Cooperative Research Units
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The effects of wetland management and landscape characteristics on black tern and associated species breeding colonies


April 2007 - December 2010


Information needs identified by the USFWS include identification and inventory of existing colonies and breeding habitat, and the effects of wetland management and restoration; development of population monitoring protocols will also be addressed.
The objectives of this study are to:
(1) evaluate information collected for the USFWS Species Assessment for its potential to determine habitat availability across the breeding range of Black Terns;
Researchers will use a subsample of wetlands within the Black Tern breeding range to:
(2) inventory existing Black Tern colonies;
(3) inventory and assess large-scale habitat characteristics;
(4) make preliminary evaluations of the effects of wetland management and restoration on breeding populations of this species.

Researchers will use information collected during this study to assist in the development of standardized monitoring protocol.

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Steen, V. A. and A. N. Powell. 2012. Wetland selection by breeding and foraging Black Terns in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States. Condor 114:155-165.
  • Steen, V. A. and A. N. Powell. 2012. Potential effects of climate change on the distribution of waterbirds in the Prairie Pothole Region, U.S.A. Waterbirds 35(2):217-229.


  • Steen, V. 2010. Waterbird distribution and habitat in the prairie pothole region, USA. M.S. Thesis, University of Alaska, Fairbanks.


  • Steen V. A. and A. N. Powell. 2009. A comparison of multi-scale habitat models for black terns. Poster, 16th Wildlife Society Conference, Monterey, CA.
  • Steen V. A. and A. N. Powell. 2009. Habitat selection of black terns in the Prairie Pothole Region. 33rd Waterbird Society Conference, Cape May, NJ.
  • Steen V. A. and A. N. Powell. 2009. Nest site and foraging habitat selection by black terns in the Prairie Pothole region. COS/AOU/SCO Joint Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.
  • See All ...

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 240

Phd Students: 143

Post Docs: 52

University Staff: 245

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 702

Scientific Publications: 1948

Presentations: 4251



  • Abby PowellPrincipal Investigator
  • Valerie SteenStudent

Funding Agencies

  • Science Support Partnership


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey