State Wildlife Grant - T-34-R

Project Title

Relocation of Historic Browse Transect Photo-Points in the North Dakota Badlands

Target Species

All badlands wildlife

Timeline

June 2011 -- Dec. 2012

Investigators

Montgomery Associates and ND Game and Fish Department

Description

Changes in land management and fire suppression have influenced the landscape across the Great Plains; resulting in the expansion and invasion of the red cedar in Oklahoma and Rocky Mountain juniper stands in the North Dakota. These changes in habitat can reduce species diversity of small mammal and avian communities. Impacts on other taxa (amphibians, reptiles and fish) are unknown. In addition, juniper expansion has been shown to reduces ephemeral stream flows, reduce forage production for livestock, and increase fuel loads that may result in larger and hotter wild fires. Revisiting and updating photo points will allow agencies to assess how much of the habitat has changed over the past 50 years, better assess what species of conservation priority (SCP) may be affected, and determine what on-the-ground management actions are warranted. This project would be the first in a multi-phased evaluation of habitat at and around these photo-points.

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