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: 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.

Date published: September 24, 2018

USGS Scientists Find Success in New "Real Estate" for Waterbirds

There’s hot new real estate for wildlife in south San Francisco Bay, and a report from USGS biologists shows that the waterbirds are flocking in.


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.

Year Published: 2018

Canid vs. canid: Insights into coyote–dog encounters from social media

While the relationship between coyotes (Canis latrans) and house cats (Felis catus) may be characterized as one between predators and their prey, coyote interactions with domestic dogs (C. lupus familiaris) appear to be more varied and may include behaviors associated with canid sociality. While encounters between coyotes and dogs are difficult to...

Boydston, Erin E.; Abelson, Eric S.; Kazanjian, Ari; Blumstein, Daniel T.