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Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit


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.

Mission Statement

The agreement establishing the Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in 1991 stated that the purpose was 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 News 

September 4, 2020, Carly Aulicky successfully defended their Doctoral dissertation research, Lek dynamics and range-wide morphometric patterns of lesser prairie-chickens.
Project Link

August 10, 2020, Alixandra Godar successfully defended their Doctoral dissertation research, Ring-necked pheasant population and space use response to landscapes including spring cover crops.
Project Link

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 their Master's thesis research, Fawn survival, cause-specific mortality, and bed-site selection of white-tailed deer and mule deer in Western Kansas.
Project Link

November 12, 2019, Liam Berigan successfully defended their Master's thesis research, Dispersal, reproductive success, and habitat use by translocated lesser prairie-chickens.
Project Link

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
  • 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 their Master's thesis research, Effects of working grassland management on lesser prairie-chicken resource selection within home ranges and during dispersal events

Project Link

July 10, 2019, we had our annual Coordinating Committee Meeting at the K-State Alumni Center:

2019 Coordinating Committee Meeting

Carly Aulicky and Liam Berigan Receiving the Outstanding Student Award for 2019

November 27, 2018, Adela Annis successfully defended their Master's thesis research, Ring-necked pheasant survival, nest habitat use, and predator occupancy in Kansas spring cover crops.
Project Link

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:

Outstanding Unit Student Award 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.

Retirement Award presented to Keith Sexson


Mule Deer Doe and Fawn - Photo taken by trail cameraLesser Prairie-ChickenPheasantWhite-tailed DeerMale Greater-Prairie Chickens 2019 Fort Riley - Photo by Phil FrigonSpotted BassCoyoteBrown-headed Cowbird Molothrus Mule DeerCanada GeeseWalleyeNorthern Bobwhite Colinus Black-tailed Prairie DogsLesser Prairie-ChickenMeadowlarkZebra MusselsPheasantGreater Prairie-chickenRegal FritillarySericea Lespedeza Cuneata