WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is home to some federal and endangered species. Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the Air Force requires all Air Force properties to protect all species that are classified as endangered or threatened.
The 88th Civil Engineering Natural Resource Program strives to do just that.
The Endangered Species Act prohibits harassing, hunting, wounding, trapping of killing of federally listed species. This also includes the disruption of these species habitats.
Complying with the Endangered Species Act and Air Force guidance to assist with the conservation of the species and their habitat, the Natural Resource Program staff also coordinates with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
“The management of these threatened and endangered species and their habitat on the installation is a large part of the Natural Resources Management program here,” said Danielle Trevino, 88th Civil Engineering biological scientist. “Our primary goal is to avoid or minimize adverse effects to these species and to minimize any conflicts with the mission here at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.”
Trevino said there are four federally endangered or threatened species. Those on the list are the endangered Indiana bat, Clubshell mussel, and the threatened Northern Long-Eared bat and Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake.
Although subfossil shells have been documented at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, validating a historical occurrence of the Clubshell mussel, no live specimens have ever been detected. The Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake has been documented on the base, but has not been seen since the 1990s.
The state endangered species that have been documented are the King Rail, Common Tern and Upland Sandpiper birds and the Blazing Star Stem Borer moth.
The Ear-Leaf Foxglove, Royal Catchfly, and the Northern Adder’s Tongue plants are also included as either a state endangered or threatened species.
Trevino said they make every effort to maintain adequate and suitable habitats and support recovery of federally listed species by funding surveys, monitoring programs and habitat restoration.
As an example, Trevino said the base provides suitable roosting (forest) and foraging habitats for the federally protected Indiana bat and Northern Long-Eared bat.
In addition, the Natural Resources Management Program conducts annual acoustic surveys along with coordinating with regulatory agencies to minimize any activities that could potentially affect their livelihood.
To learn more about the Wright-Patterson Natural Resources Program and the upcoming events scheduled for Earth Day, go to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WrightPattersonNaturalResources/.