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What's New Archive #2

July 15, 1997 – December 15, 1998


December 15, 1998

Update -- New entries have been added to the Control of Invasive Exotic Plants in the Great Plains annotated bibliography.

Announcement -- A vacancy announcement for an Ecologist has been added to the Announcements page. An ecologist is needed to design, conduct, and analyze breeding bird surveys of prairie and wetland birds in the northern Great Plains. The closing date for this position is December 21, 1998.

Biological Resource -- Wetlands and riparian areas comprise less than one percent of the land area in the western U.S., yet they support a tremendous diversity of wildlife. Birds as Indicators of Riparian Vegetation Condition in the Western U.S. evaluates the effectiveness of using bird populations to monitor the health of riparian ecosystems.


December 4, 1998

Announcement -- Vacancy announcements for temporary Crew Leaders and Field Assistants have been added to the Announcements page. Crew leaders and field assistants are needed for a large-scale study that will evaluate the effectiveness of Bird Conservation Areas (BCAs) as habitat for grassland birds. The closing date for these positions is March 15, 1999.

Announcement -- Under FWS-USGS research partnership, scientists at Northern Prairie have been working with Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge managers to develop strategies for better management of biological resources of the meadow ecosystems on Grays Lake. See the article entitled "Wetland/Upland Management Practices at Grays Lake" in the Announcements section for additional information.

Biological Resource -- Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States provides a comprehensive system of classifying wetlands that has gained wide acceptance throughout the United States.

Biological Resource -- A rise in pesticide use on agricultural lands has resulted in increased concentrations of harmful chemicals found in ponds and streams in the northern Great Plains. Effects of the Herbicide Atrazine on Ambystoma tigrinum Metamorphosis: Duration, Larval Growth, and Hormonal Response examines the impact that atrazine has on the development of tiger salamanders.

Biological Resource -- Knowledge of mortality factors is important for developing strategies to conserve the swift fox (Vulpes velox). Information on the magnitude and causes of mortality of swift fox populations in 2 study areas in western Kansas is provided in Causes and Rates of Mortality of Swift Foxes in Western Kansas.


November 3, 1998

Update -- We have updated our front page to make it load faster and easier to use.

Update -- Thumbnail versions of our moth and butterfly photos are now available in Moths of North America and Butterflies of North America, respectively.

Announcement -- Retired Northern Prairie staff members Harold A. Kantrud, botanist, and Raymond J. Greenwood, wildlife biologist, were awarded the Department of Interior's Superior Service Award to recognize their extensive accomplishments during long careers with the Department. See the article in the Announcements section for additional information.

Announcement -- Bruce Hanson, wildlife biologist with Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, met with more than 2,000 students to discuss wildlife issues and career opportunities in wildlife biology. Additional information can be found in the Announcements section.

Biological Resource -- Sedimentation of Prairie Wetlands overviews the issue of sedimentation in prairie wetlands and examines the effect sedimentation has on their effective life-span.

Biological Resource -- Sediment is the most important pollutant of surface waters in the United States and the greatest source of sediment is erosion of agricultural lands. Sedimentation of Prairie Pothole Wetlands: The Need for Integrated Research by Agricultural and Wildlife Interests examines the influence of sedimentation on wildlife values in wetlands.

Biological Resource -- Designed to provide managers with information on the assemblage of bird species that might be expected in forest and rangeland habitats, Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States provides natural histories, taxonomic information, range and status, habitat descriptions, nest site descriptions, and food habits for numerous North American bird species.


October 16, 1998

Update -- Numerous updates have been made to the literature syntheses in the Effects of Management Practices on Grassland Birds.

Update -- The Northern Prairie Publications Database has been updated to include articles published through September, 1998.

Update -- Waterfowl Breeding Pair Distribution, depicting the potential of the landscape within wetland management districts of the Dakotas and northeastern Montana to support breeding ducks, has been greatly updated. Breeding pair maps are now available for all but two wetland management districts.

Biological Resource -- Prairie Ecosystems: Wetland Ecology, Management and Restoration features abstracts from a symposium held at Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center in Jamestown, ND, in 1993.


October 2, 1998

New Feature -- Postcards from the Prairie allows guests to send an electronic postcard to friends and colleagues.

Update -- Butterflies of North America has been updated to include species found on the Channel Islands off the coast of California.

Update -- Numerous updates and twenty-six new checklists have been added to Bird Checklists of the United States. This resource contains checklists for all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Biological Resource -- Nationwide, just one percent of tallgrass prairie remains intact. No other major ecosytem on the North American continent has been so fully altered by people. Last Call for Tallgrass in North Dakota describes the 70,000-acre Sheyenne National Grassland, one of the last remaining tallgrass prairies in North America.

