Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) RSS feed of news related to Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) https://www.usgs.gov/ en Annual Southern Sea Otter Census Temporarily Modified https://www.usgs.gov/centers/werc/news/annual-southern-sea-otter-census-temporarily-modified?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>The annual rangewide southern sea otter census has been temporarily modified to adapt to limitations that prevented surveys from airplanes in 2021 to 2023 for a subset of the California sea otter range. Shore-based surveys were completed, and the hope is to return to full census surveys in 2024. </p> Thu, 28 Sep 2023 16:31:47 EDT esanchez-chopitea@usgs.gov 902f5428-8e72-45fe-a3c3-d410c56172a9 esanchez-chopitea@usgs.gov (esanchez-chopitea@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Research Spotlight: What Habitat Features Make Duck Nests Vulnerable to Raccoons and Striped Skunks? https://www.usgs.gov/centers/werc/news/research-spotlight-what-habitat-features-make-duck-nests-vulnerable-raccoons-and?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>Research by USGS scientists finds that predator-specific behaviors can shape where duck nests are most vulnerable in Suisun Marsh, CA. The findings will help managers identify actions that may reduce predator encounters and bolster Pacific Flyway duck populations.</p> Thu, 20 Apr 2023 18:31:36 EDT esanchez-chopitea@usgs.gov f2fbf356-e221-4061-b7df-fe32d126d3e3 esanchez-chopitea@usgs.gov (esanchez-chopitea@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Building maps to help geothermal energy and greater sage-grouse coexist in Nevada’s sagebrush country https://www.usgs.gov/news/featured-story/building-maps-help-geothermal-energy-and-greater-sage-grouse-coexist-nevadas?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>A U.S. Geological Survey study finds that geothermal energy development contributes to population declines of greater sage-grouse.  A new tool can help managers and energy developers consider impacts to the iconic bird when siting new geothermal projects. </p> Mon, 6 Mar 2023 09:00:53 EST plaustsen@usgs.gov 444c5368-ca1c-468d-a46a-f37bddb9de36 plaustsen@usgs.gov (plaustsen@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Saline Lakes Stakeholder Workshop Meeting Materials https://www.usgs.gov/special-topics/saline-lakes-ecosystems-integrated-water-availability-assessment/news/saline-lakes?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>In fall 2022, the Saline Lakes Team held three two-day virtual workshops to identify stakeholder science priorities for the Great Basin terminal lakes and their watersheds.</p> Mon, 6 Feb 2023 15:46:31 EST skemp@usgs.gov 514f1277-507a-4d03-a80d-888545aed6b5 skemp@usgs.gov (skemp@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey New research shows people, wildlife, and marine environment benefit when island-ocean connections are restored https://www.usgs.gov/centers/werc/news/new-research-shows-people-wildlife-and-marine-environment-benefit-when-island?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p><em>An international team of researchers has found that restoring and rewilding islands decimated by damaging invasive species benefits coastal and marine environments as well as the islands themselves.</em></p> Mon, 12 Dec 2022 19:12:14 EST aweill@usgs.gov abe5cd15-458d-4ae4-b667-fe0f7d0fd13e aweill@usgs.gov (aweill@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey USGS Scientists are Authors on New Framework for Seabirds and Offshore Wind Energy https://www.usgs.gov/centers/werc/news/usgs-scientists-are-authors-new-framework-seabirds-and-offshore-wind-energy?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>Scientists from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) are authors on a new framework for addressing the impacts of offshore wind farms on marine bird populations.</p> Mon, 5 Dec 2022 16:11:14 EST aweill@usgs.gov cd5c6458-65a3-46e6-b1e9-ebae407b285a aweill@usgs.gov (aweill@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Environmental Impacts on Space Use of Mohave Ground Squirrels https://www.usgs.gov/centers/forest-and-rangeland-ecosystem-science-center/news/environmental-impacts-space-use-mohave?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>Mohave ground squirrels are small rodents native to the western Mojave Desert of California and are listed as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act. Given the expected effects of climate change in this region, understanding the responses of this species to environmental variation is becoming increasingly important. </p> Thu, 10 Nov 2022 11:30:56 EST rpowers@usgs.gov 5ff161cd-f768-43f5-9e04-c52aabee5bd5 rpowers@usgs.gov (rpowers@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Research Spotlight: Vegetation Type Conversion in the Southwest -- Observations and Management Takeaways https://www.usgs.gov/centers/werc/news/research-spotlight-vegetation-type-conversion-southwest-observations-and?