Boots On The Ground Conservation


  • Four-footed greenery management

    Goats at Freshkills Park

    Using an experimental wetlands site in Maryland, Brian Silliman, an ecologist with the Duke Marine Lab, found that goats were able to reduce phragmites cover by as much as 80 percent in a matter of weeks. The goats lived on diet of roughly 80 to 90 percent phragmites during the study, and the culling allowed a variety of native plants to gain a foothold, Silliman said.

  • Landscape Experiences

    I’ve been going through more timelapse images from the Niobrara Valley Preserve recently.  There are numerous story lines from the cameras there, all of which tell a tale of recovery and resilience following the big wildfire in 2012.  In a smaller way, however, looking through the images also demonstrates how much the appearance of a site changes from day to day.

  • Autumn Beginnings

    Gerald Berliner/Flickr, See the original on Flickr »

  • On the Lek

    Male sage grouse displaying in a lek. Photo by Flickr user Rob Crow through a Creative Commons licencse.

    Male sage grouse displaying in a lek.

  • Photo of the Week – October 23, 2014

    Stiff goldenrod seeds caught on a stray strand of spider silk.

    I needed a walk in the prairie the other evening.  There are times when I just need to change focus and think about something besides my own life, and hiking through a grassland is the perfect tonic.

  • Impact of invasive species varies with latitude, highlighting need for biogeographic perspective on invasions

    In a large scale study of native and invasive Phargmites, researchers have found that the intensity of plant invasions by non-native species can vary considerably with changes in latitude.
  • The Disappearing Grass

    Cows on a California ranch. Photo by Matt Miller/TNC.

    Across the western United States, it’s a familiar conservationist’s lament: rangelands are disappearing at an alarming rate, lost in a sea of “for sale” signs and subdivisions.

  • Some scientists share better than others

    Some scientists share better than others. While astronomers and geneticists embrace the concept, the culture of ecology still has a ways to go. New research explores the paradox that although ecologists share findings via scientific journals, they do not share the data on which the studies are built, said a co-author of the paper.
  • Protecting Sage Grouse Habitat: Does It Benefit Mule Deer Populations?

    Mule deer at Torrey Creek Trailhead. Photo © Scott Copeland.

    Scientists studying Greater sage grouse have recognized for years that these birds require large unfragmented landscapes to survive. Many have also argued that Greater sage grouse are an “umbrella” species – if you protect them, you can also protect many other kinds of wildlife…such as mule deer. But is that claim really true, at least for mule deer? That’s the focus of a new study in Ecosphere that I co-authored with other scientists and mule deer experts.

  • Karen’s Wetland Videos

    One of my favorite places within our Platte River Prairies is a restored wetland we usually call “the sandpit wetland” because it is a former sand and gravel mining pit.  We restored the site over about 10 years, a little at a time, and it now features a meandering stream and various side channel, backwater, and off-channel pockets.