Western Ecological Research Center


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

Filter Total Items: 100
Date published: April 12, 2012

"Duke" the Bobcat Leaps to Freedom in San Diego

Duke the college basketball team may have stumbled out of the gate this March, but Duke the bobcat was able to defeat malnourishment and mange and bounce back to the victory of health and freedom.

Date published: April 10, 2012

New Cougar Sighted, Captured Near Hollywood

In February, research cameras located just west of the famed Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles captured photos of a mountain lion (Puma concolor), providing new evidence that mountain lions may utilize corridors to travel between the Santa Monica Mountains and the Griffith Park wilderness.

Date published: March 6, 2012

Pacific Nearshore Project in the New York Times

When people read stories about sea otters in the news, it's often a report about how a sea otter population is declining, or some other factor impairing their health. Why sea otter populations remain threatened in some locations is a tough nut to crack.

Date published: January 30, 2012

Researching Paradise: The Palmyra Atoll

The Palmyra Atoll is smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Vibrant coral reefs and tropical fish fill its surrounding waters. On land, strange-looking crabs feast on fruit in lush, cathedral-like jungles.

Date published: December 12, 2011

Giant Sequoias: From Oatmeal-Sized Seeds to Towering Groves

Even the mightiest sequoia starts from a tiny seedling.

Date published: November 1, 2011

When a Giant Sequoia Falls Down...

Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) can live for thousands of years and grow to over 200 feet in height. So when a large sequoia comes crashing down -- in plain view of visiting tourists, no less -- it causes quite a stir.

Date published: October 5, 2011

VIDEO: Southern California's Fragmenting Landscape

Southern California, land of Hollywood glitz and military might. But it is also home to a highly biodiverse landscape of unique plants and animals.

Date published: September 20, 2011

Artificial Islands Might Help Endangered Clapper Rails

This great photo comes from a hidden camera used by USGS Western Ecological Research Center biologists to study the California clapper rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) -- a federally endangered species that is found in San Francisco Bay. Biologists...

Date published: August 30, 2011

Unusual Hybrid Mating of Least Bell's Vireo in San Diego

Researchers from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center have reported a rare case of two songbird species cross-breeding in San Diego County -- an odd couple which raised four chicks to maturity.

Date published: August 9, 2011

Seabirds Recolonize Channel Islands, 100 Years Later

The California common murre (Uria aalge californica) is a football-sized seabird with the tuxedo colors of penguins — except it can both fly in the air and dive down to 500 feet underwater. This summer, seabird ecologists from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center and Channel Islands National Park are reporting that ...

Date published: August 5, 2011

Photos From the Field: Mojave Desert Reptiles

Are deserts lifeless? Far from it, of course. Incredible species of wondrous reptiles, resplendent flowers and other organisms can be found in America's deserts. Just check out these great photos from field tech Zachary Cava, who is working for lead scientist Ken Nussear of the ...

Date published: August 1, 2011

Biologists Draw Blood in Forks, WA

Marine biologists are setting up camp in Forks, Washington, this week to capture some fanged predators. They are definitely cute and they have great hair, but their seafood-breath should cut short any romantic fantasies.