Science Center Objects

The impact of invasive plants and animals as taken on a heightened significance with an increase in the movement of people and goods around the world. Control of invasive and non-native species has become a national priority in the protection of endangered species and ecosystem services (through native species) and the understanding the mechanisms, pathways, and ecological relationships is vital for maintaining biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.

Teaching Eelgrass Restoration Techniques

Project partners are instructed in eelgrass planting methods. (Public domain.)


Recovery of Eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) in Casco Bay, Maine, Following Destruction by European Green Crabs

Eelgrass provides essential functions to the ecology and economy of Maine’s coastal zone. When over half the eelgrass in Casco Bay, Maine, disappeared between 2012 and 2013, USGS experimental evidence identified disturbance from invasive European green crabs as the leading cause. Loss of vegetation is expected to precipitate a range of impacts, including reduced fish and wildlife populations, degraded water quality, increased shoreline erosion, and reduced capacity to remove anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and mitigate coastal acidification. Therefore, reversing eelgrass loss in Casco Bay is of critical ecological and economic importance.


Key Largo woodrat (Neotoma floridana smalli - KLWR)

Key Largo woodrat (Neotoma floridana smalli - KLWR)(Public domain.)


Assessing Endangered Marsh Rabbit and Woodrat Habitat use and Predator Population Dynamics

Feral and free-ranging domestic cats (Felis catus) have strong negative effects on wildlife, particularly in island ecosystems such as the Florida Keys. We deployed camera traps to study free-ranging cats in National Wildlife Refuges and state parks on Big Pine Key and Key Largo and used spatial models to estimate cat population dynamics and stable isotope analyses to examine cat diets. Top models separated cats based on movements and activity patterns and represent feral, semi-feral, and indoor/outdoor house cats. We provide evidence that cat groups within a population move different distances, exhibit different activity patterns, and that individuals consume wildlife at different rates - all of which have implications for managing this invasive predator.



Structured Decision Making. The PrOACT sequence captures the essential elements of any decision

Structured Decision Making (SDM) framework (Public domain.)





Structured Decision Making

The biggest natural resource management challenges include competing views of the value and uses of those resources in society. Patuxent scientists develop methods to manage resources given those competing views under a “structured decision making” (SDM) framework. Our scientists both practice and train others in key SDM skills, such as model development and monitoring design.

Image: Endangered Humpback Chub

U.S. Geological Survey scientists estimate that the adult population of humpback chub (Gila cypha) in the Grand Canyon increased 50 percent between 2001 and 2008.  (Credit: No name provided, Arizona Game and Fish Department. Public domain.)







Adaptive Management for Threatened and Endangered Species

Threatened and endangered species have to be managed in the face of uncertainty, but traditionally, there has been reluctance to think about adaptive management of listed species. Management agencies with responsibility for threatened and endangered species need tools to help manage in the face of uncertainty, with the hope of reducing that uncertainty.