Colorado

Legacy ID: 
7
State Code: 
CO
Country Code: 
USA
Area: 
104 101.00
Latitude: 
39.00
Longitude: 
-105.55
Publication Title: 

Weather radar data correlate to hail-induced mortality in grassland birds

FORT Contact: 
Susan Skagen
Authors: 
Carver AR, Ross JD, Augustine DJ, Skagen SK, Dwyer AM, Tomback DF, Wunder MB.
Related Staff: 
Susan Skagen
Publication Date: 
2017
Parent Publication Title: 
Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation
Publication Type: 
Archive number: 
States: 

Pub Abstract: 

Small-bodied terrestrial animals such as songbirds (Order Passeriformes) are especially vulnerable to hail-induced mortality; yet, hail events are challenging to predict, and they often occur in locations where populations are not being studied. Focusing on nesting grassland songbirds, we demonstrate a novel approach to estimate hail-induced mortality. We quantify the relationship between the probability of nests destroyed by hail and measured Level-III Next Generation Radar (NEXRAD) data, including atmospheric base reflectivity, maximum estimated size of hail and maximum estimated azimuthal wind shear. On 22 June 2014, a hailstorm in northern Colorado destroyed 102 out of 203 known nests within our research site. Lark bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys) nests comprised most of the sample (= 186). Destroyed nests were more likely to be found in areas of higher storm intensity, and distributions of NEXRAD variables differed between failed and surviving nests. For 133 ground nests where nest-site vegetation was measured, we examined the ameliorative influence of woody vegetation, nest cover and vegetation density by comparing results for 13 different logistic regression models incorporating the independent and additive effects of weather and vegetation variables. The most parsimonious model used only the interactive effect of hail size and wind shear to predict the probability of nest survival, and the data provided no support for any of the models without this predictor. We conclude that vegetation structure may not mitigate mortality from severe hailstorms and that weather radar products can be used remotely to estimate potential for hail mortality of nesting grassland birds. These insights will improve the efficacy of grassland bird population models under predicted climate change scenarios.

Publication Title: 

Integrating remote sensing with species distribution models; Mapping tamarisk invasions using the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling (SAHM)

FORT Contact: 
Catherine Jarnevich
Authors: 
West, A. M., Evangelista, P. H., Jarnevich, C. S., Young, N. E., Stohlgren, T. J., Talbert, C., et al.
Related Staff: 
Catherine Jarnevich
Tom Stohlgren
Colin Talbert
Marian Talbert
Publication Date: 
2016
Parent Publication Title: 
Journal of Visualized Experiments
Publication Type: 
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Species: 
States: 

Pub Abstract: 

Early detection of invasive plant species is vital for the management of natural resources and protection of ecosystem processes. The use of satellite remote sensing for mapping the distribution of invasive plants is becoming more common, however conventional imaging software and classification methods have been shown to be unreliable. In this study, we test and evaluate the use of five species distribution model techniques fit with satellite remote sensing data to map invasive tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) along the Arkansas River in Southeastern Colorado. The models tested included boosted regression trees (BRT), Random Forest (RF), multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS), generalized linear model (GLM), and Maxent. These analyses were conducted using a newly developed software package called the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling (SAHM). All models were trained with 499 presence points, 10,000 pseudo-absence points, and predictor variables acquired from the Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) sensor over an eight-month period to distinguish tamarisk from native riparian vegetation using detection of phenological differences. From the Landsat scenes, we used individual bands and calculated Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Soil-Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), and tasseled capped transformations. All five models identified current tamarisk distribution on the landscape successfully based on threshold independent and threshold dependent evaluation metrics with independent location data. To account for model specific differences, we produced an ensemble of all five models with map output highlighting areas of agreement and areas of uncertainty. Our results demonstrate the usefulness of species distribution models in analyzing remotely sensed data and the utility of ensemble mapping, and showcase the capability of SAHM in pre-processing and executing multiple complex models.

Publication Title: 

Facilitating the inclusion of nonmarket values in Bureau of Land Management planning and project assessments—Final report

FORT Contact: 
Chris Huber
Authors: 
Huber, Chris, and Richardson, Leslie
Related Staff: 
Chris Huber
Leslie Richardson
Publication Date: 
2016
Parent Publication Title: 
Open-File Report
Publication Type: 
Archive number: 

Pub Abstract: 

This report summarizes the results of a series of field-based case studies conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to (1) evaluate the use of nonmarket values in Bureau of Land Management (BLM) planning and project assessments, (2) update existing technical resources for measuring those values, and (3) provide guidance to field staff on the use of nonmarket values. Four BLM pilot sites participated in this effort: Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado, Red Cliffs and Beaver Dam Wash National Conservation Areas in Utah, BLM’s Taos Field Office in New Mexico, and BLM's Tuscarora Field Office in Nevada. The focus of the case studies was on practical applications of nonmarket valuation. USGS worked directly with BLM field staff at the pilot sites to demonstrate the process of considering nonmarket values in BLM decisionmaking and document the questions, challenges, and opportunities that arise when tying economic language to projects.