Biological Resource -- WildBird's Top 50 Birding Hotspots provides readers with a detailed guide of the top 50 areas to view nesting and migratory birds, along with short descriptions of the top 20 birding sites.

Biological Resource -- Have you ever wondered how old your antelope is? Aging Antelope -- It's All in the Teeth outlines the basics for determining antelope age by the wear and development of their teeth.

Biological Resource -- Backyard Bird Feeding in North Dakota provides backyard birding novices with information on selecting the proper feeder and seed to attract wild birds, and helps them identify some of the more common North Dakota wintering songbirds that may frequent their feeders.


September 1, 1998

Update -- A Closer Look: Wetlands, containing information on wetlands in North Dakota, has been added to the A Closer Look Series from North Dakota Outdoors page.

Biological Resource -- The forested Pembina Hills region of North Dakota is ecologically valuable on account of its rich diversity of bird species and breeding habitat. Avian Use of Forest Habitats in the Pembina Hills of Northeastern North Dakota contains results from a 1981 breeding bird survey to determine the density and size of breeding bird populations and the ecological impact that this region has on native species.

Biological Resource -- Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin contains color pictures and species accounts for 144 wetland plants, outlines a classification system for wetland communities, and provides a listing of plants found in each community.

Biological Resource -- Canvasback Mortality from Illegal Hunting on the Upper Mississippi River contains information on the magnitude of illegal harvest of canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria) on Lake Onalaska, Navigation Pool 7, Wisconsin, during the 1991 and 1992 waterfowl hunting seasons.


August 17, 1998

Biological Resource -- Ecoregions of North Dakota and South Dakota categorizes North and South Dakota into distinct ecoregions based on similar geology, physiography, vegetation, climate, soils, land use, wildlife and hydrology.

Biological Resource -- The midcontinent population of sandhill cranes breeds across a vast but poorly defined area mostly in Canada, Alaska, and northeastern Siberia. In a pilot project using satellite telemetry, researchers at Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center are tracking several cranes throughout their annual cycle. In Operation Crane Watch, follow the movements of these cranes as they make their way from breeding grounds in the north to wintering grounds in the south, and vice versa.


July 31, 1998

Update -- Summer on the prairie finds male ducks shedding their bright spring feathers for drabber plumage. Learn about the molting process of ducks in August's Feature of the Month.

Update -- Additional information, including pictures of some species, textual species accounts, and a description of the environmental attributes of North Dakota has been added to Breeding Birds of North Dakota.

Biological Resource -- A Simple Field Candler for Waterfowl Eggs describes a simple method for determining the age of waterfowl eggs. Although the technique was developed more than 40 years ago, it is still widely used in studies of nesting waterfowl.

Biological Resource -- The St. Croix River Valley, encompassing nearly 11,550 square kilometers along the Minnesota-Wisconsin border, is home to a large array of birds. Birds of The St. Croix River Valley: Minnesota and Wisconsin contains information on the migration period, nesting season distribution, winter distribution, relative abundance, and habitat use of the 314 bird species found there.

Biological Resource -- Researchers and conservationists gathered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on 18-19 February 1998 for a symposium on swift foxes. Abstracts of presentations from the Swift Fox Symposium contain information on the ecology and conservation of swift foxes.


July 27, 1998

Announcement -- A vacancy announcement for a Ecologist has been added to the Announcements page. The closing date for this position is August 19, 1998.


July 16, 1998

Update -- The Northern Prairie Publications Database has been updated to include articles published through June, 1998.

Update -- Literature syntheses for Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) and Henslow's Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) have been added to Effects of Management Practices on Grassland Birds.

Biological Resource -- Agate Fossil Beds provides the reader a glimpse of what life was like 21 million years ago at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Nebraska.

Biological Resource -- Species Identification Guide: An Online Guide for Amphibians in the United States and Canada includes pictures and descriptions of the more common amphibian species found in the United States and Canada.

Biological Resource -- Ecology and Management of Islands, Peninsulas and Structures for Nesting Waterfowl features abstracts from a symposium with the same name that was hosted by Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center in Jamestown, ND, in 1988.


July 2, 1998

Update -- Literature syntheses for Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) and Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) are now available in Effects of Management Practices on Grassland Birds. In addition, numerous updates have been made to existing species accounts.

Update -- A lot of scientific and public attention has been focused on the increase of reported amphibian malformations across the United States and Canada. July's Feature of the Month highlights the North American Reporting Center for Amphibian Malformations (NARCAM), a centralized database of confirmed malformation sightings and related information.

Biological Resource -- Eastern South Dakota Wetlands contains information on abundance, characteristics, and importance of eastern South Dakota wetlands.

Biological Resource -- Matrix of "Listed" Species in the Great Plains of North America and their Occurrence on National Grasslands provides an accounting of species in the North American Great Plains that are listed as endangered or threatened, as well as species that are proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.


