Upcoming NPS administrative river trips for June 2012

The following is information on our upcoming NPS administrative river trips for June 2012.
1. June 11-21:
We will be conducting the second of three trips surveying for Southwest Willow Flycatchers and for Tamarisk Beetles.  The Southwest Willow Flycatcher is protected under the Endangered Species Act and has adapted to living in Tamarisk tree habitats due to decreasing Willow habitat in the Western U.S.  This bird has been found migrating through Grand Canyon in recent years.  This is a single-boat motorized trip launching June 11 at Lees Ferry and taking out at Pearce Ferry on June 21.  Nate Alvord will be the trip Leader.  They will be surveying for beetles every 1-2 miles.  They will be surveying for birds at selected locations from 5 am to 10 am when birds are most active.  This trip may survey at or near your camp early in the morning, and if they do so, the crew will make every effort to minimize their presence.  Please feel free to stop in and ask for information.

The first of these trips took off the water May 26. The crew gave a preliminary report as follows:

  • There is a population of beetles found approximately between Lees Ferry and Redwall Cavern, a second population found between Elves Chasm and Parashant and a third population found between Quartermaster and Columbine Falls.  One random beetle was found above Granite.  Crews noted tamarisk mortality in the area above Lava Falls to Parashant.
  • No Southwest Willow Flycatchers were detected.
  • A number of radio-collared bighorn sheep were relocated using telemetry.  Bighorn sheep scat samples were collected in collaboration with NPS Biological Resource Management Division (Wildlife Health Team) and Oregon State University to investigate genetic diversity and connectivity among GRCA’s bighorn sub-populations.  This information will help determine how management actions to increase or to protect population connectivity will affect disease risk within bighorn sub-populations.
2. June 13-25:
We will be conducting the first of two Humpback Chub translocation trips happening this summer.  This is a two-boat motor trip launching June 13 and taking out at Diamond Creek on June 25. Mike Harris will be the trip leader.  This trip will be camped in the Bass corridor from June 15 through June 21, most likely at Parkins Inscription.  Crews will be monitoring and collecting data on Humpback Chub previously translocated to Shinumo Creek.  The Humpback Chub is protected under the Endangered Species Act and the only existing population is found in and around the Little Colorado River, leaving the species vulnerable to a natural or man-made catastrophic event in the LCR.  The purpose of this program is to establish a second viable population within Grand Canyon.  This trip will also be monitoring Kanab Ambersnails on the upper half, also protected under the Endangered Species Act.  Steve Rice, the park hydrologist will be along to collect water quality data from various springs.  Please feel free to stop in and ask questions.
Chelly Kearney
River Patrol Ranger
(928) 638-7675
Cell: (505) 690-6514
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