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>Two new publications describe how forests, shrublands, and grasslands are being transformed into different ecosystem types in response to severe and frequent wildfire, drought, invasive species, climate, and other disturbances, a process known as vegetation type conversion.</p> Wed, 5 Oct 2022 23:41:19 EDT aweill@usgs.gov cee4e0c4-b91e-44c1-a98a-22250a1706fe aweill@usgs.gov (aweill@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Revisiting a Marine Mammal Mystery, with the Help of New Data and Powerful Statistics https://www.usgs.gov/news/featured-story/revisiting-marine-mammal-mystery-help-new-data-and-powerful-statistics?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>New techniques and a massive dataset have helped USGS scientists and partners determine why sea otter populations in southwest Alaska collapsed in the 1990s.</p> Wed, 21 Sep 2022 14:34:41 EDT aweill@usgs.gov 5da6f304-ff3d-4318-add0-3e698c586c16 aweill@usgs.gov (aweill@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Emeritus and Distinguished Alumni Profile: Jim Estes Explains How Sea Otters Run the world https://www.usgs.gov/centers/werc/news/emeritus-and-distinguished-alumni-profile-jim-estes-explains-how-sea-otters-run?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>Over a decades-long career as a federal scientist, Jim Estes’s groundbreaking work on sea otters has shown just how much these fuzzy animals can teach us about how the world’s ecosystems work.</p> Tue, 20 Sep 2022 19:53:03 EDT aweill@usgs.gov 3c828e87-405d-4a87-a36b-6e85a9db6151 aweill@usgs.gov (aweill@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey In Blue Water: Tracking Animals in the Open Ocean https://www.usgs.gov/news/science-snippet/blue-water-tracking-animals-open-ocean?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>Scientists are attaching tracking tags to marine animals at Palmyra Atoll to learn how marine protected areas can best serve diverse species. </p> Fri, 2 Sep 2022 12:04:36 EDT egoldbaum@usgs.gov 77c99c15-9fce-40a3-b9a0-60026ec822ac egoldbaum@usgs.gov (egoldbaum@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Water-Starved Shrubs Likely Intensified Recent Wildfires in Southern California https://www.usgs.gov/news/state-news-release/water-starved-shrubs-likely-intensified-recent-wildfires-southern?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>Researchers link shrubs that died during a severe drought to recent large fires.  </p> Wed, 24 Aug 2022 09:12:51 EDT egoldbaum@usgs.gov 8049b93b-4e4d-4dff-853e-dd9e2d738e01 egoldbaum@usgs.gov (egoldbaum@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Remembering Jan van Wagtendonk, who shaped fire and recreation management in the iconic Yosemite National Park https://www.usgs.gov/news/remembering-jan-van-wagtendonk-who-shaped-fire-and-recreation-management-iconic-yosemite?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>Former USGS scientist Jan van Wagtendonk passed away in July 2022, following a 50-year career as a federal scientist. Management strategies based on van Wagtendonk’s research continue to protect Yosemite’s beauty in the face of catastrophic wildfire and high visitor counts.</p> Wed, 3 Aug 2022 16:15:00 EDT aweill@usgs.gov 32f9e37d-6b89-4bc5-aabf-964ea5848a9e aweill@usgs.gov (aweill@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Diverse Aging Rates in Ectotherms Provide Insights for the Evolution of Aging and Longevity https://www.usgs.gov/centers/forest-and-rangeland-ecosystem-science-center/news/diverse-aging-rates-ectotherms-provide?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>Amphibians and reptiles, particularly turtles and tortoises, are well-known examples of animals with long lifespans. A team of international scientists published the largest study of aging and longevity in herptiles to date, and found considerable variation across 77 species.</p> Wed, 6 Jul 2022 13:35:04 EDT rpowers@usgs.gov 5e232e50-f1fe-4ca1-a811-236edb878436 rpowers@usgs.gov (rpowers@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey USGS Scientist Kathryn McEachern Honored as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Champion https://www.usgs.gov/centers/werc/news/usgs-scientist-kathryn-mceachern-honored-us-fish-and-wildlife-service-recovery?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>Dr. McEachern received the award for her role in rare plant conservation on the California Channel Islands.