Fort Collins Science Center

Fish and Wildlife

Filter Total Items: 63
Date published: November 17, 2016
Status: Active

Where the Bison Roam: Public-Private Partnership Supports Potential Restoration

A little over one hundred years ago, plains bison were prolific in the Great American West. Reports describe herds containing thousands of animals migrating through the central and western states, totaling 20–30 million across their entire range. With commercial, unregulated hunting in the late 1800s came the rapid demise of bison to barely more than 1,000 by 18891. Recently, renewed interest...

Date published: November 14, 2016
Status: Active

Real-World Applications of Molecular Genetics

Recent advances in molecular biology allow us to develop and apply the tools and concepts of molecular genetics to the conservation of biological resources. Working with our partners, we design and implement studies that provide genetic and genomic information for a broad range of applications, as detailed below.

Date published: October 27, 2016
Status: Active

Species Conservation

Large scale changes are occurring to our natural landscapes, often resulting in changes to the distribution and abundance of species living within these landscapes. Populations of many species affected by these natural or anthropogenic changes require focused management to ensure their conservation and sometimes recovery from the brink of extinction.

Date published: October 27, 2016
Status: Active

Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative: Inventory and Long-Term Monitoring

The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) addresses effects of land-use and climate changes on Southwest Wyoming’s natural resources. In partnership with twelve Federal, State, and local natural resource agencies, and non-governmental organizations– FORT and ten other USGS centers are conducting dozens of integrated science projects to assess the status of Southwest Wyoming’s...

Date published: October 27, 2016
Status: Active

Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative: Mechanistic Studies of Wildlife

The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) addresses effects of land-use and climate changes on Southwest Wyoming’s natural resources. In partnership with twelve Federal, State, and local natural resource agencies, and non-governmental organizations– FORT and ten other USGS centers are conducting dozens of integrated science projects to assess the status of Southwest Wyoming’s...

Date published: October 27, 2016
Status: Active

Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative: Baseline Synthesis

The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) addresses effects of land-use and climate changes on Southwest Wyoming’s natural resources. In partnership with twelve Federal, State, and local natural resource agencies, and non-governmental organizations– FORT and ten other USGS centers are conducting dozens of integrated science projects to assess the status of Southwest Wyoming’s...

Date published: October 27, 2016
Status: Active

Non-invasive Genetic Sampling of Free-roaming Horses to Estimate Population Size, Genetic Diversity, and Consumption of Invasive Species

Molecular tagging is a new application of molecular genetic techniques to traditional mark-recapture methodology designed to address situations where traditional methods fail. In such studies, non-invasively collected samples (such as feces, feathers, or fur) are used as a source of DNA that is then genotyped at multiple loci such that each individual animal can be uniquely identified. Thus,...

Date published: October 26, 2016
Status: Active

North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat)

North American bats face unprecedented threats including habitat loss and fragmentation, white-nose syndrome, wind energy development, and climate change. However, it is difficult to evaluate the impacts of these threats due to a lack of basic information about the distribution and abundance of bats across the continent. Although bat monitoring has long been conducted in individual areas and...

Date published: October 18, 2016
Status: Active

Ecology of Plague

In North America, the flea transmitted plague bacterium (Yersinia pestis) has colonized and altered native animal communities and ecosystems for more than a century. Many species have suffered adverse consequences from plague, perhaps none more than the endangered black-footed ferret. Plague has established within the ranges of all North American prairie dog species, which collectively serve...

Date published: October 18, 2016
Status: Active

Counting America’s Wild Horses and Burros: Better Estimates for Population Management

The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, as amended, states that, "It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands (PL 92-195, Sec. 1331, Congressional...

Date published: October 17, 2016
Status: Active

Wild Horse and Burro Survey Techniques

Because population estimates drive nearly all management decisions pertaining to wild horses and burros, accuracy is important. Several widely used techniques exist for conducting aerial population estimates of wildlife, but individually, each has important limitations. Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center (FORT), are evaluating combinations of these...

Date published: October 17, 2016
Status: Active

Non-invasive Surveillance of Bat Hibernacula to Investigate Potential Behavioral Causes of Mortality Associated with White Nose Syndrome

White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) is a devastating disease that threatens the survival of hibernating bats in North America. Since first documented in the winter of 2005/2006, WNS has spread from a very small area of New York across at least two thousand kilometers and half or more of states and provinces in the U.S. and Canada.