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: March 20, 2019

Employee Spotlight: Melissa Roach

Newest member of the Bird Banding Laboratory has a long history with birds.

Date published: March 15, 2019

Brilliant Bandings and Superb Sightings: A Well-Traveled Turkey Vulture

One Turkey Vulture’s 3,000 Mile Journey.

Date published: March 13, 2019

Significant Milestone in Whooping Crane Recovery

This week marks a significant milestone in the conservation and recovery of the endangered whooping crane. On March 11 and 13, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center transferred its last two cranes of the approximately 75 that were in its flock to other institutions, closing out more than 50 years of the center’s whooping crane research and captive breeding success.


Year Published: 2019

Confronting uncertainty: Contributions of the wildlife profession to the broader scientific community

Most wildlife professionals are engaged in 1 or both of 2 basic endeavors: science and management. These endeavors are a focus of many other disciplines, leading to widespread sharing of general methodologies. Wildlife professionals have appropriately borrowed and assimilated many methods developed primarily in other disciplines but have also led...

Nichols, James D.

Year Published: 2019

Scale‐dependent effects of isolation on seasonal patch colonisation by two Neotropical freshwater fishes

The metapopulation paradigm has been central to improve the conservation and management of natural populations. However, despite the large number of studies on metapopulation dynamics, the overall support for the relationships on which the paradigm is based has not been strong. Here, we studied the occupancy dynamics of two Neotropical fishes (i.e...

Penha, Jerry; Hakamada, Karlo Y. P.; Hines, James E.; Nichols, James D.

Year Published: 2019

Evidence for a duplicated mitochondrial region in Audubon’s shearwater based on MinION sequencing

Mitochondrial genetic markers have been extensively used to study the phylogenetics and phylogeography of many birds, including seabirds of the order Procellariiformes. Evidence suggests that part of the mitochondrial genome of Procellariiformes, especially albatrosses, is duplicated, but no DNA fragment covering the entire duplication has been...

Torres, Lucas; Welch, Andreanna J.; Zanchetta, Catherine; Chesser, Terry; Manno, Maxime; Donnadieu, Cecile; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Pante, Eric