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Western Ecological Research Center


Learn more about our science in action in the field and laboratory. Check out some of our available photos and videos. For more information, e-mail werc_web@usgs.gov

Filter Total Items: 253
Juvenile salt marsh harvest mouse
December 31, 2018

Juvenile Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris)

USGS wildlife biologists holding a juvenile salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris). The species is listed as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

adult male harrier
July 13, 2018

Adult Male Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)

An adult male Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) surveys Suisun Marsh, CA. Males are known for their beautiful, steel-gray plumage.

Salt marsh harvest mouse
July 13, 2018

Endangered Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris)

A Federally endangered salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) climbs a branch.

Female northern harrier
July 13, 2018

Adult Female Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)

An adult, female northern harrier (Circus cyaneus) flies overhead in Suisun Marsh, CA. Before habitat loss drove declines in the bird's populations, Suisun Marsh hosted the state's largest population of northern harriers.

Northern harrier nestlings
July 13, 2018

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) Nestlings

Northern harrier (Circus cyaneus) nestlings in Suisun Marsh, CA. Northern harriers are considered a "species of concern" by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, due to their declining populations.

Coring a ponderosa pine
June 16, 2018

WERC's Dr. Phil van Mantgem Cores Ponderosa Pine in Lassen NP

Dr. Phillip van Mantgem cores a ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) in Lassen National Park, CA.

Unique ID bands for waterfowl
June 2, 2018

ID Bands for Suisun Waterfowl

USGS scientists attach small metal bands, each with its own ID, to the ankles of adult waterfowl to identify where the animal was caught. When it is re-captured later in its migration, researchers can use that information to determine how far the animal traveled. 

Child "candling" a chicken egg
June 2, 2018

Child "Candling" a Chicken Egg

A child peers at an unfertilized chicken egg at the USGS outreach booth, 2018 Suisun Marsh Field Day. USGS waterfowl ecologists use this method to check the development of a fetal duckling in the field.

*Note: photo taken with permission of parent.

USFS researcher holding Yosemite toads
May 23, 2018

Rare Yosemite Toad (Anaxyrus canorus)

U.S. Forest Service researcher Stephanie Barnes holds a rare Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus canorus).

Giant gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas)
May 14, 2018

Threatened Giant Gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas)

Threatened giant gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas). This semi-aquatic snake lives in rice fields and the remaining wetlands of California's Central Valley.

Biologists accessing the upper slopes of False Klamath Rock to place an acoustic monitoring unit.
March 23, 2018

WERC Seabird Biologists on False Klamath Rock

USGS biologists with the Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) climb the upper slopes of False Klamath Rock, off the California coast. They are deploying acoustic monitoring devices near potential nests of storm-petrels on offshore rocks within the California Coastal National Monument. The scientists’ goal is to learn more about storm-petrel nesting sites, and the

Fresh excavation of a storm-petrel nesting burrow on an island in Humboldt County.
March 23, 2018

Fresh Storm-Petrel Nesting Burrow

Fresh excavation of a storm-petrel nesting burrow on an island in Humboldt County. Note the fresh dirt that has been scraped by the bird onto grass in front of the burrow entrance. Storm-petrels only visit these secretive sites nocturnally and are very difficult to monitor or study, which is why USGS biologists are using acoustic monitoring technology to detect storm-