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Tuesday, February 7 • 8:00am - 5:00pm
Overview of Symposium (S5). Playa Wetland Ecology

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Dana Varner*, Rainwater Basin Joint Venture; Dana_Varner@fws.gov
Mark Vrtiska, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Lisa Webb, U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit 

Abstract: Playas are shallow, ephemeral wetlands which are an important aquatic resource within the Great Plains region. Each playa has a unique watershed that funnels runoff from precipitation and snowmelt to the wetland at its terminus. A thick clay layer in the soil slows water percolation so most water loss occurs through evaporation or plant transpiration, although playas are also a significant path of groundwater recharge to the Ogallala aquifer. Playas provide crucial habitat for wetland-dependent wildlife, including waterfowl, shorebirds, waterbirds, reptiles, and amphibians. Currently, a majority of playas are found on private property within an agricultural landscape. For this reason, partnerships with private landowners are especially important in regards to playa conservation and research.

On March 17, 2011, the RWBJV and Playa Lakes Joint Venture co-hosted the first Playa Wetland Ecology Symposium in Grand Island, Nebraska. More than 80 people attended, representing 23 government agencies, conservation organizations, and universities from 11 states. Building on the success of the previous symposium, this event will again bring together a group of regional partners to share the most recent results and findings of playa research and conservation programs.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 8:00am - 5:00pm CST
Yankee Hill I/II

Attendees (3)