June 25, 1998

Announcement -- A vacancy announcement for a Statistician (Biology) has been added to the Announcements page. A statistician is needed to provide advice, statistical consultation and assistance in support of the center's research, inventory, and monitoring programs. The closing date for this position is July 15, 1998.


June 11, 1998

Announcement -- A vacancy announcement for a temporary Biological Science Technician has been added to the Announcements page. A technician is needed to gather field data necessary to meet the objectives of an exotic plant research project. The closing date for this position is June 25, 1998.


June 4, 1998

Announcement -- A vacancy announcement for a temporary Biological Science Technician has been added to the Announcements page. A technician is needed to perform a review of all literature related to wetland restoration in the prairie pothole region of North America and summarize findings in a final product. The closing date for this position is June 10, 1998.


June 3, 1998

Update -- The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), enacted as part of the U.S. Farm Bill, provides millions of acres of nesting habitat for grassland birds in the prairies of the United States. June's Feature of the Month highlights several resources documenting the effects this program has had on breeding bird populations in the Prairie Pothole Region.

Update -- County checklists for butterflies and moths are now available in Butterflies of North America and Moths of North America.

Biological Resource -- Accounts of 77 native and seven introduced species of fish collected from 1,026 survey sites in the Red River of the North (USA) are provided in Distribution of Fishes in the Red River of the North Basin on Multivariate Environmental Gradients.

Biological Resource -- Impacts of alterations resulting from discharges of dredged or fill material on wetlands in the prairie pothole region of North Dakota are asessed in Effects of Section 404 Permits on Wetlands in North Dakota.

Biological Resource -- The scope of wolf depredation on domesticated livestock in northern Minnesota from 1976-1980 is examined, and possible reasons for increased depredation rates are given in Wolf Depredation on Livestock in Minnesota.

Biological Resource -- Regional Landscape Ecosystems of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin: A Working Map and Classification identifies landscape ecosystems of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota based on differences in climate, bedrock geology, glacial landform, and soils.


May 15, 1998

Update -- Several articles published in North Dakota Outdoors as part of the "Closer Look" series have been combined into one biological resource entitled "A Closer Look Series from North Dakota Outdoors".

Update -- Photos of moth species from the Heliothenitinae subamily have been added to Moths of North America.

Update -- Approximately 1,000 additional citations have been added to Riparian Communities and Related Topics: An Annotated Bibliography.

Biological Resource -- Among the sights and sounds of spring in North Dakota is the joyful song of the western meadowlark. A Closer Look: The Western Meadowlark contains information on the nesting habits and diet of this melodious songbird.

Biological Resource -- Trends and Management of Wolf-Livestock Conflicts in Minnesota provides information on the extent of wolf depredation of livestock in northern Minnesota from 1975-86 and examines the effectiveness of control measures.

Biological Resource -- House Bat Management offers suggestions on how to "batproof" buildings using chemical and non-chemical means to deter bats from entering. This resource also provides a key to identifying some of the more common North American bats, and provides detailed instructions on how to build bat roosting structures.


May 7, 1998

Announcement -- A vacancy announcement for a Biological Technician has been added to the Announcements page. A technician is needed to assist in a continuing project investigating waterfowl brood trends in Central North Dakota. The closing date for this position is June 21, 1998.


May 1, 1998

Update -- The Northern Prairie Publications Database has been updated to include articles published through March, 1998.

Update -- New citations have been added to Bibliography for Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis), increasing the total number of entries to 1,030.

Update -- Additional families, species accounts, and pictures have been included in Moths of North America. Also, the name of this resource has been changed from Moths of the United States to reflect addition of data from northern Mexico. Moths of North America now includes data on more than 550 species of moths from seven families.

Update -- Wetlands are home to many species of animals and plants. Often we can identify the animals found there, but have difficulty naming the plants. May's Feature of the Month highlights two resources that can help us identify and learn about some of the common wetland plants in the Midwestern and Western United States.

Announcement -- Biologists from Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center were recently in Nebraska capturing sandhill cranes and fitting them with radio and satellite transmitters. The work is part of a five-year study of the Platte River system and the various factors that impact cranes. More information can be found in the Announcements section under "Studying Sandhill Cranes - Experts count on cranes, river system for information."

Biological Resource -- In Mallard Duckling Growth and Survival in Relation to Aquatic Invertebrates, variation in duckling growth was examined in relation to body mass at hatch, numbers and biomass of aquatic invertebrates, and several measures of ambient air temperature. In addition, variation in duckling survival during the first two weeks of life is assessed in relation to duckling growth.

