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: April 11, 2019

BBL Data in Publication: Band Recoveries in Black Brant

A recently published scientific article uses USGS Bird Banding Laboratory records to evaluate hotspots of Black Brant band recoveries.

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.


Year Published: 2019

Hurricane Sandy impacts on coastal wetland resilience

The goal of this research was to evaluate the impacts of Hurricane Sandy on surface elevation trends in estuarine marshes located across the northeast region of the United States from Virginia to Maine using data from an opportunistic (in other words, not strategic) and collaborative network (from here on, an opportunistic network) of surface...

Cahoon, Donald R.; Olker, Jennifer H.; Yeates, Alice G.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Grace, James B.; Adamowicz, Susan C.; Anisfeld, Shimon C.; Baldwin, Andrew H.; Barrett, Nels; Beckett, Leah; Benzecry, Alice; Blum, Linda K.; Burdick, David M.; Crouch, William; Ekberg, Marci Cole; Fernald, Sarah; Grimes, Kristin Wilson; Grzyb, Joseph; Hartig, Ellen Kracauer; Kreeger, Danielle A.; Larson, Marit; Lerberg, Scott; Lynch, James C.; Maher, Nicole; Maxwell-Doyle, Martha; Mitchell, Laura R.; Mora, Jordan; O'Neill, Victoria; Padeletti, Angela; Prosser, Diann J.; Quirk, Tracy; Raposa, Kenneth B.; Reay, William G.; Siok, Drexel; Snow, Christopher; Starke, Adam; Stevenson, J. Court; Staver, Lorie; Turner, Vincent
Cahoon, D.R., Olker, J.H., Yeates, A.G., Guntenspergen, G.R., Grace, J.B., Adamowicz, S.C., Anisfeld, S., Baldwin, A.H., Barrett, N., Beckett, L., Benzecry, A., Blum, L.K., Burdick, D.M., Crouch, W., Ekberg, M.C., Fernald, S., Grimes, K.W., Grzyb, J., Hartig, E.K., Kreeger, D.A., Larson, M., Lerberg, S., Lynch, J.C., Maher, N., Maxwell-Doyle, M., Mitchell, L.R., Mora, J., O’Neill, V., Padeletti, A., Prosser, D., Quirk, T., Raposa, K.B., Reay, W.G., Siok, D., Snow, C., Starke, A., Staver, L., Stevenson, J.C., and Turner, V., 2019, Hurricane Sandy impacts on coastal wetland resilience: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1142, 117 p.,

Year Published: 2019

Functional variation at an expressed MHC class IIß locus associates with Ranavirus infection intensity in larval anuran populations

Infectious diseases are causing catastrophic losses to biodiversity globally. Iridoviruses in the genus Ranavirus are among the leading causes of amphibian disease-related mortality. Polymorphisms in major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are significantly associated with variation in amphibian susceptibility to pathogens. MHC genes encode...

Savage, Anna E.; Muletz-Wolz, Carly R.; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Fleischer, Robert C.; Mulder , Kevin P.

Year Published: 2019

Using the value of information to improve conservation decision making

Conservation decisions are challenging, not only because they often involve difficult conflicts among outcomes that people value, but because our understanding of the natural world and our effects on it is fraught with uncertainty. Value of Information (VoI) methods provide an approach for understanding and managing uncertainty from the standpoint...

Bolam, Friederike C.; Grainger, Matthew J.; Mengerson, Kerrie L.; Stewart, Gavin B.; Sutherland, William J.; Runge, Michael C.; McGowan, Philip J. K.