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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.

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Date published: December 21, 2018

It Takes Collaboration!

Cloud Forest restoration gallery exhibit on display at the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center.

Date published: October 26, 2018

A Unified Research Strategy for Disease Management

As wildlife diseases increase globally, an understanding of host-pathogen relationships can elucidate avenues for management and improve conservation efficacy. Amphibians are among the most threatened groups of wildlife, and disease is a major factor in global amphibian declines.

Date published: September 28, 2018

Large-scale Review of Amphibian Species and Community Response to Climate Change

Amphibian species and community richness has been declining in North America and climate change may play a role in these declines. Global climate change has led to a range shift of many wildlife species and thus understanding how these changes in species distribution can be used to predict amphibian community responses that may improve conservation efforts.


Year Published: 2018

Changes in aquatic prey resources in response to estuary restoration in Willapa Bay, southwestern Washington

Executive SummaryThe ongoing restoration of more than 200 hectares of estuarine habitat at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, southwestern Washington, is expected to benefit a variety of species, including salmonids that use estuarine and tidal marshes as rearing and feeding areas as well as migratory waterbirds. During March–June 2014 and 2015, U....

Woo, Isa; Davis, Melanie J.; De La Cruz, Susan
Woo, I., Davis, M.J., and De La Cruz, S., 2018. Changes in aquatic prey resources in response to estuary restoration in Willapa Bay, southwestern Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018-1194, 32 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181194.

Year Published: 2018

Time-to-detection occupancy modeling: An efficient method for analyzing the occurrence of amphibians and reptiles

Occupancy models provide a reliable method of estimating species distributions while accounting for imperfect detectability. The cost of accounting for false absences is that detection and nondetection surveys typically require repeated visits to a site or multiple-observer techniques. More efficient methods of collecting data to estimate...

Halstead, Brian J.; Kleeman, Patrick M.; Rose, Jonathan

Year Published: 2018

Wildlife underpass use and environmental impact assessment: A southern California case study

Environmental planners often rely on transportation structures (i.e., underpasses, bridges) to provide connectivity for animals across developed landscapes. Environmental assessments of predicted environmental impacts from proposed developments often rely on literature reviews or other indirect measures to establish the importance of wildlife...

Longcore, Travis; Almaleh, Lindsay; Chetty, Brittany; Francis, Kathryn; Freidin, Robert; Huang, Ching-Sheng; Pickett, Brooke; Schreck, Diane; Scruggs, Brooke; Shulman, Elise; Swauger, Alissa; Tashnek, Alison; Wright, Michael; Boydston, Erin E.