Resources

LCCs have produced a wealth of informational documents, reports, fact sheets, webinars and more to help support resource managers in designing and delivering conservation at landscape scales.

The black‐tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is considered an indicator species for the short grass prairie of North America; however, this species currently occupies an estimated 2% of its original distribution. Persistent and pervasive poisoning, and sylvatic plague have fragmented the remaining populations.

Date posted: March 29, 2019

We flew aerial line transect surveys between March 30 and May 3, 2012, to estimate the abundance of lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) and lesser prairie-chicken leks in four habitat regions in the Great Plains U.S. Estimates were supplemented with data from surveys conducted by Texas Tech University in two regions in the Texas Panhandle and surveys conducted by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation in Oklahoma.

Date posted: March 29, 2019

Stream fragmentation alters the structure of aquatic communities on a global scale, generally through loss of native species. Among riverscapes in the Great Plains of North America, stream fragmentation and hydrologic alteration (flow regulation and dewatering) are implicated in the decline of native fish diversity. This study documents the spatio–temporal distribution of fish reproductive guilds in the fragmented Arkansas and Ninnescah rivers of south-central Kansas using retrospective analyses involving 63 years of fish community data.

Date posted: March 29, 2019

Habitat loss and fragmentation are widely recognized as among the most important threats to global biodiversity. New analytical approaches are providing an improved ability to predict the effects of landscape change on population connectivity at vast spatial extents. This paper presents an analysis of population connectivity for three species of conservation concern [swift fox (*Vulpes velox*); lesser prairie-chicken (*Tympanuchus pallidicinctus*); massasuaga (*Sistrurus catenatus*)] across the American Great Plains region.

Date posted: March 29, 2019

Man-made water sources have been used as a management tool for wildlife, especially in arid regions, but the value of these water sources for wildlife populations is not well understood. In particular, the value of water as a conservation tool for Lesser Prairie-Chickens (*Tympanuchus pallidicinctus*) is unknown. However, this is a relevant issue due to a heightened conservation concern for the species and its occupancy of an arid landscape anticipated to experience warmer, drier springs and winters.

Date posted: March 29, 2019

We found few reports in the literature containing useful data on the nesting phenology of lesser prairie-chickens; therefore, managers must rely on short-term observations and measurements of parameters that provide some predictive insight into climate impacts on nesting ecology. Our field studies showed that prairie-chickens on nests were able to maintain relatively consistent average nest temperature of 31 °C and nest humidities of 56.8 percent whereas average external temperatures (20.3–35.0 °C) and humidities (35.2– 74.9 percent) varied widely throughout the 24 hour (hr) cycle.

Date posted: March 29, 2019

Habitat fragmentation and flow regulation are significant factors related to the decline and extinction of freshwater biota. Pelagic-broadcast spawning cyprinids require moving water and some length of unfragmented stream to complete their life cycle. However, it is unknown how discharge and habitat features interact at multiple spatial scales to alter the transport of semi-buoyant fish eggs. Our objective was to assess the relationship between downstream drift of semi-buoyant egg surrogates (gellan beads) and discharge and habitat complexity.

Date posted: March 29, 2019

Quantitative studies focusing on the collection of semibuoyant fish eggs, which are associated with a pelagic broadcast-spawning reproductive strategy, are often conducted to evaluate reproductive success. Many of the fishes in this reproductive guild have suffered significant reductions in range and abundance. However, the efficiency of the sampling gear used to evaluate reproduction is often unknown and renders interpretation of the data from these studies difficult. Our objective was to assess the efficiency of a modified Moore egg collector (MEC) using field and laboratory trials.

Date posted: March 29, 2019

Stopover use by migrating shorebirds is affected by patch-level characteristics of habitat, but the relative influence of broadscale  factors is poorly understood. We conducted surveys of ten 10-km-radius landscapes in north-central Oklahoma from 2007 through 2009  to examine the influence of the amount and composition of wetland habitats and surrounding land cover on shorebird use during migration.

Date posted: March 26, 2019

Native grasslands have been altered to a greater extent than any other biome in North America. The habitats and resources needed to support breeding performance of grassland birds endemic to prairie ecosystems are currently threatened by land management practices and impending climate change. Climate models for the Great Plains prairie region predict a future of hotter and drier summers with strong multiyear droughts and more frequent and severe precipitation events.

Date posted: March 26, 2019

While we assessed the vulnerability of a number of different wildlife and plant species to climate change, none of those species exhibited high vulnerability to changes projected for the region and there was limited differentiation in vulnerability between the individual species. Given this shared level of vulnerability to climate change, we chose to focus our adaptation planning on grassland birds as they represent a large group with a diversity of habitat needs.

