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.

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Date published: September 18, 2020

Post-Fire Growth of Seeded and Planted Big Sagebrush – Strategic Designs for Restoring Greater Sage-grouse Nesting Habitat

Recent wildfire-induced losses of big sagebrush are outpacing natural recovery and leading to substantial losses in habitat for species such as greater sage-grouse.

Date published: September 11, 2020

Research Spotlight: Human Enterprise Brings More Ravens to the Great Basin, Threatening Greater Sage-Grouse

A new publication from the US Geological Survey Western Ecological Research Center (USGS WERC) and partners finds that ravens present a major risk to greater sage-grouse, a vulnerable species and prey for the ravens.

Date published: September 11, 2020

Emeritus & Distinguished Alumni Profile: Jan van Wagtendonk

Jan van Wagtendonk’s nearly 40-year career as a federal scientist has shaped fire and recreation management in the iconic Yosemite National Park.


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Year Published: 2020

Impacts of periodic dredging on macroinvertebrate prey availability for benthic foraging fishes in central San Francisco Bay, California

BackgroundBecause of its importance for species covered under Federal Fishery Management Plans (FMPs), the San Francisco Bay (SFB) estuary has been designated as Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA; 16 United States Code §18559b). Within this estuary, benthic macroinvertebrate...

De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Woo, Isa; Hall, Laurie; Flanagan, Alison; Mittelstaedt, Hannah
De La Cruz, S.E.W., Woo, I., Hall, L., Flanagan, A., and Mittelstaedt, H., 2020, Impacts of periodic dredging on macroinvertebrate prey availability for benthic foraging fishes in central San Francisco Bay, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1086, 96 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201086.

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Year Published: 2020

Influenza A viruses remain infectious for more than seven months in northern wetlands of North America

In this investigation, we used a combination of field- and laboratory-based approaches to assess if influenza A viruses (IAVs) shed by ducks could remain viable for extended periods in surface water within three wetland complexes of North America. In a field experiment, replicate filtered surface water samples inoculated with duck swabs were...

Ramey, Andrew M.; Reeves, Andrew B.; Drexler, Judith Z.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Lang, Andrew S.; Leyson, Christina; Link, Paul T.; Prosser, Diann; Robertson, Gregory J.; Wight, Jordan; Youk, Sungsu; Spackman, Erica; Pantin-Jackwood, Mary; Poulson, Rebecca L.; Stallknecht, David E.

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Year Published: 2020

Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) not detected in an intensive survey of wild North American amphibians

The salamander chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans [Bsal]) is causing massive mortality of salamanders in Europe. The potential for spread via international trade into North America and the high diversity of salamanders has catalyzed concern about Bsal in the U.S. Surveillance programs for invading pathogens must initially meet...

Waddle, Hardin; Grear, Daniel A.; Mosher, Brittany; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Adams, Michael J.; Backlin, Adam R.; Barichivich, William; Brand, Adrianne B.; Bucciarelli, Gary M.; Calhoun, Daniel L.; Chestnut, Tara; Davenport, Jon M.; Dietrich, Andrew E.; Fisher, Robert N.; Glorioso, Brad; Halstead, Brian J.; Hayes, Marc P; Honeycutt, R. Ken; Hossack, Blake R.; Kleeman, Patrick M.; Lemos-Espinal, Julio A; Lorch, Jeffrey M.; Atkinson, Robert W.; Muths, Erin L.; Pearl, Christopher; Richgels, Katherine; Robinson, Charles W; Roth, Mark F.; Rowe, Jennifer; Sadinski, Walter; Sigafus, Brent H.; Stasiak, Iga; Sweet, Samuel; Walls, Christopher B.; Watkins-Colwell, Gregory J; White, C. LeAnn; Williams, Lori A; Winzeler, Megan E.