Ecosystem Indicators II (Dec 2008 – June 2011)

PI:

Dr. Heaton (UNR)

Co-PI:

Dr. Ron Marlow (UNR)

Research Analyst:

Rohit Patil (UNR), Abbey Grimmer (UNR), Dan Kozar (UNR)

Collaborators:

Drs. Kyle House (Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology), Dave Charlet (Community College of Southern Nevada), Pat Cashman (UNR), Jim Trexler (UNR), Xin Miao (Missouri State University), Roy Dokka (Louisiana State University), and Karin Hoff (UNR).

Location:

Clark County, NV

Funding:

Clark County Multiple Species Habitat Program
We are developing a new ecosystem model and a geomorphology model for Clark County, NV using GIS, remote sensing and spatial statistics. These are important ecosystem indicators needed do assess the status and trends of species covered by the Clark County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan.

Mining Claim PVC Monument Survey (March 2009 – 2010)

PI:

Dr. Heaton (UNR)

Co-PI:

Dr. Ron Marlow (UNR)

Location:

Clark County, NV

Funding:

UNR Geography Field Methods Course Fees
PVC mining claim stake monuments trap and kill wildlife, birds, reptiles and mammals, in the Mojave Desert. As part of a class project we have undertaken a systematic survey of 3” and 4” PVC based mining claim stakes in Clark County. Our initial surveys were conducted in Piute Valley. We will expand north into Eldorado Valley and possible beyond.

Desert Tortoise Translocation Phase II (Sep 2009 – Jun 2010)

PI:

Dr. Todd C. Esque (USGS)

Co-PI:

Drs. Ken E. Nussear (USGS) and Jill S. Heaton (UNR)

Collaborators:

Dr. Kristin H. Berry, Kristina K. Drake, Philip A. Medica, Rich Inman (USGS).

Location:

Western Mojave, California

Funding:

U.S. Army, USGS
Desert tortoise translocation Phase II from the newly expanded areas of the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California includes the development of an updated spatially explicit decision support system for translocation of desert tortoises. In addition to previous layers, this model includes a newly developed habitat model, updated die-off calculations, and addition of utility corridors.

Gold Butte Habitat Fragmentation (Sep 2009 – Jun 2010)

PI:

Dr. Ken Nussear (USGS)

Co-PI:

Drs. Todd C. Esque (USGS) and Jill S. Heaton (UNR)

Location:

Gold Butte, Nevada

Funding:

USGS
Gold Butte encompasses 350,000 acres of public land and is managed for the protection of resources under the Las Vegas Resource Management Plan. Gold Butte includes 8 Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), 2 Wilderness Areas, 2 Wilderness Study Areas (WSA), a designated Back Country Byway, and a Traditional Lifeway Area. These designations encompass desert tortoise critical habitat, numerous springs, sensitive species, and wildlife habitat, and numerous cultural features. Over 50 percent of the area in Gold Butte is designated as critical habitat for the threatened desert tortoise. Because of sensitive resources and increasing human impacts in Gold Butte, studies to document biological resources were approved under the Round 5 Conservation Initiative (CI), “Gold Butte Cultural and Natural Resource Studies”. The purpose of these studies is to document habitat for sensitive species, and major vegetation communities in order to prepare an integrated management plan for Gold Butte. These studies will be critical in informing planning decisions regarding sensitive species management, recreation, law enforcement, travel management, and other programs in Gold Butte.

Desert Tortoise Threats Modeling (2006 – 2009)

PI:

Dr. Heaton (UNR)

Co-PI:

Dr. Kenneth E. Nussear (USGS) and Todd Esque (USGS)

Research Analyst:

Rohit Patil (UNR), Erin Aldrich (Peace Corp), Dan Kozar (UNR)

Location:

Mojave Desert

Funding:

Clark County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Program
Using data collected from the 2005 desert tortoise range wide monitoring effort, a spatial analysis of threats was conducted. Threat specific data included ravens, canids, and a variety of road types (graded, ungraded, single track multi pass, single track single pass, double track multi pass, and double track single pass), and the presence or absence of brome, schismus, brassica, and trash dumps, all of which are known to be harmful to desert tortoises. An initial report was submitted to USFWS, however efforts to include additional data and more robust analyses are underway. Several scientific manuscripts are in preparation.

Desert Tortoise Habitat Modeling (2006 – 2008)

PI:

Dr. Todd C. Esque (USGS)

Co-PI:

Drs. Kenneth E. Nussear (USGS) and Kathryn A. Thomas, and Ms. Leila Gass (USGS)

Collaborars:

Dr. Heaton (UNR)

Location:

Mojave Desert

Funding:

USGS
Multiple distribution models were developed using several different applications by combining desert tortoise occurrence data with select environmental data. Beyond identification of the best fit model we are additionally assessing the distribution of habitat across different management units and under different threat regimes. Several scientific manuscripts are in preparation.

Desert Tortoise Range-wide Monitoring (Mar 2007 – Oct 2009)

PI:

Dr. Ron Marlow(UNR)

Co-PI:

Drs. Heaton (UNR) and C. Richard Tracy (UNR)

Research Analyst:

Rohit Patil (UNR), Erin Aldrich (UNR)

Collaborators:

USFWS, Melissa Brenneman (Topoworks), Ken Nussear (USGS), Steve Corn (USGS) and Phil Medica (USGS)

Location:

Mojave Desert

Funding:

Clark County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Program
This project seeks to produce better (i.e. less biased, more precise) desert tortoise density and distribution estimates. Desert tortoise threat and activity models are also being developed. Additionally, the G-Lab handles most aspects of data management: database design and development, including electronic database collection systems, documentation, QA/QC, final data product development, and training. Several scientific manuscripts are in preparation.


Desert Tortoise Monitoring - data collection system development (Dec 2008 – Jul 2013)

PI:

Rohit Patil (UNR)

Research Analyst:

Dan Kozar (UNR)

Location:

Clark County, NV

Funding:

USFWS
This project will update field collection and transmission databases and perform related activities for the range-wide annual monitoring project to estimate densities of the Mojave population of the desert tortoise. These databases are at the foundation of reducing data entry errors and improving review and timely correction of field data. Activities correspond to coordination and planning with other users of the database products; timely preparation or updating of materials for data collection, proofing, storage, and delivery; and providing appropriate training to cooperators involved in either field data collection and proofing, or error-checking, correction, and documentation. These activities are in support of long-term monitoring. The project will be a cooperative one between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Nevada, Reno