PBS highlights CNLM’s collaboration with JBLM to conserve larks 

The Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) works closely with Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) and the Department of Defense (DoD) to conserve streaked horned larks and other endangered species on the base and the surrounding areas. EarthFix, the environmental news program on Seattle’s PBS affiliate KCTS 9,  published a digital documentary “Battle Ready: The Military’s Environmental Legacy in the Northwest”, which includes Part 7: Unlikely Refuge, a 6 minute segment highlighting CNLM’s collaboration with JBLM and the DoD to conserve lark habitat and minimize the impacts of military activities to these endangered birds. During the lark breeding season, CNLM biologists locate and monitor nests and young larks and then report their locations to JBLM managers so they can direct activities away from these areas.

Biologists attach a tiny transmitter to a baby lark to see where it goes in the first weeks of life. Credit: Jerrmaine Treadwell.

The accompanying web article and radio podcast “More Than a Lark: The Military’s Surprising Role Protecting Endangered Species” also  includes an embedded 1.5 minute video about how the Army supports CNLML’s large scale production of native seed to restore habitat for streaked horned larks and other prairie species on and off base.

CNLM’s staff and Veteran Conservation Corps bagging seed for restoration.

Both the restoration and lark monitoring efforts seem to be paying off.  In the last two years, we have not observed any lark nest failures at JBLM due to human activities. In fact, the number of nests found on base has increased substantially; last year we found 126 nests and color-banded 208 nestlings, the highest numbers in four years of monitoring!