Legacy-funded Bird Projects, 2012
- See https://www.dodlegacy.org for more detail on each project.
- Spreadsheet of all bird-related Legacy projects from 1991-2013 (.xlsx, Excel file)
12-102: Great Basin Bird Species-At-Risk and Invasive Species Management Partnership - Year 3 (10-102, 11-102)
POC: Robbie Knight/Dugway Proving Ground
Synopsis: This is the third phase of collaboration between DPG, HAFB, HawkWatch, Raptor Inventory Nest Survey, and state and federal agencies to assess the impact of invasive cheatgrass on Utah’s Great Basin raptors to avoid encroachment and land restrictions, and to understand area Golden Eagle population dynamics. Previous phases resulted in the compilation of 13 years of data from 1,002 nests of Burrowing Owls, Ferruginous Hawks (state Species of Concern) and Golden Eagles (declining), creation of 10 annual maps of cheatgrass occurrence, protocol manuals, etc. The historic data suggests declines in eagle nesting related to cheatgrass invasion and we collected more intensive raptor and prey data to further elucidate these relationships. We now propose to duplicate our eagle and owl monitoring while expanding efforts to understand area eagle population viability through assessment of natal dispersal, genetic analysis of feathers, and comparison of compiled nesting data with higher elevation and longer-term data.
12-246: Implementation of the DoD Coordinated Bird Monitoring Plan - Year 3 (09-440, 10-440)
POC: Jonathan Bart/USGS
Synopsis: This is the third year of a three-year project to implement the recently-completed DoD Coordinated Bird Monitoring Plan. As in years one and two, project personnel will work closely with DoD installations that conduct bird monitoring and assessments to insure that they understand and follow the new guidelines.
12-337: Understanding Declines in Rusty Blackbirds - Year 5 (07-337, 08-337, 09-337, 10-337)
POC: April Harding Scurr/Alaska Bird Observatory
Synopsis: We will identify the demographic deficits, mercury exposure and influences of habitat for Rusty Blackbirds breeding on DoD lands in Alaska. This work will be conducted in collaboration with several studies by the International Rusty Blackbird Technical Group and will help identify the mechanisms contributing to the species’ 90–98% decline and efforts to recover the species.
12-343: Meta-population Dynamics of Le Conte’s Thrasher (Toxostoma lecontei): a Species At Risk on Three Southwestern Military Installations - Year 3 (10-343, 11-343))
POC: Michael Ingraldi/AZ Game and Fish Department
Synopsis: We will determine the movement patterns of Le Conte’s Thrashers (Toxostoma lecontei), a species at-risk on southwestern military installations, and assist in guiding future habitat management on military lands so as to fulfill military mission critical activities while maintaining existing Thrasher populations.
12-425: Habitat Use at Multiple Scales by Pinyon-Juniper Birds
POC: Kristine Johnson/New Mexico State Univ. and Lynn Wickersham/Animas Biological Studies
Synopsis: Pinyon-juniper woodlands cover approximately 48 million ha of the southwestern US and represent the dominant woody vegetation and most biodiverse terrestrial habitats on at least 6 DOD installations. Pinyon-juniper habitats on military installations are threatened by drought, insects, disease, and fire, all exacerbated by climate change. We will conduct Year 3 of a 3-year study of pinyon-juniper habitat use by two Species At Risk (SAR), Pinyon Jay and Gray Vireo, at 3 scales (landscape, territory/colony, nest) on 3 installations. We will finalize GIS habitat models and make management recommendations for both species, in light of military activities and infrastructure. A study of at-risk species that differ in seasonal movements, social structure, and foraging habits, viewed at multiple scales and several installations, will provide a broad perspective on the proper management of pinyon-juniper woodlands for pinyon-juniper SAR and support planning for military activities in these habitats.
12-602: Bird Population Estimates for Priority Species on Military Installations
POC: Edward Laurent/American Bird Conservancy
Synopsis: American Bird Conservancy is providing guidance to DoD about which bird species to monitor on military installations. We are estimating the population size of priority bird species on military installations in the Eastern United States by extrapolating relationships between Breeding Bird Survey and land cover data. Species with a relatively large percentage of the overall BCR population occurring on DoD lands will be recommended for monitoring. We propose to extend this project to the contiguous Western United States.
