Western Ecological Research Center (WERC)

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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.

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News

Date published: July 1, 2020

Annual Southern Sea Otter Census Cancelled Due to Health and Safety Concerns

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the USGS and partners at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have decided to cancel this year's annual rangewide southern sea otter census.

Date published: May 14, 2020

Remembering Philip Anthony Medica, Desert Tortoise Researcher and USGS Scientist Emeritus

Philip (Phil) Anthony Medica, USGS Scientist Emeritus, passed away on May 3. He is remembered as a dear friend and colleague and as a scientist who made substantial contributions to desert tortoise research and conservation.

Date published: April 27, 2020

California Red-legged Frogs Reintroduced to Historic Range in Southern California

In a historic and exciting first, the federally threatened California red-legged frog, the inspiration for Mark Twain’s short story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," has been successfully reintroduced to southern California by USGS scientists and collaborators.  

Publications

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Year Published: 2020

A global parasite conservation plan

Metazoan parasites are among the most diverse, threatened, and under-protected animals on Earth, making it increasingly important to ask how and when we should prevent parasite extinctions. However, parasite conservation remains mostly based in theory, without clear goals and priorities, and with few practical guidelines. In this document, a...

Carlson, Colin J.; Hopkins, Skylar R.; Bell, Kayce C; Doña, Jorge; Godfrey, Stephanie S; Kwak, Mackenzie L; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Moir, Melinda L; Speer, Kelly A; Strona, Giovanni; Torchin, Mark; Wood, Chelsea L.

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Year Published: 2020

Biotelemetry data for Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) captured in coastal southern California, February 2017–December 2019

Because of a lack of clarity about the status of golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) in coastal southern California, the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, and San Diego Management and Monitoring Program, began a multi-year survey and...

Tracey, Jeff A.; Madden, Melanie C.; Molden, James C.; Sebes, Jeremy B.; Bloom, Peter H.; Fisher, Robert N.
Tracey, J.A., Madden, M.C., Molden, J.C., Sebes, J.B., Bloom, P.H., and Fisher, R.N., 2020, Biotelemetry data for Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) captured in coastal southern California, February 2017–December 2019: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1128, 34 p., https://doi.org/ 10.3133/ ds1128.

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Year Published: 2020

Establishing Forster’s Tern (Sterna forsteri) nesting sites at pond A16 using social attraction for the South Bay Salt Pond restoration project

Forster’s terns (Sterna forsteri), historically one of the most numerous colonial-breeding waterbirds in South San Francisco Bay, California, have experienced recent decreases in the number of nesting colonies and overall breeding population size. The South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project aims to restore 50–90 percent of former salt evaporation...

Hartman, C. Alex; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark P.; Wang, Yiwei; Strong, Cheryl
Hartman, C.A., Ackerman, J.T., Herzog, M.P., Wang, Y., and Strong, C., 2020, Establishing Forster’s Tern (Sterna forsteri) nesting sites at pond A16 using social attraction for the South Bay Salt Pond restoration project: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1081, 28 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201081.