19 October 2016

Endangered and Threatened Species in the Missouri River

Jon Eagle Sr. of the Standing Rock Lakota-Sioux Reservation in North Dakota told me that there are two birds and a fish threatened and endangered species in the Missouri River Basin. 

Here is the endangered pallid sturgeon, an ancient fish type:
And a paper published in 2015 shed light on why this species is endangered - anoxic zones (areas of very low oxygen in the water) due to damming the Missouri River. In other words, humans engineered the river and now yet another species of fish cannot survive the change.

Then there is the cutie pie piping plover - I participated on a study of breeding pairs of piping plovers on the Connecticut shoreline more than a decade ago and fell in love with these birds - they breed on the shores of Lake Oahe, one of the main crossing areas of the Dakota Access Pipeline. These birds are threatened - endangered populations also exist in the Great Lakes region.
And finally the Least Tern. Since this bird lives and nests on sandy islands, its habitat has been either removed or encroached upon by humans and the engineering of the Missouri.  

The Dakota Access Pipeline poses a threat to the already problematic habitat loss and change due to human engineering to the Missouri River Basin.  

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