Audubon Nebraska has added Stephen Brenner to the team as an avian ecologist who will based out of the panhandle region. Brenner’s position is funded in partnership with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) and will focus on bird surveys and other research in the Western part of the state.
Audubon and the NGPC decided to create this new position to fill knowledge gaps in the state. Western Nebraska, especially the panhandle, hosts numerous bird species of high conservation concern that are found nowhere else in the state. This position will help fill those gaps and direct conservation initiatives in the region.
“I’m very excited for this opportunity to work in such a unique landscape,” said Brenner, “and hopefully this work can help improve the conservation outlook for many of the species in the panhandle.”
Brenner officially started with Audubon last month and will be focusing research efforts on the Thick-billed Longspur, a bird species that was recently listed as threatened in Nebraska, as well as other shortgrass prairie birds.
“It’s always unfortunate when a species has declined to the point it’s listed as threatened, but I’m optimistic about their recovery,” said Kristal Stoner, executive director for Audubon Nebraska. “This is also an opportunity to learn more about other species needing conservation like the Golden Eagle and Ferruginous Hawk.”
For updates on Brenner’s research, sign up for Audubon Nebraska’s eNews at ne.audubon.org or follow Audubon Nebraska on Facebook and Twitter.