Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Desert dace occupy 10 spring systems in Soldier Meadows, Humboldt County, Nevada. All warm spring habitats with permanent outflow streams and water temperatures ranging from 13° to 37°C currently support desert dace. Threats to the species include habitat modification due to diversion of water for agricultural irrigation, trampling, and overgrazing by cattle and wild horses; loss of spring flow due to geothermal exploration and development; and introduction of competing or predaceous nonnative fish species.
The Nature Conservancy initiated the Soldier Meadows Conservation Project in cooperation with a private landowner and the Bureau of Land Management to protect all habitats occupied by the desert dace. The Nature Conservancy has purchased some of the private land and obtained a conservation easement on the remainder. Most of the purchased lands will be sold to the Bureau of Land Management for inclusion in its Soldier Meadows Area of Critical Environmental Concern. Following this transfer of title, all desert dace habitat will be on public lands.
The Bureau of Land Management, in consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service, needs to develop a management plan for Soldier Meadows to ensure protection of desert dace habitats on public lands.
Bureau of Land Management: This Federal agency will manage desert dace habitat to provide optimum conditions for the species. The Bureau will revise its management plan for the Soldier Meadows Area of Critical Environmental Concern to include objectives for desert dace habitats.
The Nature Conservancy: This private organization initiated the conservation of Soldier Meadows by purchasing private land and obtaining a conservation easement to protect desert dace habitat on other private lands.
Plan under development.