Western Ecological Research Center


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

Filter Total Items: 112
Date published: September 18, 2020

Post-Fire Growth of Seeded and Planted Big Sagebrush – Strategic Designs for Restoring Greater Sage-grouse Nesting Habitat

Recent wildfire-induced losses of big sagebrush are outpacing natural recovery and leading to substantial losses in habitat for species such as greater sage-grouse.

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.

Date published: August 12, 2020

Emeritus and Distinguished Alumni Profile: Gary Fellers

The late Gary Fellers was a leader in amphibian and reptile conservation research who helped bring to light the worldwide decline of amphibians.

Date published: July 1, 2020

Annual Southern Sea Otter Census Cancelled Due to Health and Safety Concerns

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the USGS and partners at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have decided to cancel this year's annual rangewide southern sea otter census.

Date published: May 14, 2020

Remembering Philip Anthony Medica, Desert Tortoise Researcher and USGS Scientist Emeritus

Philip (Phil) Anthony Medica, USGS Scientist Emeritus, passed away on May 3. He is remembered as a dear friend and colleague and as a scientist who made substantial contributions to desert tortoise research and conservation.

Date published: April 27, 2020

California Red-legged Frogs Reintroduced to Historic Range in Southern California

In a historic and exciting first, the federally threatened California red-legged frog, the inspiration for Mark Twain’s short story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," has been successfully reintroduced to southern California by USGS scientists and collaborators.  

Date published: March 13, 2020

Learning From Real-World Experience to Understand Renewable Energy Impacts to Wildlife

A comprehensive analysis of how renewable energy facilities affect wildlife could inform efforts to predict and reduce these impacts. A team of researchers was asked to gain a better understanding of the actual environmental impacts of renewable energy generation on sensitive species and habitats in California. 

Date published: March 11, 2020

Rare Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Banded by USGS Spotted on Nicaragua Wintering Grounds

An endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher banded by USGS ecologists in San Diego in July 2017 was recently spotted 3000+ miles away on its wintering grounds in Nicaragua.

Date published: March 3, 2020

Caught on Camera: Sierra Martens and Flying Squirrels Using Wildlife Passage

The adorable Sierra Marten pictured below was caught on wildlife camera in October. The camera was set up to study animal movement under a new road crossing structure known as the “toad road” in Sierra National Forest.

Date published: January 15, 2020

In the Media: Desert Tortoise Researchers Featured by KUNC Public Radio

USGS scientists study threats to the Mojave desert tortoise