The growing number of Threatened and Endangered Species (TES) found on military lands is causing constraints on testing and training which degrads mission readiness. This potentially could lead to reduced defense readiness, lengthy and costly litigation, and criminal and civil penalties.
The purpose of this project is to provide guidelines, methods, and evaluation techniques for TES management and mitigation.
Using a plant community framework, regional TES management strategies are being developed for military installations in the southeastern United States. This project consists of three specific research approaches. The first involves coordination with regional experts and an extensive literature survey. Each plant type is defined by its characterization, status, and management requirements. The second aspect focuses on developing collective management strategies that apply to species with similar habitat requirements. Installation managers also are evaluating TES plant population enhancement approaches. The third part of the project consists of small-scale greenhouse studies to assess the impact of smokes, obscurants, and chemical simulants on plants and animals. These studies will determine toxicity levels for the study species.
Information developed in community Management Reports and the Faunal Species Profiles is used to complete a prototype TES Regional Management Plan for the southeastern United States. Scientists developed 18 Faunal Species Profiles of TES species on Department of Defense installations in the southeastern United States. These Profiles are displayed on the SERDP TES Web Page (http://el.erdc.usace.army.mil/tes). The smokes and obscurants dispersion internet tool used by United States Construction Engineering Research Laboratory was upgraded and is now operational. Chemical elemental analysis was completed for the fog oil samples. Laboratory fog oil toxicity tests of the Red Cockaded Woodpecker were conducted using a surrogate avian species.
This project will contribute substantively to a comprehensive, systematic, and integrated approach to TES management on military lands. On-going interagency coordination will yield benefits at the national, regional, and local levels. Potential users include the military installations, higher headquarters levels responsible for TES management, and many individuals in the private sector.