</p> Tue, 31 May 2022 19:13:52 EDT aweill@usgs.gov a401d6c5-e19a-43d3-9f92-a1b66a8bd505 aweill@usgs.gov (aweill@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Bird Mortality at Renewable Energy Facilities have Population-Level Effects https://www.usgs.gov/news/science-snippet/bird-mortality-renewable-energy-facilities-have-population-level-effects?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>A recent study shows nearly half of bird species studied were vulnerable to population-level effects from fatalities at renewable energy facilities. </p> Thu, 19 May 2022 15:39:02 EDT rmcclymont@usgs.gov aecf9663-6227-4eb9-814f-30e041689485 rmcclymont@usgs.gov (rmcclymont@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey 6 Migratory Birds USGS is Following https://www.usgs.gov/news/featured-story/6-migratory-birds-usgs-following?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>You might follow a lot of accounts on Twitter or Instagram, but at the USGS we follow the birds. With the help of lightweight GPS-transmitters to track migratory birds in near real-time and classic tools like bird bands, we study the flight paths and behaviors of birds all over the world. For World Migratory Bird Day on May 14, here are six of our favorites. </p> Wed, 11 May 2022 12:31:22 EDT plaustsen@usgs.gov 2419db0a-a9ba-42a7-ba55-927cfc43ca4c plaustsen@usgs.gov (plaustsen@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey They Do That, Too? Relatable Experiences for Mommas (and Momma-figures) of All Species https://www.usgs.gov/news/featured-story/they-do-too-relatable-experiences-mommas-and-momma-figures-all-species?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>Becoming a mother makes you do surprising (and sometimes gross) things. Don’t worry – you're not alone! Here are a few ways that motherhood creates kindred spirits across the animal kingdom.</p> Fri, 6 May 2022 08:00:49 EDT egoldbaum@usgs.gov 827fcd94-268d-4c71-94d3-de1e76a50648 egoldbaum@usgs.gov (egoldbaum@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey What's in a Sea Otter's Microbiome? https://www.usgs.gov/centers/werc/news/whats-sea-otters-microbiome?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>Sea otters are well-known for their soft, furry outsides—but have you ever stopped to think about a sea otter’s insides? In a recent paper, USGS scientists and partners at Stanford and Monterey Bay Aquarium explored what’s inside a sea otter’s guts. Specifically, they looked at what’s in a sea otter’s “microbiome.”</p> Fri, 15 Apr 2022 18:34:14 EDT aweill@usgs.gov c80bfba9-6fed-4cc7-b72f-38d205b5e91f aweill@usgs.gov (aweill@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey From Genes to GPS: for Endangered Light-Footed Ridgway’s Rails, Modern Tools Provide Insight into Population Health https://www.usgs.gov/centers/werc/news/genes-gps-endangered-light-footed-ridgways-rails-modern-tools-provide-insight?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>With the help of genetics and wildlife tracking, USGS scientists are monitoring an at-risk bird population and assessing outcomes of a captive breeding program.</p> Fri, 8 Apr 2022 15:25:34 EDT aweill@usgs.gov 6195ec38-8b17-498a-a85c-1d8de7556354 aweill@usgs.gov (aweill@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Research Spotlight: Drought Vulnerability Maps for Sierra Nevada Forests https://www.usgs.gov/centers/werc/news/research-spotlight-drought-vulnerability-maps-sierra-nevada-forests?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>USGS and partners have created maps of forest vulnerability to drought in the Sierra Nevada, aimed at helping managers determine where forest treatments may be most effective.</p> Tue, 15 Mar 2022 15:34:02 EDT aweill@usgs.gov 65dcbfb5-b154-4043-b8e9-0b8c795439ed aweill@usgs.gov (aweill@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Penguins May Wear Tuxedos, But It’s Their Genes That Are Teaching USGS Scientists About Penguin Health https://www.usgs.gov/centers/werc/news/penguins-may-wear-tuxedos-its-their-genes-are-teaching-usgs-scientists-about?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>Seabirds are among the most threatened marine taxonomic groups in the world, and among seabirds, the penguins are the most threatened seabird family. Genes can provide an early and comprehensive way to detect stress and sickness in penguins and other wildlife, allowing managers to respond quickly.</p> Fri, 11 Mar 2022 19:50:40 EST aweill@usgs.gov 3c269b66-2d17-439d-87bf-92545c9e8c32 aweill@usgs.gov (aweill@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey With Livestock Gone, an Island’s Decimated Native Flora Makes a Comeback https://www.usgs.gov/news/featured-story/livestock-gone-islands-decimated-native-flora-makes-a-comeback?