Western Ecological Research Center


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

Filter Total Items: 100
Date published: October 27, 2016

How Is A 1,600-Year-Old Tree Weathering California's Drought? (NPR)

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. 

Date published: October 21, 2016

Stories from the Field: Ecology of California Ridgway's Rails

Notes from field biologists studying the endangered Ridgway's rail.

Date published: September 19, 2016

Sea Otter Survey Encouraging, but Comes Up Short of the “Perfect Story”

SANTA CRUZ, California — The southern sea otter, Enhydra lutris nereis, continues its climb toward recovery, according to the annual count released today by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners.

Date published: August 20, 2016

Drought and Wildfires Threaten the Endangered Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog (Los Angeles Times)

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA — Wildfires are affecting endangered Mountain yellow-legged frogs in San Diego and other counties.

Date published: August 8, 2016

How Climate Change Will Transform the National Parks' Iconic Animals and Plants (Smithsonian)

WERC Ecologist Nate Stephenson talks about how climate change could affect trees in National Parks in this article from Smithsonian.com.

Date published: July 29, 2016

A Creative Approach to Controlling a Deadly Snail (NPR, Science Friday)

Ecologist Kevin Lafferty was co-author of a paper that inspired this segment on NPR's Science Friday.

Date published: August 14, 2015

Study Shows Sea Level Rise to Threaten West Coast Tidal Wetlands Over the Next 100 Years

The U.S. Geological Survey and Oregon State University released a report this week examining Pacific Northwest tidal wetland vulnerability to sea level rise. Scientists found that, while vulnerability varies from marsh to marsh, most wetlands would likely be resilient to rising sea levels over the next 50-70 years.

Date published: August 8, 2014

Guest Post: Does Biodiversity Protect Humans Against Infectious Disease?

The prevailing view among scientists is that a healthy ecosystem reduces the transmission of infectious diseases in humans. But is this really true for all environments? 

Date published: June 11, 2014

For Sea Otter Moms, Energy Is Critical to “Win the Stanley Cup”

For female sea otters, raising a pup to maturity is like surviving multiple, grueling rounds of playoff hockey. And like the playoffs, not everyone makes it to the end.

Date published: April 14, 2014

California Camera Captures Curious Bobcat Behavior

Cats can find curious ways to navigate the human environment. USGS Western Ecological Research Center ecologist Erin Boydston has been studying how large wildlife like bobcats and mountain lions deal with the suburban sprawl of...

Date published: April 8, 2014

Sea Otters Can Get the Flu, Too

Northern sea otters living off the coast of Washington state were infected with the same H1N1 flu virus that caused the world-wide pandemic in 2009, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.