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: 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

Date published: March 4, 2019

Genetics study reveals good news for the southern California population of the California gnatcatcher

Results of a recent study by WERC scientists are providing helpful information to resource managers as they work to protect important habitat.


Year Published: 2019

Which trees die during drought? The key role of insect host-tree selection

1. During drought, the tree subpopulations (such as size or vigor classes) that suffer disproportionate mortality can be conceptually arrayed along a continuum defined by the actions of biotic agents, particularly insects. At one extreme, stress dominates: insects are absent or simply kill the most physiologically stressed trees. At the...

Stephenson, Nathan L.; Das, Adrian J.; Ampersee, Nicholas J.; Bulaon, Beverly M; Yee, Julie L.

Year Published: 2019

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—2018 data summary

We surveyed for Least Bell’s Vireos (Vireo bellii pusillus; vireo) and Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (Empidonax traillii extimus; flycatcher) along the San Luis Rey River, between College Boulevard in Oceanside and Interstate 15 in Fallbrook, California (middle San Luis Rey River), in 2018. Surveys were conducted from...

Allen, Lisa D.; Kus, Barbara E.
Allen, L.D., and Kus, B.E., 2019, 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—2018 data summary: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1109, 12 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1109.

Year Published: 2019

Fish culling reduces tapeworm burden in Arctic charr by increasing parasite mortality rather than by reducing density‐dependent transmission

Two common Dibothriocephalus (formerly Diphyllobothrium) tapeworm species were significantly reduced by experimental culling of their fish host Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) in a subarctic lake.Between 1984 and 1991, funnel traps were used to cull ~35 metric tons of Arctic charr, reducing charr density by ~80%. As charr...

Henriksen, Eirik H.; Frainer, Andre; Knudsen, Rune; Kristoffersen, Roar; Kuris, Armand M.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Amundsen, Per-Arne