As part of this effort, a Web-based toolkit, available at https://my.usgs.gov/benefit-transfer/, was updated and expanded to help facilitate benefit transfers (that is, the use of existing economic data to quantify nonmarket values) and qualitative discussions of nonmarket values. A total of 53 new or overlooked nonmarket valuation studies comprising 494 nonmarket value estimates for various recreational activities and the preservation of threatened, endangered, and rare species were added to existing databases within this Benefit Transfer Toolkit. In addition, four meta-regression functions focused on hunting, wildlife viewing, fishing, and trail use recreation were developed and added to the Benefit Transfer Toolkit.

Results of this effort demonstrate that there are two main roles for nonmarket valuation in BLM planning. The first is to improve the decisionmaking process by contributing to a more comprehensive comparison of economic benefits and cost when evaluating resource tradeoffs for National Environmental Policy Act analyses. The second is to use economic language and information on economic values, either qualitative or quantitative, to improve the ability to communicate the economic significance of the resources provided by BLM-managed lands. 

Findings also indicate that the use of existing economic data to quantify nonmarket values (that is, benefit transfer) poses unique challenges because of the scarcity of both resource data and existing valuation studies focused on resources and sites managed by BLM. This highlights the need for improvements in the collection of resource data at BLM sites, especially visitor use data, as well as an opportunity for BLM’s Socioeconomics Program to strategically identify priority areas, in terms of both resources and geographic locations, where primary valuation studies could be conducted and the results used for future benefit transfers. Finally, whereas qualitative discussions of nonmarket values do not facilitate the comparison of monetized values, they can provide a manageable next step forward in providing more comprehensive information on nonmarket values for BLM plans and project assessments.

 

Preserving and Publishing USGS Legacy Data at Risk: Historical Bathythermograph Data

The USGS Fort Collins Science Center’s Data at Risk (DaR) project has publicly released “Bathythermograph Data, Lake Michigan, 1954" (https://doi.org/10.5066/F7DV1H4B), the second of five USGS legacy data products identified by the project as at risk of loss or damage in 2016. The project’s third legacy data release, “River Channel Survey Data, Redwood Creek and Mill Creek, California, 1973-2013” is expected to be available to the public in the coming weeks.

Preserving and Publishing USGS Legacy Data at Risk: Historical Bathythermograph Data

The USGS Fort Collins Science Center’s Data at Risk (DaR) project has publicly released “Bathythermograph Data, Lake Michigan, 1954" (https://doi.org/10.5066/F7DV1H4B), the second of five USGS legacy data products identified by the project as at risk of loss or damage in 2016. The project’s third legacy data release, “River Channel Survey Data, Redwood Creek and Mill Creek, California, 1973-2013” is expected to be available to the public in the coming weeks.

USGS Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) in Support of Science and Stewardship

On May 18, 2017, Dr. Chris Holmquist-Johnson presented “Using Small UAS for Science: Providing additional tools for wildlife detection, hydrologic mapping, and monitoring river processes and landscape change” at the the NPS Natural Sounds & Night Skies hosted “Training on the Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Natural and Cultural Resource Science and Stewardship” (Fort Collins, CO May 18-19, 2017).

Students Learn About USGS Uses of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)

On May 16, 2017, Dr. Chris Holmquist-Johnson presented “Using Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) for Science” at Irish Elementary School in Fort Collins. The presentation was an overview of Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) projects that use sUAS and was designed to show young science students how sUAS are used for different scientific applications. For example, FORT projects are applying sUAS to several areas of research including wildlife monitoring, river mapping, and habitat analysis. Dr.

