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

Barbara Kus and Mary Ann Madej Composite
May 25, 2018

This month, we recognize two WERC scientists for their decades of research on endangered songbirds, and the geology and hydrology of mountain ecosystems.

Collage of reptiles and amphibians affected by roads
May 17, 2018

In a new study, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists ranked more than 160 species and sub-species of reptiles and amphibians in terms of their vulnerability to vehicle strikes and habitat fragmentation from roadways. Their results are published in the journal Landscape Ecology.

Photo of USGS biological science tech Shannon Waters holding a salmon for release
April 13, 2018

WERC biological science technician Shannon Waters is part of a research team studying the effects of warming water temperatures on Chinook salmon. On Tuesday, April 3rd, she visited the California State University, Sacramento to talk to students and the interested public about the team's findings.

Publications

Year Published: 2018

Evaluation of social attraction measures to establish Forster’s tern (Sterna forsteri) nesting colonies for the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, San Francisco Bay, California—2017 Annual Report

Forster’s terns (Sterna forsteri), historically one of the most numerous colonial-breeding waterbirds in South San Francisco Bay, California, have had recent decreases in the number of nesting colonies and overall breeding population size. The South Bay Salt Pond (SBSP) 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., 2018, Evaluation of social attraction measures to establish Forster’s tern (Sterna forsteri) nesting colonies for the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, San Francisco Bay, California—2017 annual report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1090, 25 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181090.

Year Published: 2018

Leaf to landscape responses of giant sequoia to hotter drought: An introduction and synthesis for the special section

Hotter droughts are becoming more common as climate change progresses, and they may already have caused instances of forest dieback on all forested continents. Learning from hotter droughts, including where on the landscape forests are more or less vulnerable to these events, is critical to help resource managers proactively prepare for the future...

Nydick, Koren R.; Stephenson, Nathan L.; Ambrose, Anthony R.; Asner, Gregory P.; Baxter, Wendy L.; Das, Adrian J.; Dawson, Todd E.; Martin, Roberta E.; Paz-Kagan, Tarin
Koren R. Nydick, Nathan L. Stephenson, Anthony R. Ambrose, Gregory P. Asner, Wendy L. Baxter, Adrian J. Das, Todd Dawson, Roberta E. Martin, Tarin Paz-Kagan, Leaf to landscape responses of giant sequoia to hotter drought: An introduction and synthesis for the special section, Forest Ecology and Management, Volumes 419–420, 2018, Pages 249-256, ISSN 0378-1127, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2018.03.028.

Year Published: 2018

Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) habitat selection as a function of land use and terrain, San Diego County, California

Beginning in 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with Bloom Biological, Inc., began telemetry research on golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) captured in the San Diego, Orange, and western Riverside Counties of southern California. This work was supported by the San Diego Association of Governments, California Department of Fish and...

Tracey, Jeff A.; Madden, Melanie C.; Bloom, Peter H.; Katzner, Todd E.; Fisher, Robert N.
Tracey, J.A., Madden, M.C., Bloom, P.H., Katzner, T.E., and Fisher, R.N., 2018, Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) habitat selection as a function of land use and terrain, San Diego County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1067, 13 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181067.