The Effects of Site Characterization Activities on the Abundance of Ravens (Corvus corax) in the Yucca Mountain Area

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In response to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 and the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) developed and is implementing the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Raven abundance was measured from August 1991 through August 1995 along treatment and control routes to evaluate whether site characterization activities resulted in increased raven abundance at Yucca Mountain. This study fulfills the requirement set forth in the incidental take provisions of the Biological Opinion that DOE monitor the abundance of ravens at Yucca Mountain. Ravens were more abundant at Yucca Mountain than in the ... continued below

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25 pages

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Lederle, P.E. May 8, 1998.

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Description

In response to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 and the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) developed and is implementing the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Raven abundance was measured from August 1991 through August 1995 along treatment and control routes to evaluate whether site characterization activities resulted in increased raven abundance at Yucca Mountain. This study fulfills the requirement set forth in the incidental take provisions of the Biological Opinion that DOE monitor the abundance of ravens at Yucca Mountain. Ravens were more abundant at Yucca Mountain than in the control area, and raven abundance in both areas increased over time. However, the magnitude of differences between Yucca Mountain and control surveys did not change over time, indicating that the increase in raven abundance observed during this study was not related to site characterization activities. Increases over time on both Yucca Mountain and control routes are consistent with increases in raven abundance in the Mojave Desert reported by the annual Breeding Bird Survey of the US. Fish and Wildlife Service. Evidence from the Desert Tortoise Monitoring Program at Yucca Mountain suggests that ravens are not a significant predator of small tortoises in this locale. Carcasses of small tortoises (less than 110 mm in length) collected during the study showed little evidence of raven predation, and 59 radiomarked hatchlings that were monitored on a regular basis were not preyed upon by ravens. Overall, no direct evidence of raven predation on tortoises was observed during this study. Small tortoises are probably encountered so infrequently by ravens that they are rarely exploited as a food source. This is likely due to the relatively low abundance of both desert tortoises and ravens in the Yucca Mountain area.

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25 pages

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INIS; OSTI as DE00839540

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  • Other Information: PBD: 8 May 1998

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  • Report No.: B00000000-01717-5705-00040, REV 00
  • Grant Number: AC08-91RW00134
  • DOI: 10.2172/839540 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 839540
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc786892

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • May 8, 1998

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Feb. 10, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

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Lederle, P.E. The Effects of Site Characterization Activities on the Abundance of Ravens (Corvus corax) in the Yucca Mountain Area, report, May 8, 1998; Las Vegas, Nevada. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc786892/: accessed April 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.