March 3, 2011

Home for the endangered

By Michael Johnson, Editor

The Missouri River stretching from the Garrison Dam to just south of Bismarck is some of the most critical nesting territory for some very rare and fragile creatures. The piping plover is a threatened species, while pallid sturgeon and least tern are endangered and right in our back yard. Gene Bormann, a contractor for the Missouri River Recovery Program, was in Washburn Feb. 22 to talk with high school students about these interesting creatures and how humans can help or hurt them. He works at the Gavins Point project office in Yankton, S.D., and shares data with offices all along the Missouri River to determine if the species numbers are growing or decreasing and what the cause is. The purpose of his visit with Washburn students was primarily to teach the students how to identify these species of birds and fish so that if they do encounter one they will know not to cause harm to them. Because if the animals can’t make it here, they may not make it anywhere.


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