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Western Ecological Research Center (WERC)

The Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) is a USGS Ecosystems Mission Area operation serving primarily California and Nevada. WERC scientists work closely with Federal, State, academic, and other collaborators to address a diverse array of high-profile topics. Topics include research on effects of wildfire, sea level rise, drought, energy development and more on federal Trust species.

News

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New research shows people, wildlife, and marine environment benefit when island-ocean connections are restored

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USGS Scientists are Authors on New Framework for Seabirds and Offshore Wind Energy

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Environmental Impacts on Space Use of Mohave Ground Squirrels

Publications

Wind-energy development alters pronghorn migration at multiple scales

Migration is a critical behavioral strategy necessary for population persistence and ecosystem functioning, but migration routes have been increasingly disrupted by anthropogenic activities, including energy development. Wind energy is the world's fastest growing source of electricity and represents an important alternative to hydrocarbon extraction, but its effects on migratory species beyond bir

High female desert tortoise mortality in the western Sonoran Desert during California’s epic 2012–2016 drought

We conducted population surveys for desert tortoises Gopherus agassizii at 2 nearby sites in the western Sonoran Desert of California, USA, from 2015-2018, during the driest ongoing 22 yr period (2000-2021) in the southwestern USA in over 1200 yr. We hypothesized that drought-induced mortality would be female-biased due to water and energy losses attributable to egg production during protracted pe

Characterization of subsurface conditions and recharge at the irrigated four-plex baseball field, Fort Irwin National Training Center, California, 2018–20

The U.S. Geological Survey performed subsurface and geophysical site characterization of the irrigated four-plex baseball field in the Langford Valley–Irwin Groundwater Subbasin, as part of a research study in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Agricultural Research Service, and the Fort Irwin National Training Center, California. To help meet future demands, the Fort I

Science

Birds, Bats, and Beyond: Networked Wildlife Tracking in the Southern California Bight

Seabird and bat researchers from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center are teaming up to study how flying animals move through the marine environment. This Bureau of Ocean Energy Management supported project will add 25 remote telemetry stations to the existing global Motus Wildlife Tracking System, representing the largest single investment in coastal and offshore Motus infrastructure on...
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Birds, Bats, and Beyond: Networked Wildlife Tracking in the Southern California Bight

Seabird and bat researchers from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center are teaming up to study how flying animals move through the marine environment. This Bureau of Ocean Energy Management supported project will add 25 remote telemetry stations to the existing global Motus Wildlife Tracking System, representing the largest single investment in coastal and offshore Motus infrastructure on...
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Tracking Bats and Coronaviruses

Below are the USGS 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) research projects related to tracking bats and coronaviruses. Select tabs above for related items.
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Tracking Bats and Coronaviruses

Below are the USGS 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) research projects related to tracking bats and coronaviruses. Select tabs above for related items.
Learn More

2020 CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law on March 27th, 2020, to aid response efforts and ease the economic impact of COVID-19. The Department of the Interior received funds to “prevent, prepare for, and response to coronavirus, domestically or internationally including, “biosurveillance of wildlife and environmental persistence studies.” The USGS...
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2020 CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law on March 27th, 2020, to aid response efforts and ease the economic impact of COVID-19. The Department of the Interior received funds to “prevent, prepare for, and response to coronavirus, domestically or internationally including, “biosurveillance of wildlife and environmental persistence studies.” The USGS...
Learn More