Biological Resource -- In Avian Use of Sheyenne Lake and Associated Habitats in Central North Dakota, the species composition of birds using Sheyenne Lake and adjacent habitats during spring migration and nesting periods, the utilization of these habitats by migrant and nesting birds, and the diversity of breeding birds in various habitat were determined.


April 30, 1998

Announcement -- A vacancy announcement for a Wildlife Biologist/Geographer has been added to the Announcements page. Duties will include, but are not limited to, assisting with design, conduct, analysis, and interpretation of research studies when geospatial technologies are used (please see announcement for full description of duties). The closing date for this position is May 6, 1998.


April 16, 1998

Announcement -- A vacancy announcement for a Computer Specialist to work at Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center has been added to the Announcements page. The closing date for this position is April 29, 1998.

Update -- Literature syntheses for the Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus) and the Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii) are now available in Effects of Management Practices on Grassland Birds. In addition, electronic search capability has been added to the annotated bibliography, which contains information on approximately 3,000 articles dealing with management of grassland birds.

Biological Resource -- The question of whether small predator exclosures might be a useful tool for increasing duck recruitment is considered in Response of Nesting Ducks to Predator Exclosures and Water Conditions During Drought.

Biological Resource -- Information on construction, maintenance, and placement of several types of nesting structures for giant Canada geese can be found in Homemade Nest Sites for Giant Canada Geese.


April 9, 1998

Announcement -- A vacancy announcement for an Ecologist has been added to the Announcements page. The closing date for this position is May 7, 1998.


April 3, 1998

Announcement -- Vacancy announcements for several Temporary Wildlife Seasonal Aides have been added to the Announcements page. Aides are needed to continue a six year duck banding program, with emphasis on mallards, in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana. The closing date for these positions is May 15, 1998.


April 2, 1998

New Feature -- Users can now easily download and view off-line all but the largest biological resources on this site. See the Downloading Instructions for further information.

New Feature -- The Biological Resources page has been reorganized to make it easier for users to locate resources on particular topics or species. Resources are categorized by type (e.g., checklists or distributions) and taxon and are now listed in all applicable categories.

Update -- A literature sysnthesis for the Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus) is now available in Effects of Management Practices on Grassland Birds.

Update -- Great horned owls are the first birds to nest in the northern prairies each spring. Although many parts of the region are still struggling to escape winter's grip, female Great horned owls are already sitting on nests. Find out more about this awesome, versatile predator and several other species of northern owls in April's Feature of the Month.

Announcement -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is appealing to local governments and agencies in the Red River Valley to help finance a computer model to predict flooding and runoff throughout the valley. The U.S. Geological Survey's Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center will provide statistical support and in-kind services. More information can be found in the Announcements section.

Biological Resource -- Home Made Nest Sites for Mallards contains information and plans for the construction, placement, and maintenance of two types of elevated nesting structures that can be used to increase mallard nesting success.

Biological Resource -- Although resident populations of mountain lions or black bears are not confirmed in North Dakota, the western badlands and Turtle Mountains might be hospitable for lions, and the Turtle Mountains and Pembina River Valley contain suitable bear habitat. Learn more about the history and current status of these two large mammals in North Dakota in Lions and Bears in North Dakota?.

Biological Resource -- North Dakota Fisheries Investigations contains a revised species list including discussion of native and introduced species, information on the status of the various species, and a discussion of factors (real or perceived) that have influenced the status of native species.

Biological Resource -- The composition of North Dakota's flora and fauna is strongly influenced by climatic conditions. Climate of North Dakota provides climatic information for North Dakota based on the 30-year period between 1931 and 1960.


March 19, 1998

Server Upgrade -- Yesterday morning this site was down as we installed new software on our server. We apologize for any incovenience that this may have caused. We have thoroughly tested the functionality of this site since the upgrade, but if you notice anything that doesn't work correctly, please call it to our attention by sending an email to npwrc@usgs.gov. Thank you.


March 13, 1998

Announcement -- Vacancy announcements for a total of six Biological Science Technicians have been added to the Announcements page. Technicians are needed to perform a variety of tasks related to a grassland breeding bird population study. The closing date for these positions is March 25, 1998.


March 2, 1998

Update -- Longer days and melting snow marks the beginning of Spring and the northern migration of many bird species. March's Feature of the Month provides information on the spring migration spectacle of sandhill cranes and other waterbirds in Nebraska's Platte River Valley.

Biological Resource -- Survey of Amphibians at Selected Sites in Nebraska provides presence/absence data for 10 species of larval amphibians surveyed at 130 sites in Nebraska in 1997.

Biological Resource -- A Closer Look: The Osprey briefly describes the biology, range, and identifying characteristics of this ubiquitous, fish-eating raptor.

Biological Resource -- Fire Effects on Four Growth Stages of Smooth Brome (Bromus inermis Leyss.) summarizes the effects of prescribed fire on the control and eradication of this highly invasive weed.