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>A century of ranching severely damaged Santa Rosa Island’s rich plant diversity. A new study finds that native plant species are recovering after cattle, pigs, deer, and elk were removed from the island.</p> Wed, 2 Mar 2022 19:26:57 EST aweill@usgs.gov 594251a6-890f-4c56-b3ad-3d4bdb0ae015 aweill@usgs.gov (aweill@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Oh Christmas Tree: The Science of Conifer Trees https://www.usgs.gov/news/featured-story/oh-christmas-tree-science-conifer-trees?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p><strong>You might have an evergreen tree in your home this month, but here at USGS, many of our scientists get to enjoy beautiful pine, fir, hemlock, and spruce trees year-round in their outdoor workplaces!</strong></p> Tue, 21 Dec 2021 06:00:53 EST aweill@usgs.gov b3031481-0277-4cb3-9004-95e1da10603f aweill@usgs.gov (aweill@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Research Spotlight: New Study Identifies Effective Under-Road Passage Designs for California Tiger Salamanders https://www.usgs.gov/centers/werc/news/research-spotlight-new-study-identifies-effective-under-road-passage-designs?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>A new study by USGS researchers and partners investigated how California tiger salamanders in Stanford, California interacted with different types of barrier fencing while migrating to their annual breeding site and whether they were able to find and use an under-road tunnel passage system.</p> Thu, 18 Nov 2021 13:37:10 EST esanchez-chopitea@usgs.gov b9a884f7-9885-4959-a644-fceefe79566f esanchez-chopitea@usgs.gov (esanchez-chopitea@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Research Spotlight: New Study Identifies Effective Under-Road Passage Designs for California Tiger Salamanders https://www.usgs.gov/centers/werc/news/research-spotlight-new-study-identifies-effective-under-road-passage-designs?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>A new study by USGS researchers and partners investigated how California tiger salamanders in Stanford, California interacted with different types of barrier fencing while migrating to their annual breeding site and whether they were able to find and use an under-road tunnel passage system.</p> Thu, 18 Nov 2021 13:37:10 EST esanchez-chopitea@usgs.gov b9a884f7-9885-4959-a644-fceefe79566f esanchez-chopitea@usgs.gov (esanchez-chopitea@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Wildfire Smoke Disrupts Bird Migration in the West https://www.usgs.gov/news/national-news-release/wildfire-smoke-disrupts-bird-migration-west?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Early fall wildfires in the western states and the smoke they generate pose a risk to birds migrating in the Pacific Flyway, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. GPS data from the 2020 wildfire season indicate that at least some migratory birds may take longer and use more energy to avoid wildfire smoke.</p> Wed, 13 Oct 2021 07:00:00 EDT aweill@usgs.gov 4e2f2518-c630-478c-90e1-083af8eed341 aweill@usgs.gov (aweill@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Research Spotlight: High Salinity and Limited Wetlands Reduce Duckling Habitat for Waterfowl https://www.usgs.gov/news/research-spotlight-high-salinity-and-limited-wetlands-reduce-duckling-habitat-waterfowl?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>A new publication by USGS scientists examines wetland availability and salinity in Suisun Marsh, with particular focus on the implications for young ducklings with low salinity tolerance. The results indicated that a majority of wetland area in Suisun Marsh has salinity concentrations high enough to have detrimental effects on duckling growth and survival.</p> Tue, 5 Oct 2021 13:15:00 EDT aweill@usgs.gov d176a06a-939e-48aa-aea5-64f9921d6e73 aweill@usgs.gov (aweill@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Sea Otter Surveys Get a High-Tech, COVID-Safe Update for 2021 https://www.usgs.gov/news/sea-otter-surveys-get-high-tech-covid-safe-update-2021?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>After a 2020 cancellation of the annual sea otter census, the count was back on for 2021.</p> Sat, 18 Sep 2021 21:00:00 EDT aweill@usgs.gov 917ae698-689f-47fe-b9f6-675db42350bb aweill@usgs.gov (aweill@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey Photo Roundup - July-August 2021 https://www.usgs.gov/programs/cmhrp/news/photo-roundup-july-august-2021?utm_source=comms&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=news <p>A selection of coastal and ocean images and videos from across the USGS</p> Tue, 31 Aug 2021 09:30:00 EDT ltorresan@usgs.gov 3043a89d-0b7f-41c6-8244-7ea6641ad3d1 ltorresan@usgs.gov (ltorresan@usgs.gov) U.S. Geological Survey