Welcome to the Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit website. Here you can explore the history and mission of the Unit along with information on our latest research projects.
The agreement establishing the Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in 1991 stated that the purpose is to:
"provide for active cooperation in the advancement, organization, and conduct of fish and wildlife research, graduate education, in-service training, technical assistance, public relations, and demonstration programs."
Unit research contributes to understanding ecological systems within the Great Plains. Unit staff, collaborators, and graduate students conduct research with both natural and altered systems, especially those impacted by agriculture. Unit projects investigate ways to maintain a rich diversity of endemic wild animals and habitats while meeting the needs of people.
The Unit focuses on projects that involve graduate students and the research needs of cooperators are given priority. Unit professionals function as faculty in the Division of Biology at Kansas State University. Unit professionals work with state and federal agencies, private industry, nongovernmental organizations, and interest groups to develop and conduct projects. Partnership projects are common where graduate and undergraduate students as well as Unit staff collaborate with multidisciplinary teams which often include other university faculty members and specialists from other groups.
November 2, 2022, Megan Vhay successfully defended her Master's thesis research, Retrospective Assessment of Lesser Prairie-Chicken Habitat in the Sand Sagebrush Prairie Ecoregion.
July 21, 2022, we had our annual Coordinating Committee Meeting at the K-State Alumni Center:
April 27, 2022, Talesha Karish successfully defended her Doctoral dissertation research, Survival, activity patterns, movements, home ranges and resource selection of female mule deer and white-tailed deer in western Kansas.
August 10, 2021, Elisabeth Teige successfully defended her Master's thesis research, Assessment of lesser prairie-chicken translocation through survival, space use, and resource selection.
August 6, 2021, Maureen Kinlan successfully defended her Master's thesis research, Survival, movement, and resource selection of male mule deer and white-tailed deer in western Kansas.
August 5, 2021, Jackie Gehrt successfully defended her Master's thesis research, Response of greater prairie-chickens to natural and anthropogenic disturbance on Fort Riley.
July 21, 2021, John "Boomer" Malanchuk successfully defended his Doctoral dissertation research, Assessment of resident Canada goose management in Kansas.
July 2021, Nicholas Parker successfully defended his Master's thesis research, Lesser prairie-chicken demography, resource selection, and habitat response following megafire in the mixed-grass prairie.
February 1-4, 2021, Dr. David Haukos, Dr. Bram Verheijen, Dr. Carly Aulicky, Dr. Alix Godar, and three graduate students attended the virtual 2021 Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference. Seven presentations were made.
January 27-29, 2021, Dr. David Haukos, Dr. Martha Mather, Dr. Bram Verheijen, Dr. Alix Godar, and five graduate students attended the virtual 2021 Kansas Natural Resource Conference. Several students were selected to judge papers and presentations were made.
September 4, 2020, Carly Aulicky successfully defended her Doctoral dissertation research, Lek dynamics and range-wide morphometric patterns of lesser prairie-chickens.
August 10, 2020, Alixandra Godar successfully defended her Doctoral dissertation research, Ring-necked pheasant population and space use response to landscapes including spring cover crops.
May 2020, Unit doctoral graduate and postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Dan Sullins' paper, Strategic conservation for lesser prairie-chickens among landscapes of varying anthropogenic influence, in Biological Conservation, was shortlisted for The Wildlife Society 2020 Wildlife Publication Awards – journal paper category.
January 30 - 31, 2020, Dr. David Haukos, Dr. Dan Sullins, and Dr. Bram Verheijen, along with graduate students Alix Godar, Carly Aulicky, Talesha Karish, Maureen Kinlan, Elli Teige, Jackie Gehrt, Mitchell Kern, Nick Parker, and Boomer Malanchuk, attended the Kansas Natural Resource Conference in Manhattan, Kansas. Nine presentations were made.
January 21, 2020, graduate student, Jackie Gehrt's, research article, Looking at the Big Picture: How Abundance of Nesting and Brooding Habitat Influences Lek-Site Selection by Lesser Prairie-Chickens, was published in The American Midland Naturalist, 183(1):52-77.
December 19, 2019, postdoctoral research associate, Bram Verheijen's, research article, Future losses of playa wetlands decrease network structure and connectivity of the Rainwater Basin, Nebraska, was published in Landscape Ecology.
November 13, 2019, Mitchell Kern successfully defended his Master's thesis research, Fawn survival, cause-specific mortality, and bed-site selection of white-tailed deer and mule deer in Western Kansas.
November 12, 2019, Liam Berigan successfully defended his Master's thesis research, Dispersal, reproductive success, and habitat use by translocated lesser prairie-chickens.
November 4 - 7, 2019, Dr. David Haukos, Dr. Bram Verheijen, and graduate students Jackie Gehrt, Carly Aulicky, Liam Berigan, Elli Teige, and Nick Parker attended the 33rd Meeting of the Prairie Grouse Technical Council in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Six presentations were made.
September 29 - October 3, 2019, Dr. David Haukos, Dr. Dan Sullins, and Dr. Bram Verheijen, along with ten graduate students and one undergraduate, attended The Wildlife Society Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada which was jointly held with the American Fisheries Society for the first time.
- Ten presentations were made, two posters exhibited
- Unit Leader, Dr. Dave Haukos, was presented the Caesar Kleberg Award for Excellence in Applied Wildlife Research from The Wildlife Society. (TWS Facebook Post)
- Our Lesser Prairie-Chicken Habitat Use, Survival, and Recruitment project was recognized with the Kansas Department for Wildlife, Parks and Tourism for our research efforts as KDWPT was presented the Wildlife Restoration Award (Wildlife Research category) from The Wildlife Society. Hays Post Article (USGS Facebook Post)
July 26, 2019, Chris Gulick successfully defended his Master's thesis research, Effects of working grassland management on lesser prairie-chicken resource selection within home ranges and during dispersal events.
July 10, 2019, we had our annual Coordinating Committee Meeting at the K-State Alumni Center:
- Carly Aulicky, Ph.D. student, and Liam Berigan, M.S. student, both on the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Translocation to the Sand Sagebrush Ecoregion project, were presented the Outstanding Unit Student Award for 2019.
November 27, 2018, Adela Annis successfully defended her Master's thesis research, Ring-necked pheasant survival, nest habitat use, and predator occupancy in Kansas spring cover crops.
October 7 - 11, 2018, Dr. David Haukos, Dr. Dan Sullins, Dr. Bram Verheijen, Adela Annis, Chris Gulick, Alix Godar, Carly Aulicky, Liam Berigan, Talesha Karish, Maureen Kinlan, Jackie Gehrt, Mitchell Kern, and several previous members of the Unit attended The Wildlife Society's 25th Annual Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. Eight presentations were made, three posters exhibited.
August 14, 2018, we had a successful Coordinating Committee Meeting at the K-State Alumni Center:
- Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit 2018 Biennial Report
Two new projects were approved: Evaluating Black Rail Habitat Availability, Occupancy Probability, and Response to Wetland Management Practices in Kansas (with E. Webb, MOCFWRU) and Response of Greater Prairie-Chickens to Military Operations on Fort Riley.
- Chris Gulick, M.S. student on the Use of Grazing Management and Prescribed Fire for Conservation of Lesser Prairie Chickens project, was presented the Outstanding Unit Student Award for 2018.
- Keith Sexson, Assistant Secretary for Wildlife, Fisheries, and Boating for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), was presented with a retirement gift.