Nebraska

Legacy ID: 
31
State Code: 
NE
Country Code: 
USA
Area: 
77 330.30
Latitude: 
41.52
Longitude: 
-99.81
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: 

A Multiscale Index of Landscape Intactness for the Western United States

FORT Contact: 
Natasha Carr
Authors: 
Carr, N.B., I.I.F. Leinwand, and D.J.A. Wood
Related Staff: 
Natasha Carr
Ian Leinwand
Publication Date: 
2016
Parent Publication Title: 
Publication Type: 
Archive number: 

Pub Abstract: 

Landscape intactness has been defined as a quantifiable estimate of naturalness measured on a gradient of anthropogenic influence. We developed a multiscale index of landscape intactness for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) landscape approach, which requires multiple scales of information to quantify the cumulative effects of land use. The multiscale index of landscape intactness represents a gradient of anthropogenic influence as represented by development levels at two analysis scales.

To create the index, we first mapped the surface disturbance footprint of development, for the western U.S., by compiling and combining spatial data for urban development, agriculture, energy and minerals, and transportation for 17 states. All linear features and points were buffered to create a surface disturbance footprint. Buffered footprints and polygonal data were rasterized at 15-meter (m), aggregated to 30-m, and then combined with the existing 30-meter inputs for urban development and cultivated croplands. The footprint area was represented as a proportion of the cell and was summed using a raster calculator. To reduce processing time, the 30-m disturbance footprint was aggregated to 90-m. The 90-m resolution surface disturbance footprint is retained as a separate raster data sets in this data release (Surface Disturbance Footprint from Development for the Western United States). We used a circular moving window to create a terrestrial development index for two scales of analysis, 2.5-kilometer (km) and 20-km, by calculating the percent of the surface disturbance footprint at each scale. The terrestrial development index at both the 2.5-km (Terrestrial Development Index for the Western United States: 2.5-km moving window) and 20-km (Terrestrial Development Index for the Western United States: 20-km moving window) were retained as separate raster data sets in this data release. The terrestrial development indexes at two analysis scales were ranked and combined to create the multiscale index of landscape intactness (retained as Landscape Intactness Index for the Western United States) in this data release. To identify intact areas, we focused on terrestrial development index scores less than or equal to 3 percent, which represented relatively low levels of development on multiple-use lands managed by the BLM and other land management agencies.

The multiscale index of landscape intactness was designed to be flexible, transparent, defensible, and applicable across multiple spatial scales, ecological boundaries, and jurisdictions. To foster transparency and facilitate interpretation, the multiscale index of landscape intactness data release retains four component data sets to enable users to interpret the multiscale index of landscape intactness: the surface disturbance footprint, the terrestrial development index summarized at two scales (2.5-km and 20-km circular moving windows), and the overall landscape intactness index. The multiscale index is a proposed core indicator to quantify landscape integrity for the BLM Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring program and is intended to be used in conjunction with additional regional- or local-level information not available at national levels (such as invasive species occurrence) necessary to evaluate ecological integrity for the BLM landscape approach.

Filming for Documentary “Platte River Time Lapse” Takes Place in FORT Lab

On February 18, 2016, Dr. David Merritt, a riparian ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service, met with Dr. Gregor Auble of FORT to film in the dendrochronology lab. Dr. Merritt is collaborating with the University of Nebraska to produce the documentary “Platte River Time Lapse”. The film crew documented the processing of samples within the lab environment as well as producing several high-resolution images of tree cores. The film is set for release sometime in the next year. 

Publication Title: 

ASPN – Assessing Socioeconomic Planning Needs (v.1)

FORT Contact: 
Lance Everette
Authors: 
Richardson, L., A.L. Everette, S. Dawson
Related Staff: 
Leslie Richardson
Lance Everette
Jessica Montag
Lynne Koontz
Kate Peterson
Sebastien Nicoud
Publication Date: 
2015
Updated Date (text): 
2012-06-22
Publication Type: 
Archive number: 
2012/0049 FORT

Pub Abstract: 

ASPN is a Web-based decision tool that assists natural resource managers and planners in identifying and prioritizing social and economic planning issues, and provides guidance on appropriate social and economic methods to address their identified issues.

  • ASPN covers the breadth of issues facing natural resource management agencies so it is widely applicable for various resources, plans, and projects.
  • ASPN also realistically accounts for budget and planning time constraints by providing estimated costs and time lengths needed for each of the possible social and economic methods.

ASPN is a valuable starting point for natural resource managers and planners to start working with their agencies’ social and economic specialists. Natural resource management actions have social and economic effects that often require appropriate analyses. Additionally, in the United States, Federal agencies are legally mandated to follow guidance under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires addressing social and economic effects for actions that may cause biophysical impacts. Most natural resource managers and planners lack training in understanding the full range of potential social and economic effects of a management decision as well as an understanding of the variety of methods and analyses available to address these effects. Thus, ASPN provides a common framework which provides consistency within and across natural resource management agencies to assist in identification of pertinent social and economic issues while also allowing the social and economic analyses to be tailored to best meet the needs of the specific plan or project.