Biological Resource -- Ecological Effects of Fire Retardant Chemicals and Fire Suppressant Foams presents research findings from numerous studies on the effects of firefighting chemicals and foams on vegetation and several terrestrial and aquatic organisms.


February 26, 1998

Announcement -- A vacancy announcement for a Wildlife Biologist/Geographer has been added to the Announcements page. Duties will include, but are not limited to, assisting with design, conduct, analysis, and interpretation of research studies when geospatial technologies are used (please see announcement for full description of duties). The closing date for this position is March 18, 1998.


February 17, 1998

Announcement -- A vacancy announcement for five Biological Science Technician positions has been added to the Announcements page. Technicians are needed to conduct detailed vegetation surveys in parks, refuges, and other natural areas throughout the Great Plains. The closing date for this position is February 26, 1998.

Update -- 139 new species photos have been added to the Atlas of North Dakota Butterflies.

Biological Resource -- Effects of Management Practices on Grassland Birds, a series of literature syntheses, contains detailed information on the habitat needs and management response of many species of North American grassland birds. Species accounts are currently available for the Marbled Godwit, Northern Harrier, Sprague's Pipit, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Clay-colored Sparrow.

Biological Resource -- Problems and Potentials for Prairie Ducks examines the complex interactions of farming practices, changing predator populations and potential recruitment of upland nesting ducks in the Prairie Pothole Region.

Biological Resource -- North Dakota Wildlife Management Area Guide provides readers with a county by county listing of North Dakota's State Wildlife Management Areas and regulations for public use of these areas.

Information -- Browse or search the Arctic Goose Joint Venture Contact List, 1997. Included are names, phone numbers, and addresses of members involved with migratory bird issues in North America.


February 3, 1998

Announcement -- Information about the Geospatial Technology Activities at Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center has been added to the Information page.


February 2, 1998

Update -- Although summer fishing is hard to beat, many North Dakota anglers will tell you that winter is the best time to be on the lake. February's Feature of the Month provides the beginner and veteran ice fisherman with information about North Dakota lakes, lake access, and tips for safe ice fishing.

Announcement -- A vacancy announcement for a Biological Science Technician has been added to the Announcements page. A technician is needed to collect and analyze data on behavioral interactions between two species of fox in an experimental situation. The closing date for this position is February 4, 1998.

Announcement -- Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center's employees raised $400 for the James River Senior Citizen's Center during the Research Center's annual silent auction. Read all about it in the Announcements section.

Announcement -- More than 300 biologists and electronics experts attended the Forum on Wildlife Telemetry held in Snowmass, Colorado on September 21-23, 1997. See the press release in the Announcements section for additional information.

Biological Resource -- 1997 North Dakota Fishing Waters provides anglers with a county by county listing of public fishing waters in North Dakota and lake access points along the Missouri River system.

Biological Resource -- Published by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, Fishes of North Dakota is a basic guide to identifying the common fish species found in North Dakota waters.

Biological Resource -- The Missouri River System's "Other" Fish contains information on environmental changes impacting the Missouri River through the years, and how these changes have affected the pallid sturgeon, sicklefin chub, sturgeon chub, and blue sucker.

Biological Resource -- A Funnel Trap for Sampling Salamanders in Wetlands contains plans for constructing and information on placing a funnel trap to capture salamanders in wetlands of the Prairie Pothole Region.


January 16, 1998

Important Notice -- Please note that the former National Biological Service is now a part of the U.S. Geological Survey. All email addresses that previously had the extension '@nbs.gov' have been changed to '@usgs.gov'. The email addresses for the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center are npwrc@usgs.gov for Internet-related questions and for general inquiries.

Employment Announcement -- Two vacancy announcements for Biological Science Technicians have been added to the Announcements page. Three field technicians are needed to perform a wide range of duties at the Cottonwood Lake study area. Three laboratory technicians are needed to process samples of aquatic macro invertebrates. The closing date for these positions is January 29, 1998.

Announcement -- Highlights of Fiscal Year 1997 at Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center have been added to the Announcements page.

Update -- New information on the Swift Fox Symposium to be held February 18-19, 1998 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan has been added in the Announcements section.

Update -- Numerous updates and twenty-five new checklists have been added to Bird Checklists of the United States. This resource contains checklists for 49 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Update -- The Northern Prairie Publications Database has been updated to include articles published through December, 1997.

Biological Resource -- Migration of Birds is a review of literature published in the early 1970's on the history, habits, routes, and patterns of bird migrations throughout North America and parts of Europe.

Biological Resource -- A precise wetland classification system that reflects seasonal, regional, and local variations in the Great Plains environment is described in Classification of Natural Ponds and Lakes in the Glaciated Prairie Region.


