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: September 11, 2020

Research Spotlight: Human Enterprise Brings More Ravens to the Great Basin, Threatening Greater Sage-Grouse

A new publication from the US Geological Survey Western Ecological Research Center (USGS WERC) and partners finds that ravens present a major risk to greater sage-grouse, a vulnerable species and prey for the ravens.

Date published: September 11, 2020

Emeritus & Distinguished Alumni Profile: Jan van Wagtendonk

Jan van Wagtendonk’s nearly 40-year career as a federal scientist has shaped fire and recreation management in the iconic Yosemite National Park.

Date published: August 12, 2020

WERC Scientists Mask Up to Reduce Covid-19 Transmission

USGS research in 2020 means wearing face masks and face coverings to protect the health of people and wildlife. WERC ecologists showed off their masks in the field and lab to demonstrate USGS's commitment to health and safety.


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Year Published: 2020

Impacts of periodic dredging on macroinvertebrate prey availability for benthic foraging fishes in central San Francisco Bay, California

BackgroundBecause of its importance for species covered under Federal Fishery Management Plans (FMPs), the San Francisco Bay (SFB) estuary has been designated as Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA; 16 United States Code §18559b). Within this estuary, benthic macroinvertebrate...

De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Woo, Isa; Hall, Laurie; Flanagan, Alison; Mittelstaedt, Hannah
De La Cruz, S.E.W., Woo, I., Hall, L., Flanagan, A., and Mittelstaedt, H., 2020, Impacts of periodic dredging on macroinvertebrate prey availability for benthic foraging fishes in central San Francisco Bay, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1086, 96 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201086.

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Year Published: 2020

Influenza A viruses remain infectious for more than seven months in northern wetlands of North America

In this investigation, we used a combination of field- and laboratory-based approaches to assess if influenza A viruses (IAVs) shed by ducks could remain viable for extended periods in surface water within three wetland complexes of North America. In a field experiment, replicate filtered surface water samples inoculated with duck swabs were...

Ramey, Andrew M.; Reeves, Andrew B.; Drexler, Judith Z.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Lang, Andrew S.; Leyson, Christina; Link, Paul T.; Prosser, Diann; Robertson, Gregory J.; Wight, Jordan; Youk, Sungsu; Spackman, Erica; Pantin-Jackwood, Mary; Poulson, Rebecca L.; Stallknecht, David E.

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Year Published: 2020

Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) not detected in an intensive survey of wild North American amphibians

The salamander chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans [Bsal]) is causing massive mortality of salamanders in Europe. The potential for spread via international trade into North America and the high diversity of salamanders has catalyzed concern about Bsal in the U.S. Surveillance programs for invading pathogens must initially meet...

Waddle, Hardin; Grear, Daniel A.; Mosher, Brittany; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Adams, Michael J.; Backlin, Adam R.; Barichivich, William; Brand, Adrianne B.; Bucciarelli, Gary M.; Calhoun, Daniel L.; Chestnut, Tara; Davenport, Jon M.; Dietrich, Andrew E.; Fisher, Robert N.; Glorioso, Brad; Halstead, Brian J.; Hayes, Marc P; Honeycutt, R. Ken; Hossack, Blake R.; Kleeman, Patrick M.; Lemos-Espinal, Julio A; Lorch, Jeffrey M.; Atkinson, Robert W.; Muths, Erin L.; Pearl, Christopher; Richgels, Katherine; Robinson, Charles W; Roth, Mark F.; Rowe, Jennifer; Sadinski, Walter; Sigafus, Brent H.; Stasiak, Iga; Sweet, Samuel; Walls, Christopher B.; Watkins-Colwell, Gregory J; White, C. LeAnn; Williams, Lori A; Winzeler, Megan E.