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Ohop Creek Restoration Phases I & II Wildlife Surveys

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The Nisqually Indian Tribe contracted ICF International to conduct wildlife surveys in Ohop Valley to track impacts on culturally important species (elk, deer, and beaver) and birds. Troy Rahmig (ICF International) shared the results of the monitoring.

Published in: Environment
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Ohop Creek Restoration Phases I & II Wildlife Surveys

  1. 1. Ohop Creek Restoration Phases I & II Wildlife Surveys Nisqually Indian Tribe Natural Resources Department & ICF International
  2. 2. Ohop Creek Restoration • Remeander construction and replanting of 1 mile of Lower Ohop Creek and surrounding 100 acres – 2014 • Maintenance and replacement plantings were completed – 2015 • Although designed to improve salmon habitat, creek morphology, and floodplain function, the project is expected to benefit multiple species.
  3. 3. Species Information • Nisqually Land Trust worked with Northwest Trek to conduct surveys multiple times per year. • Utilized teams of citizens scientists. • Document all species observed during the field visit. • Species diversity: • Amphibians – 7 species • Reptiles – 5 species • Birds – 90 species • Mammals – 32 species • Invertebrates – 62 species • Hunting/harvest records and general public knowledge. • Not much else known about wildlife use in the area.
  4. 4. Ohop Creek Restoration Wildlife Surveys • USFWS Tribal Wildlife Grant • Although this is a salmon restoration project – what other wildlife species are utilizing the site? • Focus on culturally important species • Elk • Deer • Beaver • Added in bird surveys
  5. 5. Methods • Motion-activated cameras • Pedestrian Transects • Focused pedestrian transects for beaver • Timed area searches (birds only) • Nest searches (birds only)
  6. 6. Motion-activated cameras • Placed 9 cameras • Ran cameras continuously • Collected over 1,300 images of animals Pedestrian Transects • Timed walking transects • Recorded all animal sign • Primarily wintertime surveys Focused pedestrian transects for beaver Timed area searches (birds only) Nest searches (birds only)
  7. 7. Results - Mammals Transects • Only animals seen on transects were coyotes • Other sign noted: scat, tracks, tree damage • Elk was by far the most detected terrestrial mammal species • Surveys were influenced by site conditions Cameras • Most consistent form of data collection • Variable animal use of the site • Elk was by far the most detected terrestrial mammal species • Camera detections were influenced by site conditions
  8. 8. Number of Detections By Species Camera Feral Cat Dog Coyote Deer Elk Bird Unknown Total Percent of Total 1 - - 4 3 5 1 3 16 1 2 1 - 13 1 133 - - 148 11 3 - 1 45 9 204 46 13 318 23 4 - 2 26 7 235 10 37 317 23 5 - - 12 7 345 - 32 396 29 6 - - 1 7 59 - 10 77 6 7 1 - 14 - 3 - - 18 1 8 - - 1 3 42 - 6 52 4 9 - - 3 13 7 - 2 25 2 Total 2 3 119 50 1,033 57 103 1,367 - Percent of Total <1 <1 9 4 76 4 8 -
  9. 9. Results - Beaver • Increasing beaver activity on site • Only 1 beaver ever seen by observer • Never recorded beaver on camera • All observations were of tree damage
  10. 10. Results - Birds • 55 species detected during surveys • Most common bird species • Song Sparrow • Marsh Wren • Red-winged blackbird • American Goldfinch • Most common nesting species • Song Sparrow • Common Yellowthroat • Cedar Waxwing
  11. 11. • Site provides very good elk habitat • Use of the site by elk is likely more influenced by surrounding land uses than the site itself • Site supports and incredible diversity of animal species • This study is just one glimpse in time – the entire Ohop Valley could benefit from some longer term studies on wildlife use • Longer term survey work would illustrate changes that will occur as more of the valley is restored Concluding Observations
  12. 12. Troy Rahmig ICF International troy.rahmig@icfi.com 206-801-2823 Questions?

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