Publication Title: 

Community for Data Integration 2016 Annual Report

FORT Contact: 
Lance Everette
Authors: 
Langseth, M.L., Hsu, Leslie, Amberg, Jon, Bliss, Norman, Bock, A.R., Bolus, R.T., Bristol, R.S., Chase, K.J., Crimmins, T.M., Earle, P.S., Erickson, Richard, Everette, A.L., Falgout, Jeff, Faundeen, J.L., Fienen, Michael, Griffin, Rusty, Guy, M.R., Henry, K.D., Hoebelheinrich, N.J., Hunt, Randall, Hutchison, V.B., Ignizio, D.A., Infante, D.M., Jarnevich, Catherine, Jones, J.M., Kern, Tim, Leibowitz, Scott, Lightsom, F.L., Marsh, R.L., McCalla, S.G., McNiff, Marcia, Morisette, J.T., Nelson, J.C., Norkin, Tamar, Preston, T.M., Rosemartin, Alyssa, Sando, Roy, Sherba, J.T., Signell, R.P., Sleeter, B.M., Sundquist, E.T., Talbert, C.B., Viger, R.J., Weltzin, J.F., Waltman, Sharon, Weber, Marc, Wieferich, D.J., Williams, Brad, Windham-Myers, Lisamarie
Related Staff: 
Lance Everette
Drew Ignizio
Catherine Jarnevich
Tim Kern
Jeff Morisette
Colin Talbert
Publication Date: 
2017
Parent Publication Title: 
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Topics: 

Pub Abstract: 

The Community for Data Integration (CDI) represents a dynamic community of practice focused on advancing science data and information management and integration capabilities across the U.S. Geological Survey and the CDI community. This annual report describes the various presentations, activities, and outcomes of the CDI monthly forums, working groups, virtual training series, and other CDI-sponsored events in fiscal year 2016. The report also describes the objectives and accomplishments of the 13 CDI-funded projects in fiscal year 2016.

Publication Title: 

First estimates of the probability of survival in a small-bodied, high-elevation frog (Boreal Chorus Frog, Pseudacris maculata), or how historical data can be useful

FORT Contact: 
Erin Muths
Authors: 
Muths, E.L., R.D. Scherer, S.M. Amburgey, T. Matthews, A.W. Spencer, and P.S. Corn
Related Staff: 
Erin Muths
Publication Date: 
2016
Parent Publication Title: 
Canadian Journal of Zoology
Publication Type: 
Archive number: 

Pub Abstract: 

In an era of shrinking budgets yet increasing demands for conservation, the value of existing (i.e., historical) data are elevated. Lengthy time series on common, or previously common, species are particularly valuable and may be available only through the use of historical information. We provide first estimates of the probability of survival and longevity (0.67–0.79 and 5–7 years, respectively) for a subalpine population of a small-bodied, ostensibly common amphibian, the Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata (Agassiz, 1850)), using historical data and contemporary, hypothesis-driven information–theoretic analyses. We also test a priori hypotheses about the effects of color morph (as suggested by early reports) and of drought (as suggested by recent climate predictions) on survival. Using robust mark–recapture models, we find some support for early hypotheses regarding the effect of color on survival, but we find no effect of drought. The congruence between early findings and our analyses highlights the usefulness of historical information in providing raw data for contemporary analyses and context for conservation and management decisions.

Publication Title: 

Why You Can’t Ignore Disease When You Reintroduce Animals

FORT Contact: 
Erin Muths
Authors: 
Muths, E.L. and H. McCallum
Related Staff: 
Erin Muths
Publication Date: 
2016
Parent Publication Title: 
Publication Type: 
Archive number: 

Pub Abstract: 

Infectious disease is an important consideration when contemplating reintroduction of a species to an area from which it has been extirpated and is one risk that has escalated in recent decades as use of large-scale and hands-on conservation measures increase. Reintroduction (in essence moving animals around), is a management tool considered when populations are failing or extirpations have occurred, yet is obviously at odds with many of the tenets of disease management. We focus on extirpations attributed to disease and formulate a decision tree to guide managers considering reintroduction. If disease was not the original cause of extinction or decline, it still is important to consider as inadvertent introduction of disease with reintroduced hosts may cause a reintroduction to fail, or may threaten members of the recipient ecological community. If disease was an important agent of extinction or decline, then the disease threat must be addressed before reintroduction is contemplated, or the effort is highly likely to fail. If disease resistant or tolerant stock are available, then reintroducing these animals may succeed. If such stock are not available, then it is important to determine whether reservoirs are present, and if they are, to develop strategies to manage disease adequately in the reservoirs. If reservoirs are not present, then the biggest threat to a reintroduction is the presence of still-infected members of the species being reintroduced. We illustrate these principles with two case studies, the boreal toad (Anaxyrus (Bufo) boreas), threatened by the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus hariisii), threatened by a transmissible cancer.

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