Prairie Wildlife Research was established in 2001 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the mission to research and conserve wildlife species of the prairie and their associated habitats. PWR works throughout the Great Plains with federal and state agencies, universities, private landowners, and other non-governmental organizations to conduct timely, economical, and quality studies and projects that contribute to sound management decisions. PWR's focus includes all wildlife species inhabiting the prairie. Projects include surveys, reintroductions of native species, habitat enhancement projects, and working with others to resolve wildlife-related issues.
Travis Livieri, Executive Director, founded Prairie Wildlife Research in 2001. Travis earned his B.S. degree in Biology and Wildlife and M.S. degree in Natural Resources with wildlife emphasis from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. His M.S. thesis investigated the selection of prairie dog colonies by black-footed ferrets. He has worked with prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets since 1995 and traveled throughout the Great Plains to conserve and research prairie species. Travis has received several awards including an Emmy, US Forest Service Regional Forester Partner of the Year and several others. In 2009 Travis was featured in Jane Goodall's Hope for Animals and appeared in the documentary film Return of the Prairie Bandit in 2011. He is a member of the The Wildlife Society, the American Society of Mammalogists, and the Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Implementation Team (past chair and member of Conservation Subcommittee, member of Executive Committee)
April Livieri comes from a background of event planning, retail sales and connections with the domestic ferret community. From a young age she has been interested in animals and has owned domestic ferrets since she was a teenager. At Prairie Wildlife Research she works part-time coordinating donations and sponsorships, helping with outreach and social media and maintaining connections between PWR and the domestic ferret community. In 2011 she was appointed to Director of the Black-Footed Ferret Committee of the American Ferret Association.
Ann Marie Gage, Development Director, has been involved with biodiversity conservation and environmental education since 1992. She completed her B.S. in Zoology at Colorado State University while participating in a hibernation study of yellow-bellied marmots. She has worked with numerous non-profit organizations to optimize their fundraising, educational outreach and membership programs. Ann Marie joined Prairie Wildlife Research in 2006 and served as chair of the Black-footed Ferret Recovery Implementation Team Education and Outreach Subcommittee.
Eric M. Anderson, PhD is a founding Board Member and professor of wildlife at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where he teaches courses in conservation biology, ecology, biostatistics, and field techniques for assessing wildlife populations. Although teaching is his passion, he maintains an active interest in research focusing on carnivores, particularly bobcats, wolves, and black-footed ferrets. Dr. Anderson has authored numerous scientific journal articles on North American carnivores, particularly the bobcat, and co-authored book chapters on carnivores and wildlife habitat selection. Dr. Anderson has won several awards for excellence in teaching and sits on the wolf, cougar and furbearer advisory committees in Wisconsin. He is also a member of The Wildlife Society, The Society for Conservation Biology, and The American Society of Mammalogists. Dr. Anderson is pictured with an anesthetized, GPS-collared cougar as part of a cougar movements research project..
Martin Grenier is a Board Member and the Nongame Mammal Biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. His experience in the private and public sector have provided him with a unique understanding of private land issues and endangered species. Martin is currently responsible for the management of 84 mammal species in Wyoming and serves on several interagency working groups, including the Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Implementation Team (past chair of Conservation Subcommittee), Swift Fox Conservation Team, Interstate Prairie Dog Conservation Teams, and the Western Bat Working Group. Martin holds a M.S. in Zoology and Physiology from the University of Wyoming, where his research focused on the black-footed ferret. He also holds a B.S. degree in Wildlife Management from Humboldt State University. He is a member of The Wildlife Society and a Certified Wildlife Biologist®. In this photo, Martin is "scruffing" a live swift fox in preparation for a reintroduction in South Dakota.
Prairie Wildlife Research (PWR) was founded in 2001 with the mission to conserve and research wildlife species of the North American prairies. Over the past 11 years our primary focus has been the prairie dog ecosystem and the endangered black-footed ferret. We have raised nearly $1 million in the past 11 years that all went to field recovery of black-footed ferrets, prairie dogs, swift fox, burrowing owls and other species. Our partners, donors and funders consistently support us because:
- We have the most field experience with black-footed ferrets. Black-footed ferrets are nocturnal and we use spotlights to find them on prairie dog colonies. Since 2001 we have spotlighted, located and captured more than 1,500 black-footed ferrets across North America. In the past 4 years we have vaccinated more than 350 black-footed ferrets against plague in Conata Basin / Badlands. Plague is the most significant biological threat to black-footed ferrets.
- We work everywhere and have diverse partners. There are 19 black-footed ferret reintroduction sites in North America and we have worked at or with all of them. Our partners include more than 30 federal agencies, state agencies, organizations, tribes, universities, zoos and landowners.
- We have the flexibility to get things done quickly, efficiently and economically. Whether it is performing surveys to find black-footed ferrets, evaluating prairie dog colonies, writing reports, conducting research, public presentations, or building partnerships, PWR is the best organization for the job. We try to keep our costs low so that funds can be used for on-the-ground conservation.
We were recently listed as a Top-Rated NonProfit in 2012 (and previously in 2010) by Great Nonprofits. Our work has been featured in Hope for Animals by Jane Goodall, the New York Times, Newsweek, CNN, The Weather Channel, PBS, Defenders of Wildlife magazine and more. In 2011, our work with black-footed ferrets in Canada was featured in the 50-minute documentary “Return of the Prairie Bandit”. Among our honors and awards are Southeast Regional Emmy Award for Expeditions with Patrick McMillan, Regional Partner of the Year from the US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region, Recognition of the First Canadian Reintroduction of the Black-Footed Ferret from Parks Canada, Black-Footed Ferret Protection Achievement Award from the Prairie Dog Coalition, Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Implementation Team Award for performance and accomplishments as Chair of Conservation Subcommittee, US Forest Service National Grasslands Prairie Partner Award for support of National Grassland management, and International Ferret Congress for dedication to black-footed ferret recovery.
As experts in the fields of black-footed ferret recovery, the prairie dog ecosystem and endangered species we are often invited to speak and give presentations at universities, zoos, symposium, conferences and public events. True to our name, we also engage in wildlife research and have authored or co-authored more than 20 peer-reviewed research publications about black-footed ferrets and prairie dogs.