ASPN can be used throughout a planning process or be used as a tool to identify potential issues that may be applicable to future management actions. ASPN is useful during the pre-scoping phase as a tool to start thinking about potential social and economic issues as well as to identify potential stakeholders who may be affected. Thinking about this early in the planning process can help with outreach efforts and with understanding the cost and time needed to address the potential social and economic effects. One can use ASPN during the scoping and post-scoping phases as a way to obtain guidance on how to address issues that stakeholders identified. ASPN can also be used as a monitoring tool to identify whether new social and economic issues arise after a management action occurs.

ASPN is developed through a collaborative research effort between the USGS Fort Collins Science Center’s (FORT) Social and Economic Analysis (SEA) Branch and the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  ASPN’s technical development is led by the USGS FORT’s Information Science Branch.  An updated release, which will extend ASPN’s functionality and incorporate feature improvements identified in ongoing usability testing, is currently in the planning stages.

Publication Title: 

Modeling sediment accumulation in North American playa wetlands in response to climate change, 1940–2100

FORT Contact: 
Susan Skagen
Authors: 
Burris, L.E. and S.K. Skagen
Related Staff: 
Susan Skagen
Lucy Burris
Publication Date: 
2013
Updated Date (text): 
2013-03-15
Parent Publication Title: 
Climatic Change
Publication Type: 
Archive number: 
2013/0002 FORT

Pub Abstract: 

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. We forecasted erosion rates, sediment depths, and resultant playa wetland depths across the west-central Great Plains and examined the relative roles of land use context and projected changes in precipitation in the sedimentation process. We estimated erosion with the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) using historic values and downscaled precipitation predictions from three general circulation models and three emissions scenarios. We calibrated RUSLE results using field sediment measurements. RUSLE is appealing for regional scale modeling because it uses climate forecasts with monthly resolution and other widely available values including soil texture, slope and land use. Sediment accumulation rates will continue near historic levels through 2070 and will be sufficient to cause most playas (if not already filled) to fill with sediment within the next 100 years in the absence of mitigation. Land use surrounding the playa, whether grassland or tilled cropland, is more influential in sediment accumulation than climate-driven precipitation change.

Publication Title: 

White-nose Syndrome Disease Tracking System (v.1)

FORT Contact: 
Lance Everette
Authors: 
Everette, A.L., P.M. Cryan, and K. Peterson
Related Staff: 
Lance Everette
Paul Cryan
Kate Peterson
Publication Date: 
2012
Updated Date (text): 
2012-12-28
Parent Publication Title: 
Publication Type: 
Archive number: 
2012/0134 FORT

Pub Abstract: 

A Devastating Disease

White-nose syndrome (WNS) is an emerging and devastating disease of hibernating bats in North America. WNS is caused by a cold-growing fungus (Geomyces destructans) that infects the skin of hibernating bats during winter and causes life-threatening alterations in physiology and behavior. WNS has spread rapidly across the eastern United States and Canada since it was first documented in New York in the winter of 2006.  This new disease is causing mass mortality and detrimentally affecting most of the 6 species of bats that hibernate in the northeastern United States. Particularly hard-hit are the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), eastern small-footed bat (Myotis leibii), and federally endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis). Several more species are also now known to be exposed to the fungus in the Midwest and Southeast. The sudden and widespread mortality associated with white-nose syndrome is unprecedented in any of the world’s bats and is a cause for international concern as the fungus and the disease spread farther north, south, and west.  Loss of these long-lived insect-eating bats could have substantial adverse effects on agriculture and forestry through loss of natural pest-control services.

Tracking a Deadly Disease

Because WNS is spreading so rapidly, field surveillance data and diagnostic samples must be managed efficiently so that critical information can be communicated quickly among State and Federal land managers, as well as the public. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which plays a primary role in coordinating the Federal response to WNS, worked with the USGS Fort Collins Science Center’s Web Applications Team to develop the White-nose Syndrome Disease Tracking System. Version 1.0 of this system, released for Beta testing in May 2011, addresses two critical objectives:

  • enable state-level resource managers to effectively manage WNS field and laboratory data, and
  • provide customizable map and data reports of surveillance findings. The WNS Disease Tracking System subsequently was demonstrated to resource managers involved in the WNS response, and system users are assisting with in-depth testing. Once resource-management users are all trained (autumn 2011), they will begin populating the system with surveillance data, much of which will be immediately available to the public.

WNS version 1.0 was released into production in November, 2011 and state points-of-contact are currently being trainined. New users are providing ciritical feedback for WNS version 2.0, which is currently being planned with Fish and Wildlife Region 5 and the National White-nose Syndrome Data Management Team.