Date posted: March 26, 2019

Playa wetlands on the west-central Great Plains of North America are vulnerable to sediment infilling from upland agriculture, putting at risk several important ecosystem services as well as essential habitats and food resources of diverse wetland-dependent biota. Climate predictions for this semi-arid area indicate reduced precipitation which may alter rates of erosion, runoff, and sedimentation of playas.

Date posted: March 26, 2019

The influence of recent climate change on the world's biota has manifested broadly, resulting in latitudinal range shifts, advancing dates of arrival of migrants and onset of breeding, and altered community relationships. Climate change elevates conservation concerns worldwide because it will likely exacerbate a broad range of identified threats to animal populations. In the past few decades, grassland birds have declined faster than other North American avifauna, largely due to habitat threats such as the intensification of agriculture.

Date posted: March 26, 2019

Genetic, demographic, and environmental processes affect natural populations synergistically, and understanding their interplay is crucial for the conservation of biodiversity. Stream fishes in metapopulations are particularly sensitive to habitat fragmentation because persistence depends on dispersal and colonization of new habitat but dispersal is constrained to stream networks. Great Plains streams are increasingly fragmented by water diversion and climate change, threatening connectivity of fish populations in this ecosystem.

Date posted: March 26, 2019

Rate of global biodiversity loss increased significantly during the 20th century associated with human environmental alterations. Specifically, mismanagement of freshwater resources contributed to historical and contemporary loss of stream-dwelling fish diversity and will likely play a role in determining the persistence of species in the future. We present a mechanistic pathway by which human alteration of streams has caused the decline of a unique reproductive guild of Great Plains stream-dwelling fishes, and suggest how future climate change might exacerbate these declines.

Date posted: March 26, 2019

Species populations are in a state of flux due to the cumulative and interacting impacts of climate change and human stressors across landscapes. Invasive spread, pathogen outbreaks, land-use activities, and especially climate disruption and its associated impacts—severe drought (see Figure 3 or the GPLCC), reduced stream flow, increased wildfire frequency, extended growing season, and extreme weather events—are increasing, and in some cases accelerating. These impacts are outpacing management and conservation responses intended to support trust species and their critical habitats.

Date posted: March 26, 2019

Within grassland communities of the GPLCC one such key indicator species is the Lesser Prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidinctus). Lesser Prairie-chicken range extends across the southern portion of the GPLCC area throughout Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Kansas. Lesser Prairie-chickens are a good target species because they are widely distributed across the southern GPLCC, are a species of conservation concern, have large home ranges, and are likely sensitive to anthropogenic disturbances.

Date posted: March 26, 2019

We used the United States National Grid to develop a sampling grid for monitoring programs in the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative, delineated by Bird Conservation Regions 18 and 19. Landscape Conservation Cooperatives are science based partnerships with the goal to inform and guide conservation at regional landscape levels. Developing a standardized sampling grid for a LCC is a new endeavor and is designed to reduce program costs, avoid repetition in sampling, and increase efficiency in monitoring programs.

Date posted: March 26, 2019

The basic task of inventorying biodiversity has actually been under way for many years. Existing natural history museum collections, like those in which we work, can provide major contributions to such inventories in the form of valuable historic organism occurrence records, and their specimens can be used in many ways for basic research and applied conservation planning. Unfortunately, much of the wealth of information stored in natural history collections requires substantial investment to be made accessible and useful to natural resource managers and researchers.

Date posted: March 26, 2019

Genetic, demographic, and environmental processes affect natural populations synergistically, and understanding their interplay is crucial for the conservation of biodiversity. Stream fishes in metapopulations are particularly sensitive to habitat fragmentation because persistence depends on dispersal and colonization of new habitat but dispersal is constrained to stream networks. Great Plains streams are increasingly fragmented by water diversion and climate change, threatening connectivity of fish populations in this ecosystem.

Date posted: March 26, 2019

The aquifer saturated thickness product is a per-pixel (250 square-meters) model representation of the combined fluid and soil matrix volume of water available in a given area, represented in units of linear feet. The prediction of available water is made using a network of over 9,300 monitoring wells located throughout the High Plains aquifer region.

Date posted: March 23, 2019

Habitat hotspots were mapped for migratory birds ‘guilds’ across the LCD region using species presence/absence data collected from citizen-science datasets and modelled habitat conditions from the LANDFIRE program (Rollins, 2009).

Date posted: March 23, 2019

To estimate wetland DEDs available in the future (2040) we used data from Bartuszevige et al. 2016 which estimates changes in playa functionality as a result of sedimentation, potential wind development, and tillage. Playas estimated to be impacted by these drivers were eliminated from the wetland landcover map and the process of calculating duck energy days described above was repeated.

