Project Page

Restoration of Black Terns in North and South Dakota

Implementing Organization

US Department of the Interior


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (NRDA)

Funding Program

Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA


Project Category


Project Actions

Species Restoration

Targeted Resources

Birds/Bird Habitat

Project Description

This project will protect approximately 2,000 wetland acres and 1,000 grassland acres on private lands in the Prairie Pothole Region of eastern North and South Dakota with conservation easements established with willing landowners to restore black terns. Based on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) experience working in this region, the Trustees anticipate that sufficient habitat acreage will be available from willing landowners to meet project objectives and that it will likely take three to five years to complete all of the easements. Previous surveys of occupied wetlands support the Trustees’ estimate that >1,000 individual black terns will be present on project wetlands when habitat conditions are optimum. While optimal conditions would not be present on every wetland, every year on every wetland, over time habitat on conservation easements is expected to exhibit the full-cycle of hydrologic conditions necessary to periodically support breeding and/or foraging black terns. In addition to black terns, these habitats will accrue benefits to several other wetland-dependent avian species. All habitat conservation actions will be implemented as part of ongoing USFWS conservation programs in the Dakotas. In these two states alone, there are over 1,200 private landowners on waiting lists to have their property evaluated for additional USFWS wetland and grassland conservation easements. The US has partnered with hundreds of private landowners in the Dakotas in recent years to acquire voluntary conservation easements. However, landowner interest continues to exceed the programs’ available funds. The Deepwater Horizon Natural on "More Info" link below


Jeffrey Gleason
(352) 493-0238
Project Website
Project Partners


Affiliated Institutions

For official trustee information regarding the Deepwater Horizon NRDA, including information regarding the NRDA process and the status of projects, see

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