Key System Components

  • Disease Tracking: Customizable disease tracking maps and data exports for all U.S. states and counties
  • Disease Reporting: Tissue sample database management for authorized resource managers as well as a publicly accessible database of disease reporting contacts for all U.S. States and Federal resource management agencies
  • Diagnostic Labs:  Directory of laboratories involved in white-nose syndrome diagnostic analyses
Publication Title: 

Diversity and distribution of mayflies (Ephemeroptera), stoneflies (Plecoptera), and caddisflies (Trichoptera) of the South Platte River Basin, Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming, 1873-2010

FORT Contact: 
Robert Zuellig
Authors: 
Zuellig, R.E., B.D. Heinold, B.C. Kondratieff, and D.E. Ruiter
Related Staff: 
Robert Zuellig
Publication Date: 
2012
Updated Date (text): 
2012-08-10
Parent Publication Title: 
Publication Type: 
Archive number: 
NONCTR/00374

Pub Abstract: 

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity (Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado), compiled collection record data to document the historical and present-day occurrence of mayfly, stonefly, and caddisfly species in the South Platte River Basin. Data were compiled from records collected between 1873 and 2010 to identify where regional knowledge about species occurrence in the basin is lacking and to encourage future researchers to locate additional populations of these poorly understood but very important organisms. This report provides a description of how data were compiled, a map of approximate collection locations, a listing of the most recent collection records from unique locations, general remarks for each species, a species list with selected summary information, and distribution maps of species collection records.

Publication Title: 

Recommended methods for range-wide monitoring of prairie dogs in the United States

FORT Contact: 
Tom Stanley
Authors: 
McDonald, L.L., T.R. Stanley, D.L. Otis, D.E. Biggins, P.D. Stevens, J.L. Koprowski, and W. Ballard
Related Staff: 
Tom Stanley
Dean Biggins
Patty Stevens
Publication Date: 
2011
Updated Date (text): 
2011-05-11
Parent Publication Title: 
Archive number: 
2011/0037 FORT

Pub Abstract: 

One of the greatest challenges for conserving grassland, prairie scrub, and shrub-steppe ecosystems is maintaining prairie dog populations across the landscape. Of the four species of prairie dogs found in the United States, the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens) is listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as threatened, the Gunnison's prairie dog (C. gunnisoni) is a candidate for listing in a portion of its range, and the black-tailed prairie dog (C. ludovicianus) and white-tailed prairie dog (C. leucurus) have each been petitioned for listing at least once in recent history. Although the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) determined listing is not warranted for either the black-tailed prairie dog or white-tailed prairie dog, the petitions and associated reviews demonstrated the need for the States to monitor and manage for self-sustaining populations...

Publication Title: 

Aerial Photography Sources for Delineating the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer, and Pony Express National Historic Trails in Kansas, Nebraska, Oregon, and Wyoming

FORT Contact: 
Bob Waltermire
Authors: 
Waltermire, R.G.
Related Staff: 
Bob Waltermire
Publication Date: 
2011
Updated Date (text): 
2012-06-27
Parent Publication Title: 
Publication Type: 
Archive number: 
2011/0024 FORT

Pub Abstract: 
Publication Title: 

Summary and analysis of the U.S. government Bat Banding Program

FORT Contact: 
Laura Ellison
Authors: 
Ellison, L.E
Related Staff: 
Laura Ellison
Publication Date: 
2008
Updated Date (text): 
2012-01-13
Publication Type: 
Archive number: 
2008/0132 FORT

Pub Abstract: 

This report summarizes the U.S. Government Bat Banding Program (BBP) from 1932 to 1972. More than 2 million bands were issued during the program, of which approximately 1.5 million bands were applied to 36 bat species by scientists in many locations in North America including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Central America. Throughout the BBP, banders noticed numerous and deleterious effects on bats, leading to a moratorium on bat banding by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and a resolution to cease banding by the American Society of Mammalogists in 1973. One of the main points of the memorandum written to justify the moratorium was to conduct a "detailed evaluation of the files of the bat-banding program." However, a critical and detailed evaluation of the BBP was never completed. In an effort to satisfy this need, I compiled a detailed history of the BBP by examining the files and conducting a literature review on bat banding activities during the program. I also provided a case study in managing data and applying current mark-recapture theory to estimate survival using the information from a series of bat bands issued to Clyde M. Senger during the BBP. The majority of bands applied by Senger were to Townsend's big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii), a species of special concern for many states within its geographic range. I developed a database management system for the bat banding records and then analyzed and modeled survival of hibernating Townsend's big-eared bats at three main locations in Washington State using Cormack-Jolly-Seber (CJS) open models and the modeling capabilities of Program MARK. This analysis of a select dataset in the BBP files provided relatively precise estimates of survival for wintering Townsend's big-eared bats. However, this dataset is unique due to its well-maintained and complete state and because there were high recapture rates over the course of banding; it is doubtful that other unpublished datasets of the same quality exist buried in the BBP files for further analyses. Lastly, I make several recommendations based on the findings of this summary and analysis, the most important of which is that marking bats with standard metal or split-ring forearm bands should not be considered for mark-recapture studies unless the information sought and the potential for obtaining unbiased estimates from that information vastly outweighs the potential negative effects to the bats.

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