Western Ecological Research Center (WERC)

Biology of Species of Concern

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

California Sea Otter Surveys and Research

WERC collaborates with other research scientists to conduct annual population surveys of the southern sea otter -- a federally listed threatened species. In coordination with the California Department of Fish and Game and other institutions, ongoing surveys and research continues to inform the southern sea otter recovery plan for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and contributes to our...

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

California Sea Otter Stranding Network

The California Sea Otter Stranding Network is part of the USGS effort to monitor southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) and provide data to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. WERC's sea otter team works with multiple institutions and partners to report, recover, and examine stranded sea otters. In addition, instructions on how to report a stranded sea otter are included in this webpage...

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Breeding and Wintering Ecology of Waterfowl

Western U.S. wetlands provide critical habitat for wintering and breeding waterfowl in California. WERC's Dr. Josh Ackerman is working toward collecting data to understand factors influencing duck nest success, to improve and restore breeding habitat for resident duck populations in California, and understand composition of predator communities. To learn more about how USGS WERC is...

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

Bat Research in California

The primary goal of this bat research program is to develop projects that increase our understanding of basic ecology and natural history of western bat species, while simultaneously providing needed data to inform conservation measures and management decisions in the West. Dr. Brian Halstead, together with Gabriel Reyes, studies the habitat and resource selection, movement ecology, demography...

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

Greater Sage-Grouse Population Ecology

Greater Sage-grouse are iconic birds found only in the Great Basin of the western U.S. Known for their showy courting displays, sage-grouse rely on native sagebrush habitat to shelter their young. Dr. Pete Coates is providing resource managers with the tools and information they need to conserve sage-grouse as invasive plants, evolving wildfire patterns, and energy development change the Great...

Contacts: Peter Coates
Date published: June 14, 2017
Status: Active

Stressors to Greater Sage-Grouse

The Greater Sage-grouse is a small bird found only in the sagebrush steppe of the Great Basin. Invasions of non-native grasses, evolving wildfire patterns, grazing from livestock, and human land uses are changing this unique ecosystem. WERC’s Dr. Pete Coates studies sage-grouse populations to determine how these influences could affect the bird and other wildlife in the future.

Contacts: Peter Coates
Date published: April 19, 2017
Status: Active

Ecology and Biology of Desert Tortoises

WERC wildlife biologist Dr. Kristin Berry has more than forty years of experience studying Agassiz’s desert tortoise. As the lead on several USGS projects, Dr. Berry continues to lend her expertise to investigating the status, genetics, and behavior of Agassiz’s tortoise populations in the Mojave Desert.

Contacts: Kristin Berry
Date published: February 22, 2017
Status: Active

Food Web and Invertebrate Ecology Studies in Pacific Coast Estuaries

Invertebrate communities provide food for several economically and ecologically important fish and waterbird species in coastal estuaries.  Scientists at the WERC San Francisco Bay Estuary Field Station specialize in studying foraging...

Date published: October 19, 2016
Status: Active

Box Springs Field Station

Deserts in the southwestern United States are experiencing rapid changes due to human activities. The growth of human populations and development of cities and towns affect adjacent rare, threatened, and endangered species and their associated ecosystems in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of southeastern California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, and western Arizona. 

Contacts: Kristin Berry
Date published: May 22, 2015
Status: Completed

Monitoring Mercury's Risk to Wildlife in California Lakes

USGS scientists sampled grebes in California lakes to compare mercury levels in these predators versus the small fish they prey on—developing a new tool for water quality monitoring.