Date posted: March 23, 2019

These data represent areas defined as large block grasslands according to a model developed by PLJV (McLachlan 2008). The model is based on literature derived Lesser Prairie-Chicken habitat preferences and considers habitat composition within a 2,000 ha area. Any pixel with more than 58% grass, less than 36% cropland, less than 2% woodland/ shrubland, less than 5 % secondary roads, and no 4 lane roads within a 2,000 ha surrounding area is counted as a large block grassland pixel.

Date posted: March 23, 2019

These data represent the long term average (27 year) amount of crane energy days (CED) available in wetlands. CEDs were calculated in the same way as wetland duck energy days describe above except that different habit energy density values were used. Based on the PLJV waterbird plan (2008) Appendix A, we estimated wetland CED density values for wetland habitats by dividing energetic carrying capacities for waterfowl by 3.37 to reflect the difference in mean body mass between mallards and sandhill cranes.

Date posted: March 23, 2019

These data represent the long term average (27 year) amount of duck energy days available in wetlands. Data were produced as part of the PLJV waterfowl implementation plan. We used data from recently completed studies investigating food resource availability in a variety of wetland types in the PLJV. Beheny (2017) completed a study of food energy availability in five different wetland types in northeastern Colorado. Clark (2016) investigated food resource availability in stock ponds in BCR 19 in Texas.

Date posted: March 23, 2019

These data represent the average annual depletion rate of the Ogallala aquifer from 1980 to 2009. These data were calculated by averaging spatially explicit 5 year depletion rates reported in McGuire et al. 2012.

Date posted: March 23, 2019

The tillage suitability product is a per-crop, per-pixel (30 square-meters) model representation of the predicted probability (0.00-1.00) that an area can support commodity crop development for a suite of crop types commonly grown in the LCD landscape. The values for each grid cell are interpreted as a probability, with any value greater-than 0.50 suggesting an area should be suitable for crop development based on observations of thousands of farmed areas around the LCD.

Date posted: March 23, 2019

The wind energy development suitability product is a per-pixel (30 square-meters) model representation of the predicted probability (0.00-1.00) that an area can support wind energy development. The result is represented as a percentage, such that any value greater-than 0.5 would be classified as suitable for wind energy development in model space. To model suitability for wind energy development, we used 9,399 observations of ‘windmills’ taken from the FAA Digital Obstruction File (http://bit.ly/dof_12549; accessed June, 2016).

Date posted: March 23, 2019

These data represent a potential future condition of large block grasslands if CRP lands expire and the land-use reverts back to cropland. Data layers for 2022 and 2027 were calculated by reclassing CRP lands scheduled to expire prior to these years to cropland and recalculating the large block grasslands layer as described above.

Date posted: March 23, 2019

These data represent a potential future condition of large block grasslands if CRP lands expire and the land-use reverts back to cropland. Data layers for 2022 and 2027 were calculated by reclassing CRP lands scheduled to expire prior to these years to cropland and recalculating the large block grasslands layer as described above.

Date posted: March 23, 2019

The tillage suitability product is a per-crop, per-pixel (30 square-meters) model representation of the predicted probability (0.00-1.00) that an area can support commodity crop development for a suite of crop types commonly grown in the LCD landscape. The values for each grid cell are interpreted as a probability, with any value greater-than 0.50 suggesting an area should be suitable for crop development based on observations of 2.5 million farmed areas around the LCD geography.

Date posted: March 23, 2019

To estimate wetland CEDs available in the future (2040) we used data from Bartuszevige et al. 2016 which estimates changes in playa functionality as a result of sedimentation, potential wind development, and tillage. Playas estimated to be impacted by these drivers were eliminated from the wetland landcover map and the process of calculating crane energy days described above was repeated.

Date posted: March 23, 2019

Habitat hotspots were mapped for migratory birds ‘guilds’ across the LCD region using species presence/absence data collected from citizen-science datasets and modelled habitat conditions from the LANDFIRE program (Rollins, 2009).

Date posted: March 23, 2019

Habitat hotspots were mapped for migratory birds ‘guilds’ across the LCD region using species presence/absence data collected from citizen-science datasets and modelled habitat conditions from the LANDFIRE program (Rollins, 2009).

Date posted: March 23, 2019

These data represent 1 sq. mile Hexagons and are derived from the Western Governors Association Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool. The hexagons have been attributed with summary values from the datasets described above.

Date posted: March 23, 2019

These data represent 1 sq. mile Hexagons and are derived from the Western Governors Association Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool. The hexagons have been attributed with summary values from the datasets described above.