12-604: Identifying Migratory Routes and Wintering Grounds of Burrowing Owls that Breed on DoD Installations throughout the western U.S.
POC: Courtney Conway/Univ of ID and Carol Finley/Kirtland AFB
Synopsis: We propose to attach “Geolocators” to 200 burrowing owls on numerous DoD installations throughout the western U.S. to identify their migratory routes and wintering grounds. This information will improve management for an At-Risk species that breeds on many DoD installations in the west. This is the first year of a 3-year project and one that builds upon a past Legacy project to address a critical need that was identified at a recent DoD-sponsored workshop in Oregon. The project represents a large collaborative partnership among 17 organizations including working closely with the Canadian Department of Defense and the Canadian Wildlife Service on this project. The use of this exciting new technology on this declining species will undoubtedly generate substantial positive media coverage that will benefit DoD and the Legacy program. The results will identify priority management needs for this declining species and help reduce conflict with the military mission on DoD installations.
12-610: Assessing the Importance of Wetlands on DoD Installations for the Persistence of Wetland-dependent Birds in North America
POC: Courtney Conway/Univ of ID
Synopsis: This project will develop detailed habitat models for rare and endangered wetland birds. We will then use the models to rank the importance of over 600 DoD installations to wetland birds and conduct wetland bird surveys on a random subset of DoD installations to verify the models and provide estimates of abundance for these rare species. We will also rank non-DoD wetlands that are within the breeding range of the numerous state and federally endangered wetland birds to document the value of DoD wetlands to the preservation of these species. The project will contribute to a large partnership of agencies and organizations in North America that are conducting marsh bird surveys following a standardized protocol written by the project POC. The project will produce a first-of-its-kind inventory of the biological value of wetlands on DoD lands, detailed habitat models for each species (which are not currently available), and baseline survey data of secretive marsh birds at a large subset of DoD installations.
12-626: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems for Wildlife Monitoring and Habitat Assessment
POC: Lee Barber/CEMML, Colorado State Univ. and Franklin Percival/University of Florida
Synopsis: Stewardship of natural resources on military installations occurs within the “learning by doing”. Adaptive Resource Management framework that assesses the condition of managed resources through continual monitoring and data collection. The challenge for DOD environmental managers is threefold - prioritize management of resources that directly support military training and readiness requirements, maximize quality and quantity of data available to support management decisions, and manage extensive acreages of land and water with few staff and limited budgets. The collection of aerial imagery from small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUASs) flying at low altitude within military restricted airspace at NAS Patuxent River,Webster Field, and the Bloodsworth Island Naval Gunnery Range provides an installation-specific response to these challenges, demonstrating a “civilian” application of proven military technology using an approach that is applicable to all military installations with restricted airspace.
12-627: Coordinated Sonoran Desert Breeding Bird Monitoring
POC: Edwin Juarez/Arizona Game and Fish Department
Synopsis: DoD natural resource managers partnered with Arizona Bird Conservation Initiative to develop an avian monitoring program to elucidate distribution, habitat use, and population trend for poorly-monitored species and species-at-risk in the southwestern U.S. From 2012 to 2014, a unified monitoring approach for the Sonoran Desert will be implemented by government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private entities throughout the region; the monitoring program will be repeated at periodic intervals to quantify long-term trends. Military lands (Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and National Guard) encompass roughly 2.7 million acres of the Sonoran Desert and are home to several species-at-risk. This project will facilitate the creation of a statistically robust monitoring framework, will ensure sufficient monitoring effort occurs on and around Arizona’s military lands during the first of a 3-year effort, and will provide information regional land managers need to proactively manage for species-at-risk.
12-631: Status and Distribution Modeling of Golden Eagles on Southwestern Military Installations and Overflight Areas: assessing "take" for this sensitive species at risk
POC: Michael Ingraldi/Arizona Game and Fish Department
Synopsis: This collaborative project between the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, Army and Army National Guard will provide the necessary status and distribution information on Golden Eagles that will allow southwestern military installations to sustain the viability of this declining species at risk while complying with the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and maintaining vital military training opportunities.