Regional News & Recovery Updates

Regional News & Recovery Updates – Brief Article

Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regional endangered species staffers have reported the following news:

Region 1

Oregon Spotted Frog(Rana pretiosa) Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) biologist Engler (reviewers, we’re checking on this name) assisted Dr. Marc P. Hayes of Portland State University with the final field work on the Oregon spotted frog breeding project at Conboy NWR. Staff and volunteers conducted surveys through the breeding season for this frog, which is a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Preliminary data indicated the presence of about 8,300 egg masses. Data were also collected on egg mortality, oviposition depths, oviposition timing, and vegetation structure associated with egg masses. The refuge currently harbors the largest known population of Oregon spotted frogs.

Threatened Fishes On May 26, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and Portland General Electric announced plans to remove Marmot Dam on the Sandy River and Little Sandy Dam on the Little Sandy River to restore habitat for threatened salmon and steelhead. This action will also benefit numerous other fish and wildlife species as well as overall watershed health. The dams currently generate 22 megawatts of power and have been in operation for over 90 years. Removal of these dams will restore passage to 10 miles (16 kilometers) of habitat above Little Sandy Dam, and 12 miles (19 km) of mainstem habitat and 100 miles (160 km) of spawning and rearing habitat above Marmot Dam. The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is a participant in the Sandy Basin Agreement, which will guide restoration efforts in the Basin.

Public outreach is also important for salmon recovery. Bonneville Power Administration staff in Portland helped kick off this year’s National Fishing Week with a game of miniature golf, thanks to staff from Carson National Fish Hatchery (NFH) and the FWS Columbia Gorge Information & Education Office. Carson and Leavenworth NFHs teamed up to create a new portable golf course incorporating displays that captivate audiences as they learn more about the perils salmon face as they migrate to and from the ocean. Federal Aid and Dworshak NFH provided a banner and photos for a display in the lobby. The miniature go, If game returned to Carson NFH for their open house on June 5, moved on to Winthrop NFH on June 12, and goes to Leavenworth NFH for the Wenatchee Salmon Festival in September.

Region 2

Endangered Fishes Colorado River Indian tribes (nopi, Navajo, Mojave, and Chemehuevi) are cooperating with Dr. Chuck Minckley of the FWS Arizona Fishery Resources Office in Parker toward refurbishing an old fish hatchery on tribal lands to raise endangered native fish species, such as the bonytail chub (Gila elegans) and razorback sucker (Xyrauchen texanus). The FWS is evaluating the facility, known as Achii Hanyo (Mojave for “fish pond”), to determine its importance for endangered fish restoration. The tribes are also assisting in fishery surveys during annual drawdowns for razorback stickers as well as collecting fish from canal drains for analysis of heavy metal and pesticide contamination. In addition, the tribes have provided assistance in the razorback roundup on Lake Mojave.

Region 5

Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii) When biologists returned to tern nesting islands in spring 1999, they were encouraged by an excellent 1998 roseate tern season. In 1998, over 4,000 pairs nested in the U.S., a level not seen since the 1970’s. In addition, census data have shown a steady increase of nesting pairs at an average rate of about 4 percent per year since at least the mid-1980’s. This slow but steady increase was interrupted by only one decrease between 1991 and 1992, when a tropical storm struck the North Atlantic just as roseates were leaving the nesting colonies to prepare for their southward migration. The downside to the generally increasing numbers, however, is that the peripheral colonies like Falkner Island, Connecticut, and all Canadian breeding sites again showed poor productivity levels in 1998, mainly due to predation by black-crowned herons, crows, and gulls. This makes the larger core colonies in Massachusetts and New York even more important.

A new review paper written by recovery team members lan Nisbet and Jeffrey Spendelow summarizes the results of scientific studies on North American roseates conducted in the 12 years since the species was listed as endangered in 1987. It also looks at the extent to which research has contributed to effective management and recovery of the North American population. This paper and the recovery team’s updated Roseate Tern Recovery Plan-Northeast Population (1998) are available from the FWS Region 5 Office (see Bulletin page 2 for address).

COPYRIGHT 1999 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group