Western Ecological Research Center
Dr. Phillip van Mantgem cores a ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) in Lassen National Park, CA.
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.
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.
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 the nests of Ashy Storm-Petrels, an elusive, nocturnal seabird known to nest only on offshore rocks and islands throughout California and northern Baja California, Mexico. The...
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-...
An acoustic monitor deployed on False Klamath Rock in Del Norte County, with snowy mountains in the background! The unit is forest green with a gray battery box and partially hidden under rocks.
USGS wildlife biologist Emma Kelsey searches for potential Ashy storm-petrel nesting habitat on Piedras Blancas rock, off the California coast. Ashy storm-petrels make their home in burrows and crevices on offshore rocks and islands, and only enter and leave nests under the cover of darkness. USGS scientists are using passive acoustic monitors to record Storm-petrel calls...