Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

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Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (PWRC) produces innovative science to support natural resource management and meet our nation’s most pressing conservation challenges.
PWRC research topics include bird population dynamics, ecotoxicology, and the development of quantitative & decision analysis tools. We conduct several national programs, including the Bird Banding Lab and the Breeding Bird Survey.

Research Spotlight

Research Spotlight

USGS Patuxent scientists are providing managers with tools for improving detection and for proactively mitigating the impacts of amphibian diseases.

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Publication Spotlight

Publication Spotlight

A decision-support framework was developed in collaboration with USFWS to identify approaches to maximize salt marsh management benefits at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge.

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News

Date published: March 30, 2021

Low Risk of Researchers Passing Coronavirus to North American Bats

The risk is low that scientists could pass coronavirus to North American bats during winter research, according to a new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey. 

Date published: March 11, 2021

Announcing the USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center

The U.S. Geological Survey recently announced completion of the merger between the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (PWRC) and Leetown Science Center (LSC). The combined center’s name is the USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center (EESC).

Date published: March 8, 2021

A Whale by Any Other Name

A new paper from the USGS and Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History documents some of the first scientific descriptions and names given to what are today known as the sperm whale and false killer whale.

Publications

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Year Published: 2021

Optimization of salt marsh management at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey, through use of structured decision making

Structured decision making is a systematic, transparent process for improving the quality of complex decisions by identifying measurable management objectives and feasible management actions; predicting the potential consequences of management actions relative to the stated objectives; and selecting a course of action that maximizes the total...

Neckles, Hilary A.; Lyons, James E.; Nagel, Jessica L.; Adamowicz, Susan C.; Mikula, Toni; Castelli, Paul M.; Rettig, Virginia
Neckles, H.A., Lyons, J.E., Nagel, J.L., Adamowicz, S.C., Mikula, T., Castelli, P.M., and Rettig, V., 2021, Optimization of salt marsh management at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey, through use of structured decision making: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1037, 41 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211037.

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Year Published: 2021

A socio-ecological imperative for broadening participation in coastal and estuarine research and management

For most of the scientific disciplines associated with coastal and estuarine research, workforce representation does not match the demographics of communities we serve, especially for Black, Hispanic or Latino, and Indigenous peoples. This essay provides an overview of this inequity and identifies how a scientific society can catalyze...

Harris, Lora A.; Grayson, Treda; Neckles, Hilary A.; Emrich, Christopher T; Lewis, Kristy A; Grimes, Kristin W.; Williamson, Shanna; Garza, Corey; Whitcraft, Christine R; Beseres Pollack, Jennifer; Talley, Drew M; Fertig, Benjamin; Palinkas, Cindy M; Park, Susan; Vaudrey, Jamie MP; Fitzgerald, Allison M; Quispe, Johnny

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Year Published: 2021

Quantifying slopes as a driver of forest to marsh conversion using geospatial techniques: Application to Chesapeake Bay coastal-plain, USA

Coastal salt marshes, which provide valuable ecosystem services such as flood mitigation and carbon sequestration, are threatened by rising sea level. In response, these ecosystems migrate landward, converting available upland into salt marsh. In the coastal-plain surrounding Chesapeake Bay, United States, conversion of coastal forest to salt...

Molino, Grace Damore; Defne, Zafer; Aretxabaleta, Alfredo; Ganju, Neil Kamal; Carr, Joel A.