Western Ecological Research Center


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

Filter Total Items: 100
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

Date published: December 9, 2019

Dr. Gary Fellers – Leader in Amphibian Conservation – Passes Away

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Dr. Gary Fellers, researcher emeritus with the U.S. Geological Survey, passed away last month after a 40-year career as an ecologist with the USGS Western Ecological Science Center and the National Park Service. He was a pioneer in herpetology – the study of amphibians and reptiles – and helped bring to light the worldwide decline of amphibians.

Date published: October 10, 2019

New USGS Research on 21st Century California Wildfires Examines Drivers of Fire Behavior and Structure Losses

Two new publications underscore the role of wind in destructive California wildfires

Date published: August 31, 2019

Research Spotlight: Fear of Predation May Prevent Mule Deer from Taking Advantage of Forage Resources in Mojave Sky-Islands

A recent publication from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center reports findings from a study of mule deer and cougars in the Mojave Desert. The results indicate that fear of predation by cougars may restrict mule deer access to food even in areas of relatively greater resources.

Date published: August 8, 2019

USGS WERC Researcher Wins Award for Reptile and Amphibian Conservation

SAN DIEGO—Dr. Robert Fisher wins Herpetological Conservation Award

Date published: July 18, 2019

What’s It Like To Be a Tree in California Today? WERC Forest Ecologist Weighs In (Mashable)

Dr. Nate Stephenson says the rules are changing for Sierra Nevada trees

Date published: June 30, 2019

Research Spotlight: Mercury Exposure in Wild Songbirds Associated with Disrupted Parental Care at the Nest

In a study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, U.S. Geological Survey biologists report that methylmercury concentrations in wild tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) in the California Central Valley are associated with disruption of parental care. 

Date published: June 24, 2019

WERC Scientists Find that Threatened Snakes Depend on Agriculture (TWS Wildlife News)

SACRAMENTO – A new study shows how giant gartersnakes use Central Valley rice fields

Date published: June 12, 2019

Research Spotlight: Ducklings Leave Nests in Early Morning, Suggesting Predator Avoidance

In a study published in the journal Ecology and Evolution, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) biologists put small cameras next to duck nests to determine what time of day wild ducklings began hatching, when the hen and ducklings departed the nest, and if any predators came to the nest when ducklings were present.

Date published: May 31, 2019

Research Spotlight: New Guidelines and Tool for Assessing Mercury Contamination Using Bird Feathers

In a study published in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) biologists provide a detailed approach and guidelines for using bird feathers in mercury monitoring programs. From these results, USGS biologists were able to create a tool to help guide the appropriate experimental design, processing and mercury determination for feather mercury studies...

Date published: April 23, 2019

Salamander Surveys by WERC Scientists Help Monitor Fungal Threat (US Fish and Wildlife Pacific Southwest Highlights)

SAN DIEGO – WERC scientists find salamanders, test for deadly chytrid disease