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

Date published: April 23, 2019

Salamander surveys by WERC scientists help monitor fungal threat (US Fish and Wildlife Pacific Southwest Highlights)

SAN DIEGO – WERC scientists find salamanders, test for deadly chytrid disease

Date published: April 11, 2019

WERC Scientists Combine Bird Calls and Artificial Intelligence to Keep Tabs on the Elusive Ashy-Storm Petrel (Audubon magazine)

CALIFORNIA COAST – Artificial intelligence and acoustic sensors help scientists monitor seabirds

Date published: April 10, 2019

Burrowing owls and horned lizards thrive in ecological hot spot next to Los Angeles airport (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES -- WERC Researchers study lizards and owls at the LAX Dunes preserve

Publications

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Year Published: 2019

San Francisco Bay triennial bird egg monitoring program for contaminants, California—2018

The Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay (RMP), administered by the San Francisco Estuary Institute, is a large-scale effort to monitor contaminant trends in water, sediment, fish, and birds throughout San Francisco Bay (San Francisco Estuary Institute, 2016). As part of the RMP and the U.S....

Ackerman, Joshua T.; Hartman, C. Alex; Herzog, Mark P.; Toney, Matthew
Ackerman, J.T., Hartman, C.A., Herzog, M.P., and Toney, M., 2019, San Francisco Bay triennial bird egg monitoring program for contaminants, California—2018: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1114, 14 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1114.

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Year Published: 2019

Sea-cliff bedstraw (Galium buxifolium) patterns and trends, 2005–14, on Santa Cruz and San Miguel Islands, Channel Islands National Park, California

Sea-cliff bedstraw (Galium buxifolium [Rubiaceae]) is a delicate dioecious subshrub endemic to Santa Cruz and San Miguel Islands, in the northern California Channel Islands. It was listed as endangered in 1997 under the Federal Endangered Species Act, threatened by soil loss, habitat alteration, and herbivory from more than a century of ranching...

McEachern, Kathryn; Chess, Katherine A.; Flagg, Karen; Niessen, Kenneth G.
McEachern, K., Chess, K.A., Flagg, K., and Niessen, K.G., 2019, Sea-cliff bedstraw (Galium buxifolium) patterns and trends, 2005–14, on Santa Cruz and San Miguel Islands, Channel Islands National Park, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1054, 23 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191054.

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Year Published: 2019

The ecological uncertainty of wildfire fuel breaks: examples from the sagebrush steppe

Fuel breaks are increasingly being implemented at broad scales (100s to 10,000s of square kilometers) in fire‐prone landscapes globally, yet there is little scientific information available regarding their ecological effects (eg habitat fragmentation). Fuel breaks are designed to reduce flammable vegetation (ie fuels), increase the safety and...

Shinneman, Douglas; Germino, Matthew J.; Pilliod, David S.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Vaillant, Nicole; Coates, Peter S.