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: July 1, 2020

Annual Southern Sea Otter Census Cancelled Due to Health and Safety Concerns

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the USGS and partners at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have decided to cancel this year's annual rangewide southern sea otter census.

Date published: May 14, 2020

Remembering Philip Anthony Medica, Desert Tortoise Researcher and USGS Scientist Emeritus

Philip (Phil) Anthony Medica, USGS Scientist Emeritus, passed away on May 3. He is remembered as a dear friend and colleague and as a scientist who made substantial contributions to desert tortoise research and conservation.

Date published: April 27, 2020

California Red-legged Frogs Reintroduced to Historic Range in Southern California

In a historic and exciting first, the federally threatened California red-legged frog, the inspiration for Mark Twain’s short story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," has been successfully reintroduced to southern California by USGS scientists and collaborators.  

Publications

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Year Published: 2020

Changes in capture rates and body size among vertebrate species occupying an insular urban habitat reserve

Long‐term ecological monitoring provides valuable and objective scientific information to inform management and decision‐making. In this article, we analyze 22 years of herpetofauna monitoring data from the Point Loma Ecological Conservation Area (PLECA), an insular urban reserve near San Diego, CA. Our analysis showed that counts of individuals...

Stanley, Thomas; Clark, Rulon W.; Fisher, Robert N.; Rochester, Carlton J.; Root, Stephanie A; Lombardo, Keith J; Ostermann-Kelm, Stacey D
Attribution: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, California Water Science Center, Water Resources, Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, South Atlantic Water Science Center (SAWSC), Water Resources, Region 2: South Atlantic-Gulf (Includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Earthquake Science Center, Natural Hazards, Earthquake Hazards Program, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, Western Fisheries Research Center, Ecosystems, Fisheries Program, Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center, Region 2: South Atlantic-Gulf (Includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Central Energy Resources Science Center, Energy Resources Program, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, Fort Collins Science Center, Ecosystems, Fort Collins Science Center, Ecosystems, United States of America, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, National Wildlife Health Center, Ecosystems, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Water Resources, Columbia Environmental Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Climate Adaptation Science Centers, Land Resources, Climate Adaptation Science Centers, California Water Science Center, Water Resources, Core Science Systems, National Geospatial Program, National Geospatial Technical Operations Center, Core Science Systems, National Geospatial Program, National Geospatial Technical Operations Center, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Community for Data Integration (CDI), Science Analytics and Synthesis (SAS), United States of America, Utah Water Science Center, Water Resources, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Alaska Science Center, Ecosystems, Region 11: Alaska, Southwest Biological Science Center, Ecosystems, Western Ecological Research Center, Ecosystems

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Year Published: 2020

Subspecies differentiation in an enigmatic chaparral shrub species

PremiseDelimiting biodiversity units is difficult in organisms in which differentiation is obscured by hybridization, plasticity, and other factors that blur phenotypic boundaries. Such work is more complicated when the focal units are subspecies, the definition of which has not been broadly explored in the era of modern genetic methods. Eastwood...

Huang, Yi; Morrison, Glen R.; Brelsford, Alan; Franklin, Janet; Jolles, Diana D; Keeley, Jon; Parker, V Thomas; Saavedra, Natalie; Sanders, Andrew C; Stoughton, Thomas; Wahlert, Gregory A.; Litt, Amy
Attribution: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, California Water Science Center, Water Resources, Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, South Atlantic Water Science Center (SAWSC), Water Resources, Region 2: South Atlantic-Gulf (Includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Earthquake Science Center, Natural Hazards, Earthquake Hazards Program, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, Western Fisheries Research Center, Ecosystems, Fisheries Program, Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center, Region 2: South Atlantic-Gulf (Includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Central Energy Resources Science Center, Energy Resources Program, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, Fort Collins Science Center, Ecosystems, Fort Collins Science Center, Ecosystems, United States of America, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, National Wildlife Health Center, Ecosystems, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Water Resources, Columbia Environmental Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Climate Adaptation Science Centers, Land Resources, Climate Adaptation Science Centers, California Water Science Center, Water Resources, Core Science Systems, National Geospatial Program, National Geospatial Technical Operations Center, Core Science Systems, National Geospatial Program, National Geospatial Technical Operations Center, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Community for Data Integration (CDI), Science Analytics and Synthesis (SAS), United States of America, Utah Water Science Center, Water Resources, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Alaska Science Center, Ecosystems, Region 11: Alaska, Southwest Biological Science Center, Ecosystems, Western Ecological Research Center, Ecosystems, Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Washington Water Science Center, Water Resources, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Central Energy Resources Science Center, Energy Resources Program, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Southwest Biological Science Center, Ecosystems, Science and Decisions Center, Alaska Science Center, Ecosystems, Region 11: Alaska, Utah Water Science Center, Water Resources, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, Water, New Jersey Water Science Center, Water Resources, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, New Jersey, United States of America, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, Region 2: South Atlantic-Gulf (Includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Upper Midwest Water Science Center, Water Resources, Washington Water Science Center, Water Resources, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Fort Collins Science Center, Ecosystems, Earthquake Science Center, Natural Hazards, Earthquake Hazards Program, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, National Geospatial Program, Upper Midwest Water Science Center, Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center, Natural Hazards, Earthquake Hazards Program, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Central Energy Resources Science Center, Energy Resources Program, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Alaska Science Center, Ecosystems, Region 11: Alaska, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center, Water Resources, Florence Bascom Geoscience Center, Western Fisheries Research Center, Ecosystems, Fisheries Program, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, New York, United States of America, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Ecosystems, Utah Water Science Center, Water Resources, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, Ecosystems, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, New England Water Science Center, Water Resources, Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Colorado Water Science Center, Water Resources, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, Ecosystems, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, Ecosystems, Region 11: Alaska, California Water Science Center, Water Resources, Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center, Water Resources, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Alaska Science Center, Region 11: Alaska, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK), Ecosystems, Upper Midwest Water Science Center, Ecosystems, Colorado Water Science Center, Water Resources, Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, Ecosystems, Western Ecological Research Center, Ecosystems

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Year Published: 2020

Mitigation ponds offer drought resiliency for western spadefoot (Spea hammondii) populations

Synergistic effects of habitat loss, drought, and climate change exacerbate amphibian declines. In southern California urbanization continues to convert natural habitat, while prolonged drought reduces surface water availability. Protection of biodiversity may be provided through mitigation; however, the long-term effectiveness of different...

Baumberger, Katherine L.; Backlin, Adam R.; Gallegos, Elizabeth; Hitchcock, Cynthia Joan; Fisher, Robert N.