January 8, 1998

Employment Announcement -- A vacancy announcement for Field Assistants has been added to the Announcements page. These positions are for study that will evaluate the effectiveness of Bird Conservation Areas as habitat for grassland birds in the tallgrass prairie region of northwestern Minnesota.


January 2, 1998

Update -- Feature of the Month. This month's featured resources will help birdwatchers find and identify many bird species commonly found on the Great Plains in winter.

Biological Resource -- The limited number of wooded draws in the vast prairie lands of the Great Plains offer a potentially diverse breeding area for a large array of birds and mammals. In Breeding Birds of Wooded Draws in Western North Dakota the species composition and relative abundance of birds occupying wooded draws was determined for a five-county region of western North Dakota.

Biological Resource -- Upland native woodlands represent unique vegetative communities of the prairie region owing to their patchy distribution and islandlike character. Avian use and diversity of these wooded draws in a five-county region of western North Dakota is discussed in Wooded Islands in a Sea of Prairie.

Biological Resource -- Methods used to estimate annual abundance of breeding duck pairs on study areas in the prairie parklands and grasslands of southern Canada are described and discussed in Assessing Breeding Populations of Ducks by Ground Counts.


December 17, 1997

Employment Announcement -- A vacancy announcement for a Biological Science Technician (GS/7) to work as the coordinator and manager of the North American Reporting Center for Amphibian Malformations (NARCAM) has been posted to the Announcements page. The closing date for this position is January 5, 1998.

Employment Announcement -- A vacancy announcement for Volunteer Field Biologists has also been added to the Announcements page. These positions are for a cooperative research project between the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Idaho. Applications for this position must be submitted before March 1, 1998.

Biological Resource -- In Carnivore Scent-station Surveys: Statistical Considerations, important aspects of the design, analysis, and interpretation of scent-station surveys are identified.

Biological Resource -- The idea that plant taxon richness and total amount of vegetation can be indicators of wetland quality is addressed in A Test of Vegetation-related Indicators of Wetland Quality in the Prairie Pothole Region.

Biological Resource -- Written for the inexperienced or beginning trapper, North Dakota Furtakers Educational Manual is intended to improve the reader's knowledge of North Dakota's furbearing animals and to give the basics of how to trap them.


December 11, 1997

Employment Announcement -- Vacancy announcements for Biological Science Technicians to work on a study of Spring staging ecology of sandhill cranes, snow and white-fronted geese, and northern pintails in the Platte River Valley and Rainwater Basin of Nebraska have been posted to the Announcements page. These positions close on December 24, 1997.


December 1, 1997

Update -- Feature of the Month. With the arrival of December many northern residents are looking for indoor activities. This month's featured resources provide woodworkers of all skill levels projects that are not only challenging and fun, but also offer food and shelter for many animals.

Biological Resource -- Seasonal bird use and nesting activity in fallow, sunflower, and wheat fields among conventional farms, minimum-tillage farms, and organic farms in southeast North Dakota are investigated in Bird Use and Nesting in Conventional, Minimum-tillage, and Organic Cropland.

Biological Resource -- Water-level fluctuations in prairie wetlands occuring in landscapes dominated by tilled agricultural lands and landscapes dominated by grassland are compared in Water-Level Fluctuation in Wetlands As a Function of Landscape Condition in the Prairie Pothole Region.

Biological Resource -- In Population and Movement Characteristics of Radio-Collared Striped Skunks in North Dakota During an Epizootic of Rabies, the habits and distribution of healthy and rabid wild skunks in North Dakota are compared.


November 21, 1997

New Feature -- Resource Finder allows the user to search our many biological resources for words or phrases. This search tool returns a list of resources, ordered by the number of times that the search string appears in each resource. Resource Finder, along with instructions on its use, can be found on the Biological Resources page.


November 14, 1997

Update -- Species photos in Native Wildflowers of the North Dakota Grasslands have been rescanned to improve clarity and aid readers in identifying each plant.

Update -- Earthworms of North Dakota has been updated to include species photos, a morphological features chart, and a list of habitats where each species is generally found.

Biological Resource -- Gollop and Marshall's 1954 classic A Guide for Aging Duck Broods in the Field instructs readers on the use of plumage classes to approximate age of ducklings.

Biological Resource -- Wetland Use, Settling Patterns, and Recruitment in Mallards provides insight into reasons behind the changing relation between mallard recruitment and number of May ponds in the Prairie Pothole Region.


November 4, 1997

Update -- Where Can I get a Waterfowl Identification Booklet? has been added to our Frequently Asked Questions section.


October 31, 1997

New Feature -- Site Map, a table of contents listing of all resources on this site, allows users to quickly locate a resource and access it with a single mouse click. The site map is accessible from every page via a link that appears on the bottom of each page.

