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Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center

Our Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center's priority is to continue the important work of the Department of the Interior and the USGS, while also maintaining the health and safety of our employees and community.  Based on guidance from the White House, the CDC, and state and local authorities, we are shifting our operations to a virtual mode and have minimal staffing

News

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The Hidden Cost of Disease for Bighorn Sheep—Smaller Horns

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How Can Managers Respond to Changing Ecosystems?

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Friday's Findings - November 5 2021

Publications

Stoneflies in the genus Lednia (Plecoptera: Nemouridae): Sentinels of climate change impacts on mountain stream biodiversity

Rapid recession of glaciers and snowfields is threatening the habitats of cold-water biodiversity worldwide. In many ice-sourced headwaters of western North America, stoneflies in the genus Lednia (Plecoptera: Nemouridae) are a prominent member of the invertebrate community. With a broad distribution in mountain streams and close ties to declining glacier cover, Lednia has emerged as a sentinel of

Disease and secondary sexual traits: Effects of pneumonia on horn size of bighorn sheep

Secondary sexual traits (e.g., horns and antlers) have ecological and evolutionary importance and are of management interest for game species. Yet, how these traits respond to emerging threats like infectious disease remains underexplored. Infectious pneumonia threatens bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) populations across North America and we hypothesized it may also reduce horn growth in male sheep

Multi-species amphibian monitoring across a protected landscape: Critical reflections on 15 years of wetland monitoring in Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks

Widespread amphibian declines were well documented at the end of the 20th century, raising concerns about the need to identify individual and interactive contributors to this global trend. At the same time, there was growing interest in the use of amphibians as ecological indicators. In the United States, wetland and amphibian monitoring programs were launched in some national parks as a necessary

Science

Evaluating Transmission of Chronic Wasting Disease in the Environment

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal disease of deer, elk, and moose and has been spreading in North America for the past two decades. The disease is spread by infected body fluids. Animals can become infected by coming into direct contact with a CWD-infected animal, or an infected animal can leave behind fluids (e.g., saliva, urine) that an uninfected animal will come into contact later...
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Evaluating Transmission of Chronic Wasting Disease in the Environment

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal disease of deer, elk, and moose and has been spreading in North America for the past two decades. The disease is spread by infected body fluids. Animals can become infected by coming into direct contact with a CWD-infected animal, or an infected animal can leave behind fluids (e.g., saliva, urine) that an uninfected animal will come into contact later...
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Developing Tools to Evaluate Chronic Wasting Disease Transmission Risk

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) infects and kills ungulates (deer, elk, moose), and has been spreading across North America for the past 20 years. Some ungulate populations have declined because of CWD and there are no viable vaccines or treatments for this disease. Therefore, tools that assist wildlife managers in preventing and mitigating CWD can be powerful assets in protecting our nation’s big...
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Developing Tools to Evaluate Chronic Wasting Disease Transmission Risk

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) infects and kills ungulates (deer, elk, moose), and has been spreading across North America for the past 20 years. Some ungulate populations have declined because of CWD and there are no viable vaccines or treatments for this disease. Therefore, tools that assist wildlife managers in preventing and mitigating CWD can be powerful assets in protecting our nation’s big...
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Wet Snow Avalanche Research

Wet snow avalanches, including both wet slab and glide avalanches, are dangerous and can be particularly difficult to predict because they are relatively poorly understood compared to dry snow avalanches. They pose significant risk to human life and infrastructure in mountainous areas throughout the world. Wet snow avalanches are caused by weakening in the strength of the snowpack, often triggered...
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Wet Snow Avalanche Research

Wet snow avalanches, including both wet slab and glide avalanches, are dangerous and can be particularly difficult to predict because they are relatively poorly understood compared to dry snow avalanches. They pose significant risk to human life and infrastructure in mountainous areas throughout the world. Wet snow avalanches are caused by weakening in the strength of the snowpack, often triggered...
Learn More