Last October, on the day before Halloween, I set out on a kayaking trip down the Elkhorn River in search for signs of the North American river otter. I went with Craig Allen, a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s School of Natural Resources, his colleagues David Angeler and Dirac Twidwell, and Nathan Bieber, a […]

On a warm, sandy beach near Ashland, Neb., biology intern Lindsay Brown picks up a small mottled egg and holds it to her ear, listening for telltale scratching. Hearing nothing, she places it back into its nest—a small hollowed patch of sand. It’s a hot July afternoon, near the end of the nesting season, and she’s checking least tern and piping plover nests for late bloomers.

On a beautiful August morning, the sun penetrated through the clouds and reflected off the mucky water as I trekked through a slough on Shoemaker Island, a wet meadow adjacent to the Platte River in central Nebraska. I followed staff and interns with the Crane Trust to check on small mammal traps that were placed […]

Cranes roosting in shallow channels during migration, eagles diving for food and returning to nests on the river’s bank, turtles sunning themselves on logs protruding from the water, and frogs calling from adjacent wetlands. We’re familiar with the more apparent wonders of wildlife, but what about the life that exists under the water- in the […]

They traveled in buckets, passed hand to hand from truck bed to lakeshore, before being carefully upended just above the surface by proud biologists. With each splash, another batch of young greenback cutthroat trout slid into the glassy waters of Zimmerman Lake – back into their native range high in Colorado’s South Platte River Basin.

Compare and contrast panoramic images through three seasons at Mormon Island, a wet meadow habitat in central Nebraska.

Invasive wetland plant species, such as common reed (Phragmites australis) and purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) have negative impacts on roosting availability for sandhill cranes on the central Platte River.

Active management on the central Platte promotes and sustains wildlife and plant diversity in a landscape matrix of wetlands, river habitat, agricultural fields, and sandpit and gravel mining operations.

A series of bathtubs dot Wyoming’s North Platte River, filling and releasing water for summer irrigation, power generation, and recreation. During western expansion, it became necessary to control the river, building dams and reservoirs that helped to regulate flow between seasons and wet and dry years.

Located at the bottleneck of North America’s central flyway, Nebraska’s Platte River faces significant challenges. Key groups like the Audubon Society’s Rowe Sanctuary and federally-mandated Platte River Recovery Implementation Program, along with many other organizations, are working to protect the river and conserve habitat for the endangered whooping crane, least tern, and threatened piping plover through conservation and education.