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, 2020

Employee Spotlight: Jennifer McKay Rejoins the Bird Banding Laboratory

Biologist with avian database skills returns to the lab.

Date published: July 7, 2020

USGS Celebrates 100 Years of Bird Banding Lab

Birds bring joy merely by their presence, from their bold colors and majestic songs to their grace as they glide through the sky. Birds contribute more than beauty to the environment and society. Many plants depend on hummingbirds and other species to pollinate them. Hawks and owls prey on rodents and other pests. Fruit- and grain-eating birds help spread plants’ seeds.

Date published: June 22, 2020

It’s Pollinator Week!

Pollinators in the form of bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles provide vital but often invisible services, from supporting terrestrial wildlife and plant communities, to supporting healthy watersheds.


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Year Published: 2020

How plants influence resilience of salt marsh and mangrove wetlands to sea-level rise

This review evaluates the importance of plants and associated biological processes in determining the vulnerability of coastal wetlands to sea-level rise. Coastal wetlands occur across a broad sedimentary continuum from minerogenic to biogenic, providing an opportunity to examine the relative importance of biological processes in wetland...

Cahoon, Donald R.; McKee, Karen L.; James Morris

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Year Published: 2020

Influenza A viruses remain infectious for more than seven months in northern wetlands of North America

In this investigation, we used a combination of field- and laboratory-based approaches to assess if influenza A viruses (IAVs) shed by ducks could remain viable for extended periods in surface water within three wetland complexes of North America. In a field experiment, replicate filtered surface water samples inoculated with duck swabs were...

Ramey, Andrew M.; Reeves, Andrew B.; Drexler, Judith Z.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Lang, Andrew S.; Leyson, Christina; Link, Paul T.; Prosser, Diann; Robertson, Gregory J.; Wight, Jordan; Youk, Sungsu; Spackman, Erica; Pantin-Jackwood, Mary; Poulson, Rebecca L.; Stallknecht, David E.

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Year Published: 2020

Coming of age: Morphometric variation in the hand skeletons of juvenile and adult Lesser Treeshrews (Scandentia: Tupaiidae: Tupaia minor Günther, 1876)

Morphometric analyses of the manus skeleton have proven useful in understanding species limits and morphological divergence among tupaiid treeshrews (Scandentia: Tupaiidae). Specimens in these studies are typically limited to mature individuals with fully erupted permanent dentition, which eliminates potentially confounding variation attributable...

Woodman, Neal; Miller-Murthy, Ananth; Olson, Link E.; Sargis, Eric J.