Two photos of the Lostwood four-square-mile survey plot depict the difference one year can make in the prairies, where the climatic conditions are highly variable. The top photo was taken during a dry year, and the bottom one during a wet year. Clearly, it is important to keep the “table set” so the landscape is capable of responding to positive water conditions.
The importance of the Prairie Pothole Region to waterfowl populations and to hunters cannot be overstated. As you can see from this map of band returns, waterfowl banded in this region have spread out across the continent and filled the bags of many waterfowl hunters.
The administrative area of the PPJV is temporally dynamic and spatially diverse. Each major physiographic subdivision of the region has unique land use patterns and, therefore, unique conservation challenges.
Loss of grasslands and wetlands are the two primary limiting factors for breeding birds in the PPJV and our management practices target preventing and restoring these losses. Grassland losses have been most severe in the east where lands have historically been most suitable for crop production.
When working at a landscape scale intent on creating blocks of habitat, PPJV partners utilize a suite of programs to accomplish habitat conservation.
As part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, the US Fish & Wildlife Service created an administrative organization called wetland management districts (WMD) in 1962. In addition to managing all Waterfowl Production Areas in a multi-county area, WMDs also work closely with partners to improve habitat.
This interactive map displays National Wildlife Refuge locations by state. There are many National Wildlife Refuges found in the states of the U.S. PPR.
Land within the boundaries of the PPJV is primarily in private ownership. This map shows pie charts of ownership by PPJV state, as well as land classification (e.g. grass, cropland) within the PPJV boundaries.
This map depicts the importance of the Prairie Pothole Region to national waterfowl populations by showing states where mallards were banded and where they dispersed after banding.