Since 2011, The Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) has partnered with Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) to assist in regional Streaked Horned Lark conservation and recovery through a variety of activities, including research, monitoring, and on-the-ground habitat management. The current population of larks in the Puget Sound region is an estimated 252 individuals (197-344, 95% CRI, Keren and Pearson 2016). The majority of these larks (~70%) occur on JBLM military base, making the tracking and enhancement of this important population and the improvement of habitat at occupied and unoccupied sites critical to its persistence in the region
In 2016, CNLM continued actions aimed at stabilizing or reversing the observed decline in lark populations. This report summarizes accomplishments from the following objectives: 1) informing JBLM managers about the location of lark activity to minimize human-lark impacts, 2) investigating factors limiting reproduction and survival at all life stages by conducting demographic monitoring, 3) estimating abundance and trends of larks and contributing data to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for regional analyses; 4) conducting occupancy surveys at sites that support potentially suitable lark habitat but where lark status is unknown; 5) monitoring the results of the experimental genetic rescue study; 6) implementing habitat enhancement activities to improve foraging and nesting habitat; and 7) outlining management recommendations aimed at maximizing recovery of larks on JBLM while minimizing impacts to military training.