Western Ecological Research Center (WERC)

Biology of Species of Concern

Filter Total Items: 34
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS)

Dr. Barbara Kus is a partner in an international bird-monitoring program to provide long-term data throughout North America. MAPS or “Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship”, uses capture and banding data to compile basic demographic parameters of migratory species, many of which are imperiled regionally and even globally. Age- and sex-specific data on annual survival, reproduction,...

Contacts: Barbara Kus
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Mercury Bioaccumulation in Wetlands

Wetlands provide numerous ecosystem services, but also can be sources of methylmercury production and export. Click the next tab to learn how WERC's Dr. Josh Ackerman is evaluating the ecological factors that drive contaminant bioaccumulation in wetland-dependent fish and wildlife.

Contacts: Josh T Ackerman
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Golden Eagles in Coastal Southern California

The status of the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) in coastal southern California is unclear. To address this knowledge gap, Dr. Robert Fisher in collaboration with local, State and other Federal agencies begin a multi-year survey and tracking program of golden eagles to address questions regarding habitat use, movement behavior, nest occupancy, genetic population structure, and human impacts...

Contacts: Robert N Fisher
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Ecology and Conservation of Golden Eagles in the Mojave Desert

Dr. Kathleen Longshore, in collaboration with Dr. Todd Esque, provides information to project the possible conflict between losses of habitat for foraging involved in the proposed development of alternative energy installations in the Mojave Desert and help develop advanced conservation efforts for the golden eagle. Information from this project will also inform California’s Desert Renewable...

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Ecology and Conservation of Desert Bighorn Sheep

Dr. Kathleen Longshore’s goal is to understand how predator/prey relationships, disease and human-caused disturbance work separately and synergistically to impact bighorn sheep populations under variable ecological stress. Information from this project will provide managers with an understanding of specific and regional impacting factors that contribute to impact variation in population trends...

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Ecology and Conservation of Amphibians in Northern California

This project improves our understanding of the ecology of amphibians in northern California and evaluates methods of managing landscapes and these imperiled species. In particular, Dr. Brian Halstead examines the distribution and demography of amphibians to understand factors that affect where amphibians are found and how populations change. He further explores the relationships of amphibians...

Contacts: Brian Halstead
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Distribution, Population Genetic Structure and Demography of Coastal Cactus Wrens in Southern California

Dr. Barbara Kus studies the demography and genetic structure of remaining populations of the coastal Cactus Wren to help managers develop strategies to increase the stability of wren populations.

Contacts: Barbara Kus
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Distribution, Occupancy and Population Genetic Structure of California Gnatcatchers in Southern California

The coastal California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica), a federally threatened species, is considered a flagship species for southern California conservation planning. Dr. Barbara Kus collaborates with Dr. Amy Vandergast and local agencies to provide information to managers that can be used to conserve this species and its habitat.

Contacts: Barbara Kus
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Desert Tortoise Ecology, Health, Habitat, and Conservation Biology

The desert tortoise is listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. USGS WERC scientists, along with project partners have been conducting long-term analyses on how changes in the southwestern deserts of the United States can affect desert tortoise populations. Dr. Todd Esque and his team are investigating how habitat disturbances and restoration projects influence tortoise...

Contacts: Todd Esque
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Contaminants in Waterbirds and Effects on Avian Reproduction

California’s Central Valley and San Francisco Bay Estuary have a long history of mercury contamination from past mercury mining and gold extraction. Waterbirds are particularly susceptible to mercury because of their use of wetland habitats where methylmercury (the most toxic and biologically available form) is produced and relatively low methylmercury exposure can reduce reproductive success...

Contacts: Josh T Ackerman
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Conservation of Rare, Sensitive, and At-risk Desert Plant Species

The Mojave Desert is among the hottest and driest of the North American drylands, but in spite of these extreme conditions, and in part because of them, a diverse flora exists. This diversity of rare, endemic, and endangered species is threatened by the complex interaction between fluctuating climate and human-mediated disturbances. USGS studies have identified rare species “hotspots” for...

Contacts: Lesley DeFalco
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Conservation Genetics and Genomics of Rare and Endangered Species

At the population level, Dr. Amy Vandergast and her team estimates important population parameters such as effective migration (or gene flow) and the number of breeding adults (or effective population size), and quantify the impacts of landscape changes and disturbance on these parameters. This work informs individual species management.

Contacts: Amy Vandergast