data to track ongoing and emergingpath to facilitate recording in the field. bat conservation issues, such aswww.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin
  • 44. Restoring the Pallid Sturgeonby Jim Brannen and Josh WilhelmT he pallid sturgeon established. The goal of this program agencies (including the Department (Scaphirhynchus albus), a is to produce and stock pallid sturgeon of Defense), have made great strides large-growing fish native to the until they can reproduce again and towards recovering a self-sustainingMississippi and Missouri rivers, was become a self-sustaining population. pallid sturgeon population. The NGPClisted in 1990 as an endangered species Shortly after the species was listed, is preparing for its fourth annualdue to widespread habitat alteration, the Pallid Sturgeon Recovery Plan broodstock collection effort sinceover-fishing, hybridization with recommended restoring habitat and the spring of 2008. This is a large-shovelnose sturgeon, and an apparent natural river flow conditions needed for scale effort dependent on volunteersloss of natural reproduction. natural reproduction. and additional personnel to cover a broad range of the upper channelizedTo help overcome the latter problem, In the last 20 years, the Nebraska Missouri River bordering Nebraska.a propagation program using progeny Game and Parks Commission (NGPC), Sampling is conducted using 200-footfrom wild pallid sturgeon was along with other state and federal (60-meter) trotlines with 40 hooks per Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 45. line, each baited with worms. Trotlines Hatchery (South Dakota) and Neosho Col. Ruch, Omaha District Commander, enjoyshave proven to be the most effective National Fish Hatchery (Missouri) spending a day assisting the state of Nebraska with the collection of pallid sturgeon bloodstock lasttool available for targeting adult pallid over the winter to allow for increased spring. Photo courtesy of Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.sturgeon to be used for propagation. growth and potentially higher stocking survival rates.Last year’s sampling effort collected167 pallid sturgeon in 12 days. Thirty- For more information, visit: http://seven were transported to Blind barbsandbacklashes.files.wordpress.Pony State Fish Hatchery (Missouri) com/2010/04/2010-broodstock-for evaluation of their reproductive publication.pdfcondition. A total of five family lotswere produced from four femalesand five males. As a result of these Josh Wilhelm, a conservationspawning efforts, a total of 2,974 pallid technician with the Nebraska Gamesturgeon from two family lots were and Parks Commission, can be reachedrecently tagged and stocked into the at Josh.Wilhelm@nebraska.gov orMissouri River. The remaining fish will 0-1-11.be held at Gavins Point National Fishwww.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin
  • 46. Weapons Testing and EndangeredFish Coexist in Floridaby Howard Jelks, Bill Tate, and Frank JordanO kaloosa darters (Etheostoma Okaloosa darters are found in only While fulfilling its military mission, okaloosae) are small fish found six coastal stream systems, with a Eglin also manages its natural only in a few streams in the combined length of about 230 miles resources, acting as a steward toFlorida panhandle. This species has (400 kilometers), which flow through protect plants and animals for futurebeen listed since 1973 as endangered longleaf pine sandhills. The low generations. Weapons testing anddue to habitat alteration resulting nutrient, sandy soils of the region Okaloosa darter recovery mayfrom erosion, the potential competition produce relatively clear groundwater- sound incompatible, but Eglin hasfrom brown darters (E. edwini), and fed streams, interspersed with established partnerships to develop anda limited geographic distribution. woody debris and patches of aquatic implement effective natural resourcesIn recent years, however, Okaloosa vegetation. Unfortunately, these sandy management programs. Workingdarters have benefited from improved soils also are relatively unstable, and with the FWS and Eglin AFB, USGSresource management and adaptive certain land use practices resulted and Loyola University researcherspopulation monitoring techniques in severe erosion and smothering of provided leadership in helping to formdeveloped collaboratively by the U.S. Okaloosa darter stream habitat. the Okaloosa Darter Recovery GroupFish and Wildlife Service (FWS), U.S. and draft the 1998 Revised RecoveryGeological Survey (USGS), Loyola Over 95 percent of the species’ Plan. Members of the Okaloosa DarterUniversity New Orleans, and Eglin geographic range is on Eglin AFB, Recovery Group monitor, manage,Air Force Base. As a result, the FWS where the Air Force conducts its and direct recovery actions for thereclassified the Okaloosa darter to the primary mission of full-service species, including the adoption of newless critical category of threatened in air armament development techniques for monitoring status andMarch 2011. through weapons system research, trends. development, testing, and evaluation. Beginning in the mid-1990s, USGS and Loyola personnel have worked toGrowing only to 2 inches (50 millimeters) in length, Okaloosa darters typically live in waters around plants, develop and refine innovative methodsroots, or woody debris along the margins of shallow, sandy streams which are 3-30 feet (1-10 meters) wide. for population monitoring that are more accurate and cause less habitat disturbance than traditional methods (e.g., electrofishing or seining). Researchers using masks, snorkels, and plastic nets have been visually monitoring Okaloosa darter populations on Eglin AFB. The improved estimates indicate that there are currently 300,000 to 800,000 Okaloosa darters, many more than originally thought. In addition to providing long- term abundance data, visual methods are used to evaluate habitat restoration projects and inform recovery decisions. Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 47. The Okaloosa Darter RecoveryGroup initially focused on examiningthreats to Okaloosa darters andadvising natural resources managerson recovery strategies. Many of thethreats identified in the recovery planhave been eliminated or substantiallyreduced. Eglin AFB has made aconsiderable investment to correcterosion problems, restoring borrowpits and road crossings by contouringthe landscape and planting vegetation.As stream habitat has improved, therecovery group’s monitoring showsthat numbers of Okaloosa darters haveincreased significantly.Currently, Eglin is actively removingimpediments to darter movements,such as impoundments and elevatedculverts, which reduce the available USGS researcher surveying Okaloosa darters. Photo by USGS.stream habitat. Mill Creek, whichtraverses the fairways of Eglin’sgolf course, is the smallest Okaloosa exist underneath the fairway with its By developing innovative approachesdarter stream. Where the creek had roving golf carts and flying white balls. to population monitoring, the Okaloosabecome a series of rusting culverts Golfers appreciate the new look, even if Darter Recovery Group assisted theand muck-filled ponds, there is now a a few balls stray into the stream. The FWS in making informed recoveryrestored stream channel with emergent recovery group is monitoring Okaloosa decisions, leading to the proposalplants and embedded woody debris. darter colonization of the repaired to reclassify the Okaloosa darter asThe one culvert that remains is large stream and assessing the stability threatened. This demonstrates thatenough to support four plexiglass of the newly established aquatic endangered species recovery can takeportals, so plants and darters can now community. place on America’s active military lands.Hellfire weapon test at Eglin Air Force Base. Photo by DoD. For more information, see http://sesc. usgs.gov/freshwater_fauna/okaloosa_ darter.html. Howard Jelks, a fish biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, can be reached at hjelks@usgs.gov. Bill Tate, a fish biologist with the FWS at the Eglin AFB Natural Resources Office, can be reached at Bill_Tate@fws.gov. Frank Jordan, a Professor with the Department of Biological Sciences at Loyola University in New Orleans, can be reached at jordan@loyno.edu.www.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin
  • 48. Defending Mussel Populationson Military LandsTaking the Initiative on Managing Species at Riskby Eric Wolf and Verl EmrickH ealthy rivers and streams The propagation and culture of juvenile A key component of the Atlantic pigtoe in the southeastern United mussels for release into the wild is a reintroduction project is to identify the States need freshwater component of many endangered species species of host fish this mussel needsmussels. Mussels feed by filtering recovery plans. Freshwater mussel for successful propagation.bacteria, algae, and other small reproduction is a complex, multi-stageorganic particles from the water, which process that is dependent on certain By identifying the host fish species andbenefits the environment by improving seasonal and water conditions. Many refining techniques for feeding andwater quality. Freshwater mussels, mussel larvae, called glochidia, survive holding adult and juvenile mussels,however, have become the nation’s and grow by temporarily attaching scientists can better raise captive-most endangered group of animals. themselves to the gills of a host fish reared mussels and provide conditionsAt present, 71 species of freshwater and then dropping off into a suitable to enhance their chances of survivalmussels in the U.S. are listed as spot as they mature. The relationship in the wild. Future work will includeendangered or threatened, and others between mussel and host fish can be research into the water conditions andare candidates for listing in the future. species-specific (a particular mussel habitat used by the Atlantic pigtoe species relies on a specific fish species).Several rare mussels live in streamsthat flow through military lands. Forexample, the upper Nottoway River onFort Pickett near Blackstone, Virginia,is home to one of the few remainingviable populations of the Atlantic pigtoemussel (Fusconaia masoni) remainingin Virginia. Populations of the Atlanticpigtoe are in precipitous declinethroughout the species’ range, and theDepartment of Defense (DoD) classifiesit as a “species at risk.”DoD is funding a cooperative researcheffort through its Legacy ResourceManagement Program to conservedeclining populations of the Atlanticpigtoe before it is listed as endangered.Biologists with the Virginia TechConservation Management Instituteand the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serviceare propagating this species forreintroduction into the Nottoway Riverat Fort Pickett. Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 49. to find areas that are well suited for future releases. Military lands are not only essential for training; they also provide unique opportunities for natural resource stewardship. The conservation and reintroduction of the Atlantic pigtoe at Fort Pickett will support more stable populations over a broad geographical range while reducing the need for listing under the Endangered Species Act and impacts on military readiness. Eric Wolf, a wildlife biologist at the Virginia Tech Conservation Management Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia, can be reached at ewolf@ vt.edu. Verl Emrick, an ecologist at the Institute, can be contacted at vemrick@vt.edu. (Opposite page): This is a model of a living stream, used to hold mature mussels until release. Water is pumped in from one end and drained out the other to emulate stream flow. (This page top): Mature Atlantic pigtoe mussel with identification tag attached just before release. (This page bottom): Snorkelers systematically search the sand and gravel substrate of stream bottoms to find and identify freshwater mussels. Photos courtesy of Virginia Tech Conservation Management Institute.www.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin
  • 50. Conserving Biodiversityon Military LandsA New Toolbox for Natural Resources Managersby Douglas RipleyI n spring 2007, the U.S. • Chapter 5 – Multiple Uses Items in each section include a wide Department of Defense (DoD) array of background information proposed updating and revising • Chapter 6 – Endangered Species on the specific topic of the chapter,its popular 1996 DoD Biodiversity including references for biodiversityHandbook, which has been distributed • Chapter 7 – Invasive Species conservation, research, trainingwidely in print and on line. In opportunities, DoD policy and guidance2008, military natural resources • Chapter 8 – Disturbance Regimes documents, and federal laws andmanagers and operations personnel Executive Orders. The toolbox is athroughout the country collaborated • Chapter 9 – Funding “living” reference and thus will bewith NatureServe and The Nature updated and expanded regularly.Conservancy to develop a revised • Chapter 10 – Partnershipspublication, Conserving Biodiversityon Military Lands – A Guide for • Chapter 11 – Integrated Natural Dr. Douglas Ripley, U.S. Air ForceNatural Resources Managers. Funded Resources Management Plans Natural Resources Manager (Retired)through the DoD Legacy Resource (INRMPs) and an environmental consultant, canManagement Program, a limited be reached at Ripley@powerc.net.number of the revised biodiversityguides were published; however, anonline version is available at www.dodbiodiversity.org. Extensive conservation monitoring, evaluation, and reintroduction programs at the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s Fort Indiantown Gap have been a major factor in the successful recovery of the regal fritillary butterfly. Photo by Joe Hovis.An added feature of the 2008biodiversity guide is the inclusion of a“Biodiversity Conservation Toolbox.”This appendix provides specificreferences, each with a hyperlink, toindividual biodiversity research andmanagement topics. The items areorganized and linked to the followingsubjects in the guide:• Chapter 1 – Biodiversity and the Military Mission• Chapter 2 – Science• Chapter 3 – Policy• Chapter 4 – Encroachment0 Endangered Species Bulletin Spring 2011 www.fws.gov/endangered
  • 51. U . S . F I S H W I L D L I F E S E R V I C E C O N TA C T S WASHINGTON D.C. OFFICE Washington, D.C. 20240 Rowan Gould, Acting Director Gary Frazer, Assistant Director of Endangered Species w w w. f w s . g o v /endangered Jim Serfis, Chief, Office of Communication and Candidate Conservation 703-358-2171 Martha Balis-Larsen, Chief, Office of Program Support Nicole Alt, Chief, Division of Conservation and Classification Rick Sayers, Chief, Division of Consultation, HCPs, Recovery, and State Grants PACIFIC REGION—REGION ONE Eastside Federal Complex, 911 N.E. 11th Ave, Portland OR 97232 Hawaii and other Pacific Islands, Idaho, Oregon, Washington w w w. f w s.gov/pacific Robyn Thorson, Regional Director 503-231-6118 SOUTHWEST REGION—REGION TWO P Box 1306, Albuquerque, NM 87103 .O. Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas w w w. f w s . g o v/southwest Benjamin Tuggle, Regional Director 505-248-6282 MIDWEST REGION—REGION THREE Federal Bldg., Ft. Snelling, Twin Cities MN 55111 Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin w w w. f w s . gov/midwest Thomas O. Melius, Regional Director 612-715-5301 SOUTHEAST REGION—REGION FOUR 1875 Century Blvd., Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30345 Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, w w w. f w s . g ov/southeast Florida, Tennessee, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands 404-679-4000 Cynthia Dohner, Regional Director NORTHEAST REGION—REGION FIVE 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, MA 01035 Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, w w w. f w s . g ov/northeast New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania,Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia 413-253-8300 Marvin Moriarty, Regional Director MOUNTAIN-PRAIRIE REGION—REGION SIX P Box 25486, Denver Federal Center, Denver CO 80225 .O. Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North w w w. f w s . g o v / m o u ntain-prairie Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming 303-236-7920 Stephen Guertin, Regional Director ALASKA REGION—REGION SEVEN 1011 E. Tudor Rd., Anchorage, AK 99503 Alaska w w w. f w s.gov/alaska Geoff Haskett, Regional Director 907-786-3542 PACIFIC SOUTHWEST—REGION EIGHT 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825 California and Nevada w w w.fws.gov/ cno Renne Lohoefner, Regional Director 916-414-6464www.fws.gov/endangered Spring 2011 Endangered Species Bulletin 1
  • 52. U.S. Department of the InteriorFish and Wildlife ServiceWashington, D.C. 20240