Western Ecological Research Center


Click on the articles below to read about the latest WERC scientific discoveries.

Filter Total Items: 19
WERC sea otter
November 9, 2017

As part of the USGS Evening Public Lecture Series, WERC's Tim Tinker is giving a free "science talk" for the public on Thursday, 11/30/17 at 7PM PST. Watch live or online.

Hoary bat
October 30, 2017

Around Halloween, USGS celebrates bats and other "spooky" creatures by sharing some of its research on these fascinating creatures! Check out social media on Gabe Reyes' and Brian Halstead's projects with bats at Pt. Reyes National Seashore, CA.

Photo of a plane dropping flame retardant on a wildfire
October 12, 2017

NAPA, SONOMA COUNTIES — As the Tubbs, Atlas, and Nuns fires raged across northern California, WERC's Jon Keeley appeared on NPR to provide insight into fire ecology across the state.

WERC surveying sea otters
September 29, 2017

According to data released Friday by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners, the three-year average of the total counts of southern sea otters was down from last year’s high, although it still exceeded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s delisting threshold for a second straight year.

Image: Drought and Beetle-Killed Piñon Pines in Arizona
August 1, 2017

This segment from a southern California radio station features WERC ecologist Adrian Das as he describes rates of tree mortality following the state's severe drought.

Illustration of Fijian Gau iguanas.
June 6, 2017

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey, Taronga Conservation Society Australia, The National Trust of Fiji and NatureFiji-MareqetiViti have discovered a new species of banded iguana.

WERC Caspian Tern Chicks with Decoy Bird
April 6, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO BAY, CA — Audubon magazine interviews USGS WERC wildlife biologist Dr. Alex Hartman on an ongoing effort to attract seabirds to newly-restored habitat in the Bay.

Map of California Ridgway’s rails habitat
February 2, 2017

A new study analyzes the genetic diversity and population structure of the California Ridgway’s rail, Rallus obsoletus, a state and federally-listed endangered bird. The results demonstrate that the so-called “rails” are experiencing negative genetic effects following more than a century of salt marsh habitat loss from agriculture, commercial salt production and urban development.

Clark's Grebe at Thermalito Afterbay, CA
January 24, 2017

A new study published in PLOS ONE demonstrates that current conservation planning efforts for waterbird habitat in the Central Valley can likely compensate for habitat loss through the middle of the century.

American mistletoe fruit and flowers
December 12, 2016

Perhaps some of you have already experienced a sweet smooch or two under the holiday mistletoe, enjoying this fairly old kissing ritual for people. While figuring prominently in ancient lore, mistletoe is important in other vital ways: it provides essential food, cover and nesting sites for an amazing number of critters. In fact, some animals couldn’t even survive without mistletoe.

Field Scientist with Sequoia Tree
October 27, 2016

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, California — Nate Stephenson was a guest on NPR's "All Things Considered." The segment featured collaborative research on the drought's effects on giant sequoias.