Southwest Biological Science Center

Filter Total Items: 19
An extremely rare Mojave River western pond turtle was recently observed in the Mojave Desert.
May 23, 2017

An extremely rare Mojave River western pond turtle was recently observed by U.S. Geological Survey scientists and staff from The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in the Mojave Desert. Turtles of this population have rarely been seen since the late 1990s.

An adult bobcat approached a sleeping desert tortoise at a camera-monitored burrow at wind energy facility
May 16, 2017

Research on desert tortoises has received some press recently. SBSC scientists and their collaborators have been studying the influence of a wind turbine facility on potential predators of the tortoises and on the effects of drought on tortoises near Joshua Tree National Park. Their work was recently covered by Popular Science and the LA Times.

A radio-tracked adult desert tortoise basks in the sun among the wind turbines at a wind energy facility
May 3, 2017

How a wind energy facility is designed can influence the behavior of animal predators and their prey, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Wildlife Management by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Large snapping turtle on green lawn.
April 25, 2017

The Camp Verde Bugle interviewed several SBSC scientists about the 40-pound nonnative snapping turtle that had to be relocated to a new home.

6" tall hardware cloth connectivity modifier (ConMod) used to provide a safe space for native plant seedling establishment
April 18, 2017

Mike Duniway and Becky Mann were interviewed by KZMU, a community radio station located in Moab, UT. They discussed a strategy that uses 6" tall structures to provide safe places for native plant seed germination and seedling survival, and should benefit restoration efforts in water-limited systems.

Photo of biocrusts providing soil stability in the desert
March 16, 2017

The Arizona Daily Sun published an article about a recently published paper that investigated the consequences of altered temperature and moisture regimes on biological soil crusts and the resultant effects on soil surface albedo

Research drone hovering about 20 feet off the snow-covered ground with pines and snow-covered mountains in the background
March 16, 2017

The Arizona Daily Sun published a piece about the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) by USGS researchers in Flagstaff.

Biocrust
March 16, 2017

High Country News recently published an article titled, “The biocrust conundrum”. The piece focuses on the recently published paper, “Albedo feedbacks to future climate via climate change impacts on dryland biocrusts”.

View from Canyonlands Research Center
March 15, 2017

Arid and semiarid ecosystems are expected to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation patterns, which may affect soil organisms in ways that cause surfaces to become lighter in color and thus reflect more sunlight, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

Oil well pad in a dryland ecosystem dominated by shrubs. 
February 14, 2017

Several news sources have reported on a recently published paper by Travis Nauman and Mike Duniway titled, “Disturbance automated reference toolset (DART): assessing patterns in ecological recovery from energy development on the Colorado Plateau”.  

Photo of an active oil and gas pad on Bureau of Land Management lands near Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
February 7, 2017

A new scientific approach can now provide regional assessments of land recovery following oil and gas drilling activities, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.