Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center


Scientists from the Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center capitalize on their diverse expertise to answer scientific questions shaped by the environments of the western United States. We collaborate with each other and with partners to provide rigorous, objective, and timely information and guidance for the management and conservation of biological systems in the West and worldwide. 

FRESC Research Teams

FRESC Research Teams

FRESC scientists, individually or collaboratively with partners, investigate high-priority questions about biological systems.

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Featured Research

Featured Research

Explore one of FRESC's many research programs.

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Date published: January 6, 2021

Assessing Consequences of Human Activity on Wildlife Populations

Human activity sometimes stresses or kills individual animals. Most of the tools we have to address this problem are focused on those individuals. We have limited ways to understand how human activity impacts wildlife populations. USGS scientists have developed a new tool to help managers understand the effects of human stressors on wildlife populations.

Date published: January 5, 2021

Conservation Genetics of the Imperiled Striped Whipsnake in Washington

The striped whipsnake occurs across 11 western U.S. states and into Mexico but has experienced population declines in parts of its range, particularly in Washington.

Date published: December 18, 2020

Annotated Bibliography of Scientific Research on Greater Sage-Grouse Published

The U.S. Geological Survey has reviewed and summarized the substantial body of literature related to the conservation, management, monitoring, and assessement of the greater sage-grouse, creating an annotated bibliography that provides easy access to sage-grouse science developed since 2015. 


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Year Published: 2021

From satellites to frogs: Quantifying ecohydrological change, drought mitigation, and population demography in desert meadows

Increasing frequency and severity of droughts have motivated natural resource managers to mitigate harmful ecological and hydrological effects of drought, but drought mitigation is an emerging science and evaluating its effectiveness is difficult. We examined ecohydrological responses of drought mitigation actions aimed at conserving populations...

Pilliod, David; Hausner, Mark B.; Scherer, Rick D.

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Year Published: 2021

The snag’s the limit: Habitat selection modeling for the western purple martin in a managed forest landscape

The western purple martin (Progne subis arboricola), an avian insectivore, is a species of conservation concern throughout the Pacific Northwest. Compared to the well-studied eastern subspecies (Progne subis subis), little is known of the life history and biology of the western subspecies. Availability of breeding habitat is believed to be a major...

Sherman, Lorelle M.; Hagar, Joan

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Year Published: 2021

High frequency of lead exposure in the population of an endangered Australian top predator, the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax fleayi)

Lead poisoning, mainly through incidental ingestion of lead ammunition in carcasses, is a threat to scavenging and predatory bird species worldwide. In Australia, shooting for animal control is widespread, and a range of native scavenging species are susceptible to lead exposure. However, the prevalence of lead exposure in Australia's scavenging...

Pay, James M.; Katzner, Todd E.; Hawkins, Clare E.; Koch, Amelia J.; Wiersm, Jason M.; Brown, William E.; Mooney, Nick J.; Cameron, Elissa Z.