Date posted: March 23, 2019

These data represent Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands and their scheduled expiration date. CRP lands are those with a cropping history that have been enrolled in a program to plant grass cover for wildlife, erosion, and other benefits. CRP contracts are normally 15 years in length. These data are proprietary to the Farm Service Agency and are available to PLJV through an MOU that prohibits their dissemination. Analyses derived from these data will be available to refuge staff and MOUs may be developed in the future to share the data directly.

Date posted: March 23, 2019

These data represent the forecast saturated thickness of the Ogallala aquifer in 2050 based on the linear rate of depletion calculated previously. Using the model-based annual predictions of aquifer saturated thickness (described above), we built annual water-level transition matrices (e.g., Turner, 1987) that were then projected out through 2050.

Date posted: March 23, 2019

These data represent the amount of crane energy days derived from croplands that are available within a 10km distance. These data were calculated by reclassing the NASS Cropland Data Layer to reflect energetic carrying capacity for cranes reported by Johnson et. al 2017. I.e Winter Wheat: 2588 CEDs/ ha, Corn: 1034 CEDs / ha, Sorghum: 496.5 CEDs / ha. A 10km moving windows analysis with a circular window was applied to the resulting CED raster to sum the CED values within a 10km area.

Date posted: March 23, 2019

The Alaska Center for Conservation Science at the University of Alaska Anchorage, in partnership with the Northwest Boreal LCC and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, embarked on a project to map and quantify the human footprint and fisheries resources across the Yukon River watershed. The maps presented here show the footprint of human activities (ie., mining, transportation), as well as fisheries resources across this watershed.

Date posted: March 22, 2019

The Alaska Center for Conservation Science at the University of Alaska Anchorage, in partnership with the Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative and US Fish and Wildlife Service, embarked on a project to map the human footprint and fisheries resources across the Yukon River watershed. The spatial data presented here show the footprint of human activities (i.e, mining and transportation), as well as fisheries resources across this watershed.

Date posted: March 17, 2019

The South Atlantic Blueprint User Guide is a resource to help conservation professionals use the Blueprint to bring in new resources and inform decision-making. It compiles different examples of real Blueprint uses to provide new ideas about how to connect to this larger strategy. It showcases the approaches, wording, and maps that Blueprint staff have found to work best in different situations. It showcases a range of case studies, grouped into a few themes that summarize the primary ways people have used the Blueprint.

Date posted: March 15, 2019

Describing the social network that links the interconnected partners is the first step to leverage the network’s capacity to be greater than the sum of its parts. The Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative partners and a social network scientist are applying social network theory to create a system of nodes and edges of a Conservation Social Network. The LCC partners were surveyed in 2015 and again in 2018, in order to measure the dynamics of partner communication.

Date posted: March 8, 2019

Describing the social network that links the interconnected partners is the first step to leverage the network’s capacity to be greater than the sum of its parts.The Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative partners and a social network scientist are applying social network theory to create a system of nodes and edges of a Conservation Social Network. Dr. Patrick Bixler from Texas A&M University is working with partners to quantify the connections and flow of information.

Date posted: March 8, 2019

The circumboreal vegetation mapping (CBVM) project is an international collaboration among vegetation
scientists to create a new vegetation map of the boreal region at a 1:7.5 million scale with a common legend and
mapping protocol (Talbot and Meades 2011). The map is intended to portray potential natural vegetation, or the
vegetation that would exist in the absence of human or natural disturbance, rather than existing vegetation that
is commonly generated at larger scales. This report and map contributes to the CBVM effort by developing maps

Date posted: March 8, 2019

Observations of changes in wetland surface water hydrology. Water levels are measured in terms of surface water are cover. Measurements are in hectares. Note: water levels are not depth values, which could be problematic for very deep bowled wetlands that do not have a lot of changes in surface water area. Date is measured in Julian day – Day of the year. 

Date posted: February 21, 2019

Describes all data products for this project; shapefiles & tables (geodatabase), hydrographs (plots), and raw hydrologic data.

Date posted: February 21, 2019

We created hydrographs measuring the changes of surface water area for each wetland in our study area. Hydrographs show both seasonal and long-term change. We created 3 hydrographs for each wetland:



1.) Observational hydrographs from time series of Landsat satellite imagers (1984 - 2011)

2.) Modelled historic hydrograph compared to observational remote sensed based on modelled VIC model and climate for the 2080s

3.) Modelled historic hydrograph (1980s) compared to future projected hydrograph using climate for the 2080s



Date posted: February 21, 2019

The objective of this project was to conduct breeding season surveys for bird species of conservation priority in the Oklahoma portion of the Oaks and Prairies. The primary purpose of this annual report is to provide orientation to the accompanying file of raw data and summaries from our field work in 2018.

Date posted: February 20, 2019