Patuxent Wildlife Research Center


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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Date published: July 23, 2019

Brilliant Bandings & Superb Sightings: Ring-billed Gull in Long Island

A color-marked Ring-billed Gull has second sighting in a Long Island village.

Date published: June 14, 2019

Modeling Management Actions Helps Researchers Pinpoint the Main Culprit of Wood Frog Declines

Amphibian decline is a global conservation crisis driven by multiple interacting stressors, which often act at a local scale with global implications.

Date published: May 31, 2019

Student Interns with Differing Abilities Recognized for Accomplishments in Employment Training

USGS student interns and employees of the Band-Scan Project reflect on their work experiences during their time in STEP-UP.


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Year Published: 2019

Optimization of salt marsh management at the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex 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; Ernst, Nicholas T.
Neckles, H.A., Lyons, J.E., Nagel, J.L., Adamowicz, S.C., Mikula, T., and Ernst, N.T., 2019, Optimization of salt marsh management at the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex through use of structured decision making: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1103, 39 p.,

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Year Published: 2019

Climatic controls on the distribution of foundation plant species in coastal wetlands of the conterminous United States: Knowledge gaps and emerging research needs

Foundation plant species play a critical role in coastal wetlands, often modifying abiotic conditions that are too stressful for most organisms and providing the primary habitat features that support entire ecological communities. Here, we consider the influence of climatic drivers on the distribution of foundation plant species within coastal...

Osland, Michael; Grace, James; Guntenspergen, Glenn; Thorne, Karen; Carr, Joel; Feher, Laura

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Year Published: 2019

Deer do not affect short-term rates of vegetation recovery in overwash fans on Fire Island after Hurricane Sandy

1. Coastal resilience is threatened as storm-induced disturbances become more frequent and intense with anticipated changes in weather patterns. After severe storms, rapid recovery of vegetation, especially that of dune-stabilizing plants, is a fundamental property of coastal resilience. Herbivores may affect resilience by selectively foraging...

Kilheffer, Chellby R.; Underwood, H. Brian; Raphael, Jordan; Ries, Lindsay; Farrell, Shannon; Leopold, Donald J.