December 22, 2016

First Nations Become First Restorationists Part III: An Informal List of Species Reintroduction Projects on Tribal Lands

Over the last few months I have been perusing the internet to find examples to back my claim that there is a somewhat recent and growing phenomenon ( explained in part 1), which I hope keeps growing, of Native American/Indian Reservations using their autonomy to restore missing indigenous species to various habitat around the US. Natives Reintroducing Natives.
This phenomenon happens most often west of the Mississippi River in what we know as the High Plains and West, but it's not limited to there. The Upper Midwest seems to also have a thriving tribal ecology focus, and even the Eastern Cherokee, a little birdie whispered in my ear, are starting to take their tribal areas in Western North Carolina more seriously in terms of holistic management. There might be some elk running around soon.
Here is an informal list of what I have found so far. If you want to learn more about any specific introduction effort, I would use the tribe and species as keywords for an internet search and I bet you find something:
Note: I am trying to collect a list of reintroduction, but there are plenty more programs where there are habitat improvements for endangered, or locally extinct species that might not make the list. My scope might be too narrow, but I started a while ago when it seemed a fun challenge and this list would get really long if I listed every habitat improvement program, as much as I applaud them.

Bison Bison Bison:
I covered the Bison as a case study in Part II.  You can find the official lists of the Inter-tribal Buffalo Council there. There is currently great debate about what to do with a perceived overabundance of Bison in Yellowstone ( yes, despite Wolf Reintroduction) and many Reservations seem to have offered to take them to begin herds to keep them from being culled. Since these Yellowstone specimens are some of the last of the genetically pure buffalo ( without cattle inbreeding) it seems like a great way to absorb these amazing animals from this now annual winter massacre of sorts, management though it is somewhat convincingly argued to be.
Here is an abbreviated list:
Taos Pueblo     1905  
Pine Ridge and Cheyenne river in 1970's
Fort Belknap Nakota and A'aininin Reservation 600 head of which about 40 are Yellowstone genetically pure
Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux (Montana)    45 in 2012 139 more in 2014
Lakota Sioux at Pine Ridge  45 head  herd donated 2003-2008 in small numbers
Southern Ute (Colorado)     30 head    since early 80's
Unintah and Ooray Ute Reservation  (Book Cliffs Utah)  480 head   since 1986 more every few years
Even Though Washington State is considered outside the Original Range of Bison Bison:
Yakama Nation (Washington)     12 in 1991 to 125 now
Stillagaumish    (Washington)  8 in 2008

Umatillas (Oregon) had them by an act of god but seem to have given them up in 2003. A Herd of Buffalo came onto their reservation from a neighbor who had fled to mexico to avoid some criminal charges it seems, but they were seen to be causing a ruckus so they were headed up!

Colombia Whitetail Deer:
Cowlitz Tribe

Blackfooted Ferret:                                        Image result for black footed ferret
From a Population of 21 captured in Wyoming, the last remaining after they were thought to be extinct, the Blackfooted Ferret Numbers in the High Hundreds now. 300 are kept in captive breeding, centered in NE Colorado, and most of the rest are on Native Lands.
Fort Belknap Nakota and A'aininin Reservation (Montana) early 90's
Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation  (South Dakota)    2000
Lower Brule Sioux (South Dakota)   2006 and 2007
Rosebud Sioux   (South Dakota)
Northern Cheyenne (Montana)
Navajo Ranch     (Arizona)
Cui Ie Fish:
Pyramid Lake Paiutes of Nevada

Fon Du Lac Reservation    Wisconsin
Ho Chunks  have 27 want 400    Wisconsin
Some tribes in the Northwest are getting more serious about habitat, expanding current populations with more care.

Sharp Tailed Grouse:
Coeur'd Alene Tribe ID

Interior Least Terns:
they nest along the Missouri River.
Standing Rock Sioux

Pacific Lamprey:
Wiyots of Northern California
Image result for pacific lamprey

Burrowing Owl:
Upper Nicola Band BC CA

Piping Plover:

Prairie Dog:
Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation
Crow Creek Reservation

Pronghorn Antelope:

Coho Salmon:
Nez Pierce of Idaho

Calfronia Bighorn Sheep:

Churro Sheep:
The Churro is not a native North American Species. It came from Spain with early Spanish Settlers, but over 400 years it had such an impact on the Navajo they want it back, and it's hard to tell em not to!

River Sturgeon:
Fon Du Lac Reservation    Wisconsin
Kootenai of Idaho                                                                         

Lake Sturgeon:
St Regis Mohawk Tribe

Trumpeter Swan:

Sprague Pippits:

Swift Fox:
Blackfeet Indians of Montana
Fort Peck Assinibone & Sioux of Montana
Pine Ridge Sioux
Fort Peck Assinibone & Sioux of Montana

Grey Wolf:
Nez Pierce of Idaho

There are a collection of plains species that all fell into radical decline with the spread of agriculture across the great planes, that collectively create an ecosystem that prey on prairie dogs. From what I gather, it's prairie dogs, burrowing owls, and black footed ferrets that all seem to live in an ecosystem. It's a hot topic in the Plains, through the Dakotas and Eastern Montana, and to detail all the work there is difficult, but there is a book about it! Prairie Dog Empire: Saga in the Shortgrass by Paul Johnsguard who details the myriad places these three species are being nurtured back to survival.. it's on res' and national lands, with a few private lands thrown in, and up into Canada for that matter.
Prarrie Dog Empire on Amazon

Did I miss any tribes, species, or efforts?
leave me a comment!

Major Source:
US Fish &  Wildlife Tribal Grants Program

041313 supreme court two tb.jpg

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