Klamath Basin Chapter secretary and Oregon Tech Assistant Professor, Dr. Kerry Byrne has just been awarded a cooperative agreement research grant with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to develop and implement a multi-year demographic monitoring program for Applegate’s milkvetch (Astragalus applegatei) individuals at the Nature Conservancy's Ewauna Flat Preserve in Klamath Falls, OR.
This critically endangered plant species is one of Oregon’s rarest and most endangered plants. It was listed as Endangered in 1993 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is also an Oregon State Endangered species. A. applegatei is a narrow endemic of the Lower Klamath Basin in Southern Oregon, within the city of Klamath Falls.
Past research has identified the unique germination requirements of the species and Rock Bottom Ranch Nursery (Bonanza, OR) has developed successful propagation techniques that use site-specific soils to improve germination rates.
KBCNPSO members Steve Sheehy and Melissa Shroeder, along with Ron Larson, have planted propagated seedlings over the past two years at the Ewauna Flat Preserve. Additional seedlings will be planted this fall.
Dr. Byrne’s proposed research will implement a multi-year demographic monitoring program to track the fate of out-planted individuals, in addition to developing a stage-based population model with information on seedling recruitment, plant life stage transitions, and plant mortality. These data will greatly assist Federal, State, and Local agencies in planning future population introduction and augmentation plans and is vital for the recovery of this imperiled species.