Biological Resource -- An Assessment of Exotic Plant Species of Rocky Mountain National Park lists and assesses the potential ecological impacts of the known exotic plant species occurring in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Update -- November marks the beginning of fall and for many, the beginning of deer hunting season. November's Feature of the Month, How Old Is My Deer?, describes how to estimate deer age based on tooth development and wear.

Update -- Numerous updates and twenty-eight new checklists have been added to Bird Checklists of the United States. This resource now contains checklists for 48 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Update -- The Northern Prairie Publications Database has been updated to include articles published through October, 1997.


October 16, 1997

Update -- Butterflies of North America, formerly Butterflies of the United States, now includes information for Delaware, Maryland, and northern Mexico. In addition, species accounts for two more families, Skippers and Brush-footed butterflies, have been added.

Biological Resource -- A Review of the Problem of Lead Poisoning in Waterfowl examines the effects of lead toxicosis in waterfowl caused by ingestion of lead shot and compares the effectiveness of steel as an alternative shot material.


October 14, 1997

Update -- Sources of Information on Plant Selection and Plant Propagation has been added to our Frequently Asked Questions section.

Biological Resource -- Research biologists and electronics experts from around the world met in Snowmass Village, Colorado, on 21-23 September 1997 to discuss recent technological developments for tracking and monitoring wildlife. Abstracts of presentations at the Forum on Wildlife Telemetry provide information on new telemetry techniques and field evaluations of telemetry equipment and techniques for a wide variety of animals.


October 1, 1997

Update -- Feature of the Month. October marks the opening of waterfowl seasons in North Dakota and several other northern states. This month's featured resources are designed to help waterfowlers identify and sex ducks in flight and in the hand. Determining age of birds in the hand is also covered.

Biological Resource -- "Ick" is probably the first term that comes to mind after seeing a member of the Ichneumonidae family of wasps. A Closer Look: The Great Ichneumon provides information on these fascinating parasitic insects that inhabit the deciduous woodlands of North America.

Biological Resource -- Chaplin Lake, a 6,000 ha saline lake in south-central Saskatchewan, provides critical stop-over habitat for more than 30 species of migrating shorebirds. Native Plants and Shorebirds of the Chaplin Lake Area describes and illustrates plants and shorebirds found in the Chaplin Lake area.

Biological Resource -- Wetlands of North and South Dakota contains a wealth of summary information on extent and distribution of wetland basins in the pothole regions of the Dakotas. Summary information on number and area of basins is available by basin class for each county and wetland management district.


September 18, 1997

Biological Resource -- There are several characteristics used to identify ducks in the hand, including the shape of the bill, wing markings, and the color of the feet. Duck Identification Guide for Hunters is a pictorial aid which utilizes an online flowchart to assist hunters in identifying ducks in their hand.

Biological Resource -- Birders and U.S. Federal Laws emphasizes the regulations set forth by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which protects and conserves migratory birds occurring in the United States and in its possessions.

Update -- Possession of Migratory Birds, Including Feathers, Nests, and Eggs has been added to our Frequently Asked Questions section.

Update -- Atlas of North Dakota Butterflies -- This resource (formerly entitled Butterflies of North Dakota) has been updated to include new county records and textual species accounts.


August 29, 1997

Biological Resource -- Distribution and Dispersal of Fishes in the Red River Basin provides an accounting of all records of fish species collected from the Red River of the North in the United States that have been reported in the published literature. Maps showing fish distributions in the Red River and in 26 major tributaries in the Red River basin are included.

Biological Resource -- Promise for Plovers summarizes a study to monitor breeding success of piping plovers and evaluate effectiveness of management aimed at reducing predation on plover eggs and chicks in northwestern North Dakota and adjacent Montana.

Biological Resource -- A Closer Look: The Wise Burrower briefly describes the biology, and, in particular, the feeding and unique nesting habits of the burrowing owl.

Update -- Hummingbird Moths has been added to our Frequently Asked Questions section.

Update -- Feature of the Month. September marks the opening of upland game bird hunting seasons in many northern states. Learn how to sex and age six species of upland game birds found in North Dakota in Upland Game Identification - A Basic Guide for Aging and Sexing the Bird in Your Hand.

Update -- Pennsylvania and New York distribution maps have been added to the Butterflies of the United States. In addition, species accounts have been added to two new families, the Gossamer-wing butterfiles and the Metalmarks.

Update -- The North American Reporting Center for Amphibian Malformations (NARCAM) continues to be updated bi-weekly with new reports of malformed amphibians and related information. Confirmed reports of malformations have been received from 30 states and 3 Canadian provinces. Consult the What's New section of NARCAM for additional details.


