State Wildlife Grant - T-40-R

Project Title

North Dakota Colonial and Semi-colonial Waterbird Inventory

Target Species

Colonial and semi-colonial waterbirds and other wetland associated species

Timeline

March 2014 -- Dec. 2015

Investigators

Nancy Drilling, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory

Description

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is responsible for managing or assisting with management of all wildlife species residing in the state. This responsibility cannot be accomplished without sufficient information on species’ status and conservation needs. Aside from annual surveys of interior least terns and piping plovers nesting along the Missouri River and local opportunistic colony counts, no systematic inventories of colonial or semi-colonial waterbirds are conducted in North Dakota. Ten colonial or semi-colonial bird species breeding in North Dakota are presently listed as Species of Special Conservation Priority because they are rare, unique, declining, or their conservation status is uncertain. These species cannot be adequately protected or recovered without baseline data on colony locations and subsequent monitoring of colony status. This project will produce an inventory database of colonial and semi-colonial waterbird sites and associated population information of target species in North Dakota, thus filling a data gap highlighted in the CWCS. The inventory and associated population information produced from this project would provide baseline data for future monitoring efforts, as well as contribute to regional and national waterbird conservation efforts.

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