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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Date published: January 15, 2020

In the Media: Desert Tortoise Researchers Featured by KUNC Public Radio

USGS scientists study threats to the Mojave desert tortoise

Date published: December 9, 2019

Dr. Gary Fellers – Leader in Amphibian Conservation – Passes Away

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Dr. Gary Fellers, researcher emeritus with the U.S. Geological Survey, passed away last month after a 40-year career as an ecologist with the USGS Western Ecological Science Center and the National Park Service. He was a pioneer in herpetology – the study of amphibians and reptiles – and helped bring to light the worldwide decline of amphibians.

Date published: October 10, 2019

New USGS Research on 21st Century California Wildfires Examines Drivers of Fire Behavior and Structure Losses

Two new publications underscore the role of wind in destructive California wildfires

Publications

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Year Published: 2020

Introgression obscures lineage boundaries and phylogeographic history in the western banded gecko, Coleonyx variegatus (Squamata: Eublepharidae)

The geomorphological formation of the Baja California peninsula and the Gulf of California is a principal driver of diversification for the reptiles of North America’s warm deserts. The western banded gecko, Coleonyx variegatus, is distributed throughout the Mojave, Sonoran and Peninsular deserts. In this study we use multilocus sequence data...

Leavitt, Dean H; Hollingsworth, Bradford; Fisher, Robert N.; Reeder, Tod W

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Year Published: 2020

Kelp forest monitoring at Naval Base Ventura County, San Nicolas Island, California: Fall 2017 and Spring 2018, Fourth Annual Report

To assess and track changes to the rocky subtidal communities surrounding San Nicolas Island, the U.S. Navy entered into an agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 2014 to conduct an ecological monitoring program at several sites around the island. Four permanent sites—Nav Fac 100, West End, Dutch Harbor, and Daytona 100—were...

Kenner, Michael C.; Tomoleoni, Joseph
Kenner, M.C., and Tomoleoni, J., 2020, Kelp forest monitoring at Naval Base Ventura County, San Nicolas Island, California: Fall 2017 and Spring 2018, Fourth Annual Report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1147, 76 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191147.

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Year Published: 2020

Distribution and abundance of Least Bell’s Vireos (Vireo bellii pusillus) and Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (Empidonax traillii extimus) on the Middle San Luis Rey River, San Diego County, southern California—2019 data summary

We surveyed for Least Bell’s Vireos (Vireo bellii pusillus; vireo) along the San Luis Rey River, between College Boulevard in Oceanside and Interstate 15 in Fallbrook, California (middle San Luis Rey River), in 2019, and we surveyed and conducted nest monitoring for Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (Empidonax traillii extimus; flycatcher) in a...

Allen, Lisa D.; Kus, Barbara E.
Allen, L.D. and Kus, B.E., 2020, Distribution and abundance of Least Bell’s Vireos (Vireo bellii pusillus) and Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (Empidonax traillii extimus) on the Middle San Luis Rey River, San Diego County, southern California—2019 data summary: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1122, 11 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1122.