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Title: Ecological Monitoring and Compliance Program Fiscal Year 2001

Abstract

The Ecological Monitoring and Compliance program, funded through the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Operations Office, monitors the ecosystem of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) and ensures compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to NTS biota. This report summarizes the program's activities conducted by Bechtel Nevada during fiscal year 2001. Program activities included: (1) biological surveys at proposed construction sites, (2) desert tortoise compliance, (3) ecosystem mapping and data management, (4) sensitive species and unique habitat monitoring, and (5) biological monitoring at the HAZMAT Spill Center. Biological surveys for the presence of sensitive species were conducted for 23 NTS projects. Eleven sites were in desert tortoise habitat. These projects have the potential to disturb a total of 588 acres, where 568 acres of disturbance would be off-road driving. No tortoises were found in or displaced from project areas, and no tortoise s were accidentally injured or killed at project areas. One tortoise was crushed by a vehicle on a paved road. A topical report describing the classification of habitat types on the NTS was completed and distributed. The report is the culmination of three years of field vegetation mapping and the analysis of vegetation data frommore » over 1,500 ecological landform units. Compilation of historical wildlife data was initiated. A long-term monitoring plan for important plant species that occur on the NTS was completed. Site-wide monitoring was conducted for the western burrowing owl, bat species of concern, wild horses, and raptor nests. Sixty-nine of 77 known owl burrows were monitored. As in previous years, some owls were present year round on the NTS. An overall decrease in active owl burrows was observed within all three ecoregions (Mojave Desert, Transition, Great Basin Desert) from October through January. An increase in active owl burrows was observed from mid March to early April. A total of 55 juvenile owls was detected from 11 breeding pairs. Pellet analysis of burrowing owls was completed which identified key prey species. A total of 272 bats, representing 10 bat species were captured in mist-nets at water sources in the Great Basin Desert ecoregion. Bats were detected with the Anabat II call-recording system at water sources and selected tunnel and mine entrances. Thirty-seven adult horses and 11 foals were counted this year. Two of the eleven foals observed last year survived to yearlings. Seven active raptor nests were found and monitored this year. These included two Great-horned Owl nests, three Barn Owl nests, and two Red-tailed Hawk nests. Selected wetlands and man-made water sources were monitored for physical parameters and wildlife use. No dead animals were observed this year in any plastic-lined sump. The chemical spill test plans for four experiments at the HAZMAT Spill Center were reviewed for their potential to impact biota downwind of spills on Frenchman Lake playa.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Bechtel Nevada Corporation (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
791461
Report Number(s):
DOE/NV/11718-645
TRN: US0200656
DOE Contract Number:  
AC08-96NV11718
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 1 Dec 2001
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CHEMICAL SPILLS; COMPLIANCE; DESERTS; ECOSYSTEMS; GEOMORPHOLOGY; GREAT BASIN; MONITORING; NEVADA TEST SITE; ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY; HABITAT; POPULATION DYNAMICS; TURTLES; BIRDS; HORSES; BATS

Citation Formats

C. A. Wills. Ecological Monitoring and Compliance Program Fiscal Year 2001. United States: N. p., 2001. Web. doi:10.2172/791461.
C. A. Wills. Ecological Monitoring and Compliance Program Fiscal Year 2001. United States. doi:10.2172/791461.
C. A. Wills. Sat . "Ecological Monitoring and Compliance Program Fiscal Year 2001". United States. doi:10.2172/791461. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/791461.
@article{osti_791461,
title = {Ecological Monitoring and Compliance Program Fiscal Year 2001},
author = {C. A. Wills},
abstractNote = {The Ecological Monitoring and Compliance program, funded through the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Operations Office, monitors the ecosystem of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) and ensures compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to NTS biota. This report summarizes the program's activities conducted by Bechtel Nevada during fiscal year 2001. Program activities included: (1) biological surveys at proposed construction sites, (2) desert tortoise compliance, (3) ecosystem mapping and data management, (4) sensitive species and unique habitat monitoring, and (5) biological monitoring at the HAZMAT Spill Center. Biological surveys for the presence of sensitive species were conducted for 23 NTS projects. Eleven sites were in desert tortoise habitat. These projects have the potential to disturb a total of 588 acres, where 568 acres of disturbance would be off-road driving. No tortoises were found in or displaced from project areas, and no tortoise s were accidentally injured or killed at project areas. One tortoise was crushed by a vehicle on a paved road. A topical report describing the classification of habitat types on the NTS was completed and distributed. The report is the culmination of three years of field vegetation mapping and the analysis of vegetation data from over 1,500 ecological landform units. Compilation of historical wildlife data was initiated. A long-term monitoring plan for important plant species that occur on the NTS was completed. Site-wide monitoring was conducted for the western burrowing owl, bat species of concern, wild horses, and raptor nests. Sixty-nine of 77 known owl burrows were monitored. As in previous years, some owls were present year round on the NTS. An overall decrease in active owl burrows was observed within all three ecoregions (Mojave Desert, Transition, Great Basin Desert) from October through January. An increase in active owl burrows was observed from mid March to early April. A total of 55 juvenile owls was detected from 11 breeding pairs. Pellet analysis of burrowing owls was completed which identified key prey species. A total of 272 bats, representing 10 bat species were captured in mist-nets at water sources in the Great Basin Desert ecoregion. Bats were detected with the Anabat II call-recording system at water sources and selected tunnel and mine entrances. Thirty-seven adult horses and 11 foals were counted this year. Two of the eleven foals observed last year survived to yearlings. Seven active raptor nests were found and monitored this year. These included two Great-horned Owl nests, three Barn Owl nests, and two Red-tailed Hawk nests. Selected wetlands and man-made water sources were monitored for physical parameters and wildlife use. No dead animals were observed this year in any plastic-lined sump. The chemical spill test plans for four experiments at the HAZMAT Spill Center were reviewed for their potential to impact biota downwind of spills on Frenchman Lake playa.},
doi = {10.2172/791461},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2001},
month = {12}
}