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Publications

Below is a list of WERC's peer-reviewed publications. If you are searching for a specific publication and cannot find it in this list, please contact werc_web@usgs.gov

Filter Total Items: 3401

High female desert tortoise mortality in the western Sonoran Desert during California’s epic 2012–2016 drought

We conducted population surveys for desert tortoises Gopherus agassizii at 2 nearby sites in the western Sonoran Desert of California, USA, from 2015-2018, during the driest ongoing 22 yr period (2000-2021) in the southwestern USA in over 1200 yr. We hypothesized that drought-induced mortality would be female-biased due to water and energy losses attributable to egg production during protracted pe

Characterization of subsurface conditions and recharge at the irrigated four-plex baseball field, Fort Irwin National Training Center, California, 2018–20

The U.S. Geological Survey performed subsurface and geophysical site characterization of the irrigated four-plex baseball field in the Langford Valley–Irwin Groundwater Subbasin, as part of a research study in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Agricultural Research Service, and the Fort Irwin National Training Center, California. To help meet future demands, the Fort I

Range-wide population trend analysis for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)—Updated 1960–2021

Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are at the center of state and national land use policies largely because of their unique life-history traits as an ecological indicator for health of sagebrush ecosystems. This updated population trend analysis provides state and federal land and wildlife managers with best-available science to help guide current management and conservation plans ai

Moisture abundance and proximity mediate seasonal use of mesic areas and survival of greater sage-grouse broods

Water is a critical and limited resource, particularly in the arid West, but water availability is projected to decline even while demand increases due to growing human populations and increases in duration and severity of drought. Mesic areas provide important water resources for numerous wildlife species, including the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereafter, sage-grouse), an i

Black Abalone surveys at Naval Base Ventura County, San Nicolas Island, California—2021, annual report

The U.S. Geological Survey monitors a suite of intertidal black abalone sites at San Nicolas Island, California, in cooperation with the U.S. Navy, which owns the island. The nine rocky intertidal sites were established in 1980 to study the potential effect of translocated sea otters on the intertidal black abalone population at the island. The sites were monitored from 1981 to 1997, usually annua

Magma storage and transport timescales for the 1959 Kīlauea Iki eruption and implications for diffusion chronometry studies using time-series samples versus tephra deposits

Complex crystal cargo in basaltic eruptions has the potential to yield diverse insights on pre- and syn-eruptive timescales of magma storage and transport. Research on eruption products from the 1959 eruption from Kīlauea Iki Crater at Kīlauea volcano (Hawai‘i) demonstrates that time-series samples collected during an eruption can yield a wealth of information not accessible by studying the fall d

Defining biologically relevant and hierarchically nested population units to inform wildlife management

Wildlife populations are increasingly affected by natural and anthropogenic changes that negatively alter biotic and abiotic processes at multiple spatiotemporal scales and therefore require increased wildlife management and conservation efforts. However, wildlife management boundaries frequently lack biological context and mechanisms to assess demographic data across the multiple spatiotemporal s

Distribution and demography of Southwestern Willow Flycatchers in San Diego County, 2015–19

We surveyed for Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (Empidonax traillii extimus; flycatcher) at 33 locations along multiple drainages in San Diego County, including portions of Agua Hedionda Creek, Cottonwood Creek, Escondido Creek, Los Penasquitos Creek, Otay River, San Diego River, San Dieguito River, San Luis Rey River, Sweetwater River, and Tijuana River. Resident flycatchers were only found on tw

Framework for assessing and mitigating the impacts of offshore wind energy development on marine birds

Offshore wind energy development (OWED) is rapidly expanding globally and has the potential to contribute significantly to renewable energy portfolios. However, development of infrastructure in the marine environment presents risks to wildlife. Marine birds in particular have life history traits that amplify population impacts from displacement and collision with offshore wind infrastructure. Here

Ecological and socioeconomic factors associated with the human burden of environmentally mediated pathogens: A global analysis

BackgroundBillions of people living in poverty are at risk of environmentally mediated infectious diseases—that is, pathogens with environmental reservoirs that affect disease persistence and control and where environmental control of pathogens can reduce human risk. The complex ecology of these diseases creates a global health problem not easily solved with medical treatment alone.MethodsWe quant

Dispersal limitations increase vulnerability under climate change for reptiles and amphibians in the southwestern United States

Species conservation plans frequently rely on information that spans political and administrative boundaries, especially when predictions are needed of future habitat under climate change; however, most species conservation plans and their requisite predictions of future habitat are often limited in geographical scope. Moreover, dispersal constraints for species of concern are not often incorporat

Are canned sardines or dry cat food more effective as bait for capturing Northwestern Pond Turtles (Actinemys marmorata) and Red-eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans)?

During an occupancy study of Northwestern Pond Turtles (Actinemys marmorata) and Red-eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) in California’s Sacramento Valley in 2018, we tested the relative effectiveness of 2 bait types: sardines packed in soybean oil and Meow Mix® Original Choice dry cat food. We sampled 116 sites with 2 traps each: one baited with sardines and one baited with dry cat food. Sa