ESTCP 2018 Project of the Year Award for Resource Conservation and Resiliency

The movements of wildlife species and the colonization of habitats for federally listed or at-risk species is often unpredictable. This irregularity undermines species management efforts and can interfere with military training. Given the expense and effort taken to manage species on military lands improved management tools are welcome and important.

Dr. Jinelle Sperry from the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center and her team led an ESTCP funded project that demonstrates the use of conspecific attraction as a cost‐effective management tool for endangered and at‐risk bird and amphibian species. For conspecific attraction, prerecorded vocalization of the target species are broadcast from a playback system within the focal area. Vocalizations are broadcast throughout the focal species breeding season from the restored habitat, thereby encouraging individuals to settle and breed near the playback system.

The team successfully demonstrated the use of conspecific attraction as a cost-effective management tool for encouraging colonization of restored habitats by targeting at-risk species bird and amphibian species. The team also tested and found the use of conspecific attraction to establish viable populations following cessation of the broadcast calls effective. Fort McCoy, WI and Fort Polk, LA served as demonstration sites.

For this significant work, Dr. Sperry and her team received the 2018 ESTCP Project-of-the-Year Award for Resource Conservation and Resiliency for their project titled, Conspecific Attraction as a Management Tool for Endangered and At-Risk Species on Military Lands.

Project Team

  • Dr. Jinelle H. Sperry – ERDC CERL
  • Dr. Michael Ward – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Dr. Brett DeGregorio – ERDC CERL

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