August 15, 1997

New Web Address -- Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) has a new Web address: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov. The new address reflects our recent name change and the fact that the National Biological Service has become the Biological Resources Division within the U.S. Geological Survey, and will hopefully be easy for our users to remember.

Biological Resource -- America's Northern Plains: An Overview and Assessment of Natural Resources provides a general overview of the region's basic natural land resources and their sustainability over time and the external forces which are likely to affect those resources.

Biological Resource -- Small mammals are often overlooked and at times difficult to observe due to their size, nocturnal habits and life underground. Small Mammals of North Dakota introduces some common small mammals found in North Dakota and includes a complete checklist of mammals occurring in the state.

Biological Resource -- Proceedings of the Cattail Management Symposium, held in Fargo, ND, in February 1992, includes numerous papers on the role of cattail management in reducing sunflower damage by blackbirds and increasing waterfowl production.

Biological Resource -- Homemade Nest Boxes for Cavity-nesting Ducks contains information and plans for constructing, predator proofing, placing and maintaining boxes for four species of ducks that normally nest in tree cavities in North Dakota.

Update -- Information on what to do if you find errors on this site, how to share your data with users of this site, how to search this site for a particular resource, and how to browse this site off-line can now be found in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Help and Feedback page.


July 31, 1997

Update -- Feature of the Month. Mother Nature paints the month of August with vibrant colors found in many species of native wildflowers. Learn all about the history, life cycle, and habitat of many of these species in Native Wildflowers of the North Dakota Grasslands.

Update -- Species accounts have been added to the Whites and Sulphurs family (Family Pieidae) in the Butterflies of the United States.

Biological Resource -- Have breeding bird populations changed in North Dakota during the last quarter century? Changes in Breeding Bird Populations in North Dakota: 1967 to 1992-93 compares breeding bird populations in North Dakota using surveys conducted in 1967 and 1992-93.

Biological Resource -- Increasing loss of adequate nesting habitat has made it necessary for managers of public lands to preserve the quality of existing native grasslands. Effects of Grazing and Burning on Densities and Habitats of Breeding Ducks in North Dakota evaluates the effectiveness of burning and grazing on nuisance plant control and the effect these practices have on breeding duck densities and their habitats.

Biological Resource -- Written for the general public, North Dakota Bird Life: Tracking Changes Over a Quarter Century examines changes in breeding bird populations and their habitats between 1967 and 1992-93.

Biological Resource -- A Closer Look: The Lark Sparrow examines the identification and ecology of the lark sparrow and provides directions to locate this native sparrow in western North Dakota.


July 16, 1997

Announcement -- On 9 July 1997, Northern Prairie Science Center became Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. Read the press release in our Announcements section for additional information.

Update -- Species accounts are being added to Butterflies of the United States. Information, available currently for only the Swallowtail Family, includes identifying characteristics, life history, food and habitat requirements, management needs, and more. Information on additional families will be added in the near future.

Update -- The Northern Prairie Publications Database has been updated to include articles published through June, 1997. Selected publications listed in the database are available in their entirety on our Web site. Users can now get to these online versions by following the links on the "search results" page.

Biological Resource -- Damage to sunflower crops by blackbirds in the Dakotas and Minnesota has been estimated between $4 million and $11 million annually. Controlling Blackbird Damage to Sunflower and Grain Crops in the Northern Great Plains offers some effective methods of reducing crop damage by blackbirds.

Biological Resource -- Suppression of Smooth Brome by Atrazine, Mowing, and Fire examines the effectiveness of chemical and non-chemical treatments in reducing smooth brome tiller density at Pipestone National Monument, Minnesota.

Biological Resource -- Magnitude, timing, and causes of mortality of canvasback ducklings from hatch to fledging at the Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge during 1987-90 are investigated in Survival of Radiomarked Canvasback Ducklings in Northwestern Minnesota.

Biological Resource -- The loss of adequate duck breeding habitat in the prairie pothole region has contributed to high predation rates on duck nests. Seasonal Predator Removal Relative to Hatch Rate of Duck Nests in Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) compares hatch rates in uplands of WPAs with and without predators removed and examines functional aspects of conducting predator removal.

Biological Resource -- In How Much Habitat Management is Needed to Meet Mallard Production Objectives? simulation models are used to demonstrate the benefit-cost ratios of habitat management to increase the number of mallard recruits produced.

Biological Resource -- More than 200 species of fleas, tiny parasites belonging to the order Siphonaptera, are found throughout North America. Fleas of North Dakota contains distribution maps for 50 species found in North Dakota.


July 15, 1997

Announcement -- Effective immediately, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center has new phone (701-253-5500) and fax (701-253-5553) numbers. In addition, direct inward dial capability makes it possible for callers to reach individual staff members directly, bypassing the auto-attendant. For a listing of phone numbers of individual staff, please see Northern Prairie Staff in our Information section.

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