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Wildlife Program Overview

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U. S. Department of the Interior. National Park ... Organic Act and NPS Policies ... Chinook Salmon. Bull Trout. Steelhead. Park Project Effects on Wildlife ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Wildlife Program Overview


1
Wildlife Program Overview
  • Mason Reid, Wildlife Ecologist
  • Mount Rainier National Park

2
NPS Mission and Policies
  • Organic Act and NPS Policies
  • which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the
    natural and historic objects and the wild life
    therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the
    same in such manner and by such means as will
    leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future
    generations. (16 USC 1)

3
Role of Wildlife Program at Mount Rainier
  • Responsible for the protection and understanding
    of wildlife
  • Evaluate impairment
  • At Mount Rainier you can find
  • at least 56 mammal species
  • 17 species of amphibians and reptiles
  • more than 229 species of birds use the park
  • 8 species of native fish
  • but invertebrates probably represent 85 of the
    animal biomass in the park

4
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5
Protecting Ecosystems Intact??
6
Status of Ecological Integrity - Wildlife
  • Park establishment Protects communities within
    the park
  • Many mid-larger size vertebrates are far ranging
  • Park island effect
  • Old growth forests, subalpine meadows appear
    largely intact
  • Missing most of the systems carnivores many
    others in decline significant implications

7
Carnivores in WA Parks Native Species and Status
Historically Documented Historically Documented Historically Documented
Species (legal status) MORA NOCA OLYM
Wolverine (Fed Pet.) X X
Canada Lynx (Fed T.) X X
Grizzly Bear (Fed T.) X
Fisher (WA T, Fed Candidate) X X X
Marten (Fed Pet. (coastal)) X X X
Gray Wolf (Fed End.) X X X
8
Endangered Species Act of 1973
  • All Federal agencies are required to undertake
    programs for the conservation of endangered and
    threatened species, and are prohibited from
    authorizing, funding, or carrying out any action
    that will jeopardize a listed species or destroy
    or modify its "critical habitat" section 7
  • ESA in place to recover species in jeopardy

9
Federally-Listed Species and Critical Habitat
  • Northern Spotted Owl
  • Marbled Murrelet
  • Gray Wolf
  • Grizzly Bear
  • Wolverine
  • Canada Lynx
  • Chinook Salmon
  • Bull Trout
  • Steelhead

10
Park Project Effects on Wildlife
  • Construction/maintenance project effects on
    wildlife
  • Direct roadkill mortality
  • Indirect habitat loss noise, lights and other
    disturbance artificial food sources

11
Northern Spotted Owl
12
Barred Owl
  • Larger and more aggressive than spotted owl.
  • Same genus (Strix) as spotted owl.
  • Considered a threat to NSO but only recently some
    supporting evidence

13
Demographic Monitoring Approach
14
Rainier NSO Demographic Study Area
  • Park in one of 13 Demographic Study Areas across
    NSO range
  • Park represents ½ of NSO territories in DSA

Population rates of growth Population rates of growth Population rates of growth
from N. spotted owl demography study areas in WA from N. spotted owl demography study areas in WA from N. spotted owl demography study areas in WA from N. spotted owl demography study areas in WA

Study Area lambda 95 CI Ann. Decline
Rainier 0.896 0.788-1.003 10.4
Cle Elum 0.938 0.901-0.976 6.2
Olympic 0.956 0.893-1018 4.4
Wenatchee 0.917 0.882-0.952 8.3
15
NSO/ BO Territories at Mount Rainier 2005 Review
16
Northern Spotted Owl Status
17
Marbled Murrelet Brachyramphus marmoratus
  • Listed as a threatened species by both the U.S.
    Fish and Wildlife Service and the state of
    Washington.
  • Marbled murrelet nesting habitat in the Park is
    forests older than 100 years and below 3,500
    feet.
  • There are approximately 10,000 ha (25,000 acres)
    of suitable marbled murrelet nesting habitat in
    the Park.

18
Murrelet Monitoring
  • Breeding areas
  • Carbon
  • Mowich
  • Puyallup
  • Occupied
  • Nisqually
  • Suitable
  • Ohanapecosh (?)
  • White

19
Murrelet Monitoring
  • Presence/Absence
  • Portable Marine Radar
  • Detects flying murrelets
  • Breeding
  • Audiovisual surveys
  • Vocalizations
  • Flight behavior

20
Network Monitoring
  • North Coast and Cascades Network (NCCN)
  • 7 Parks, 28 Networks in NPS
  • Vital Signs
  • Long-term natural resource monitoring program

21
Elk Monitoring NCCN Cervus elaphus
  • Identified as important to monitor in MORA, OLYM
    and LEWI
  • Monitoring protocol under development
  • Elk have an important ecological role and are
    highly bio-political species (tribes, state,
    others)
  • Long history of elk issues

22
Elk Monitoring -- NCCN
  • Most elk in park are migratory few reside
    year-round (Ohanapecosh watershed)
  • North and South Herds
  • Aerial surveys Autumn
  • One of the longest-running annual monitoring
    programs at MORA

23
Elk Herds and Aerial Survey Blocks at Mount
Rainier National Park
24
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25
Landbird Monitoring --NCCN
  • Point counts to determine trends and bird density
    in selected areas of the park
  • Sample design with transects that start off roads
    and trails parkwide

26
Current Wildlife Research Projects
  • Elk population evaluation
  • Effects of visitor use on corvid abundance
  • Butterfly distribution and range shift

27
Climate Change - Wildlife
  • Effects
  • Habitat loss
  • Changes in Distribution
  • Changes in Abundance
  • Changes in Phenology (Breeding, Migration, etc.)

28
More Climate Change Effects
  • Increase of Diseases Pests
  • Non-native definitions
  • Extirpations
  • Loss of species before they are identified

29
Pika
Pinyon mouse
30
Mount Rainier Specifics
  • High elevation species vulnerable
  • Effects of habitat and temperature change

31
Human Dimensions of Wildlife
  • Around the Park
  • Landscape fragmentation
  • Wildlife persecution/harvest
  • Road corridors
  • Other development
  • Contaminants
  • Range Expansion/Non-natives

32
Human Dimensions of Wildlife
  • Within the Park
  • Roadkill
  • Boundary impacts
  • Park development projects
  • Visitor-caused disturbance
  • Wildlife feeding
  • Wildlife habituation

33
Road Impacts
34
Habituated and Food-Conditioned Wildlife
35
Mount Rainiers corvids
Raven
Stellers Jay
Gray Jay
Clarks Nutcracker
36
Results from pilot corvid surveys
37
Centennial Project Keep Wildlife Wild
  • Wildlife feeding
  • Food storage
  • Attractant management

38
Wildlife Issues Where You Can Help
  • Roadkill
  • Feeding Food Storage
  • Incomplete Ecosystems
  • Climate Changes from Species to Visitor Access
    Choices for the Future
  • Wildlife Observations
  • Animal Incidents
  • Habituated Wildlife

39
Questions?
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