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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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Remembering Jan van Wagtendonk, who shaped fire and recreation management in the iconic Yosemite National Park

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Diverse Aging Rates in Ectotherms Provide Insights for the Evolution of Aging and Longevity

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USGS Scientist Kathryn McEachern Honored as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Champion

Publications

Research to inform passage spacing for migratory amphibians and to evaluate efficacy and designs for open elevated road segment (ERS) passages

This is a multifaceted project that includes three main areas of research targeted to inform effective crossing systems for migratory amphibians, a large group of species which are at very high risk from negative impacts from roads within their habitats (Glista et al. 2008, Hamer and McDonnell 2008, Semlitsch 2008, Brehme et al. 2018). The three projects presented in this report are:1) Movement di

Evidence gaps and diversity among potential win–win solutions for conservation and human infectious disease control

As sustainable development practitioners have worked to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all” and “conserve life on land and below water”, what progress has been made with win–win interventions that reduce human infectious disease burdens while advancing conservation goals? Using a systematic literature review, we identified 46 proposed solutions, which we then investigated individ

Future directions to manage wildlife health in a changing climate

In September 2019 The Economist wrote an obituary to Okjökull, a glacier in western Iceland that was declared “dead” in 2014, a victim of climate change. Although a few wildlife species have already incurred such a fate (e.g., the Bramble Cay melomys [Melomys rubicola]) (Fulton 2017), many more are on the path to climate-driven extinction (Andermann et al. 2020; Ceballos et al. 2015; He et al. 201

Science

Pacific Pocket Mouse Monitoring and Research Program

Once thought to be extinct, the Pacific pocket mouse (Perognathus longimembris pacificus) was rediscovered in 1993 and is currently found at three population sites along the southern California coast. USGS researchers and their partners developed a comprehensive long-term monitoring plan to assess the status and trends of Pacific pocket mouse and identify important drivers of population dynamics...
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Pacific Pocket Mouse Monitoring and Research Program

Once thought to be extinct, the Pacific pocket mouse (Perognathus longimembris pacificus) was rediscovered in 1993 and is currently found at three population sites along the southern California coast. USGS researchers and their partners developed a comprehensive long-term monitoring plan to assess the status and trends of Pacific pocket mouse and identify important drivers of population dynamics...
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Contributions to the development of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Sagebrush Conservation Strategy

USGS scientists are contributing to the development of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Sagebrush Conservation Strategy, a strategy intended to provide guidance so that efforts to conserve the iconic greater sage-grouse can be expanded to the entire sagebrush biome to benefit the people and wildlife that depend on it.
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Contributions to the development of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Sagebrush Conservation Strategy

USGS scientists are contributing to the development of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Sagebrush Conservation Strategy, a strategy intended to provide guidance so that efforts to conserve the iconic greater sage-grouse can be expanded to the entire sagebrush biome to benefit the people and wildlife that depend on it.
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Reptile and Amphibian Road Ecology

USGS is working with many partners to help reptiles, amphibians and other animals cross roads safely, improving access to essential habitat.
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Reptile and Amphibian Road Ecology

USGS is working with many partners to help reptiles, amphibians and other animals cross roads safely, improving access to essential habitat.
Learn More