Western Ecological Research Center
Sea‐level rise, habitat loss, and potential extirpation of a salt marsh specialist bird in urbanized landscapes
Sea‐level rise (SLR) impacts on intertidal habitat depend on coastal topology, accretion, and constraints from surrounding development. Such habitat changes might affect species like Belding's savannah sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi; BSSP), which live in high‐elevation salt marsh in the Southern California Bight. To predict how BSSP...Rosencranz, Jordan; Thorne, Karen M.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Takekawa, John Y.; Hechinger, Ryan F.; Stewart, Tara E.; Ambrose, Richard F.; MacDonald, Glen M.; Holmgren, Mark A.; Crooks, Jeff A.; Patton, Robert T.; Lafferty, Kevin D.
Selective occupancy of a persistent yet variable coastal river plume by two seabird species
Advances in telemetry and modeling of physical processes expand opportunities to assess relationships between marine predators and their dynamic habitat. The Columbia River plume (CRP) attracts sooty shearwaters Ardenna grisea and common murres Uria aalge, but how seabirds respond to variability in plume waters is unknown. We...Phillips, Elizabeth M.; Horne, John K.; Adams, Josh; Zamon, Jeannette E.
Broad‐scale occurrence of a subsidized avian predator: reducing impacts of ravens on sage‐grouse and other sensitive prey
Expanding human enterprise across remote environments impacts numerous wildlife species. Anthropogenic resources provide subsidies for generalist predators that can lead to cascading effects on prey species at lower trophic levels. A fundamental challenge for applied ecologists is to disentangle natural and anthropogenic influences on species...O'Neil, Shawn T.; Coates, Peter S.; Brussee, Brianne E.; Jackson, Pat J.; Howe, Kristy B.; Moser, Ann M.; Foster, Lee J.; Delehanty, David J.
Vertical zonation and niche breadth of tidal marsh plants along the Northeast Pacific coast
The distribution patterns of sessile organisms in coastal intertidal habitats typically exhibit vertical zonation, but little is known about variability in zonation among sites or species at larger spatial scales. Data on such heterogeneity could inform mechanistic understanding of factors affecting species distributions as well as efforts to...Janousek, Christopher N.; Thorne, Karen M.; Takekawa, John Y.
Abundance and productivity of marbled murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus) off central California during the 2017 breeding season
Marbled murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus) have been listed as “Endangered” by the State of California and “Threatened” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1992 in California, Oregon, and Washington. Information regarding marbled murrelet abundance, distribution, population trends, and habitat associations is critical for risk assessment...Felis, Jonathan J.; Adams, Josh; Kelsey, Emily C.
Monitoring breeding and migration of neotropical migratory birds at Naval Base Coronado, Remote Training Site, Warner Springs, San Diego County, California, 5-year summary, 2013–17
We operated a bird banding station on the Naval Base Coronado, Remote Training Site, Warner Springs (RTSWS), in northeastern San Diego County, California, during the bird breeding season (spring/summer) from 2013 to 2017 and during migration (fall) from 2013 to 2016. The station was established in spring 2013 as part of the Monitoring Avian...Lynn, Suellen; Hall, Katie A.; Madden, Melanie C.; Kus, Barbara E.
Findings from a preliminary investigation of the effects of aquatic habitat (water) availability on giant gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas) demography in the Sacramento Valley, California, 2014–17
The giant gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas) is a semi-aquatic species of snake precinctive to the Central Valley of California. Because the Central Valley has experienced a substantial loss of wetland habitat, giant gartersnake populations are largely found in aquatic habitats associated with rice agriculture. In dry years, less water may be...Rose, Jonathan P.; Ersan, Julia S. M.; Reyes, Gabriel A.; Gustafson, K. Benjamin; Fulton, Alexandria M.; Fouts, Kristen J.; Wack, Raymund F.; Wylie, Glenn D.; Casazza, Michael L.; Halstead, Brian J.
Duck nest depredation, predator behavior, and female response using video
Depredation plays an important role in determining duck nest success and predator and female duck behavior during nest depredation can influence nest fate. We examined depredation of mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and gadwall (A. strepera) nests in Suisun Marsh, California, USA, in 2015–2016 with continuous infrared video monitoring to identify nest...Croston, Rebecca; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark P.; Kohl, Jeffrey D.; Hartman, C. Alex; Peterson, Sarah H.; Overton, Cory T.; Feldheim, Cliff L.; Casazza, Michael L.
Mercury on a landscape scale—Balancing regional export with wildlife health
The Cosumnes River watershed requires a 57–64 percent reduction in loads to meet the new Delta methylmercury (MeHg) total maximum daily load allocation, established by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. Because there are no large point sources of MeHg in the watershed, the focus of MeHg load reductions will fall upon non-...Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C.; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Fleck, Jacob A.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; McQuillen, Harry
Insular biogeographic origins and high phylogenetic distinctiveness for a recently depleted lizard fauna from Christmas Island, Australia
Striking faunal turnover across Asia and Australasia, most famously along the eastern edge of the Sunda Shelf or ‘Wallace's Line’, has been a focus of biogeographic research for over 150 years. Here, we investigate the origins of a highly threatened endemic lizard fauna (four species) on Christmas Island. Despite occurring less 350 km south of the...Oliver, Paul M.; Blom, Mozes P. K.; Cogger, Harold G.; Fisher, Robert N.; Richmond, Jonathan Q.; Woinarski, John C. Z.
An objective road risk assessment method for multiple species: ranking 166 reptiles and amphibians in California
ContextTransportation and wildlife agencies may consider the need for barrier structures and safe wildlife road-crossings to maintain the long-term viability of wildlife populations. In order to prioritize these efforts, it is important to identify species that are most at risk of extirpation from road-related impacts.PurposeOur goal was to...Brehme, Cheryl S.; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Fisher, Robert N.
Thamnophis sirtalis fitchi (Valley Gartersnake). Coloration.
During surveys for Thamnophis gigas (Giant Gartersnake), I observed an adult T. sirtalis fitchi with unusual coloration— a yellow-cream background color with some typical red coloration laterally, but with very minimal amounts of the dark slate-black (along the sides of the yellow dorsal stripe and on top of the head) that normally predominates in...Fulton, Alexandria M.