Wetland and Aquatic Research Center

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Scientist holding a laptop and equipment, standing in a green field.
April 30, 2017

Assessing Tallgrass Coastal Prairie in Southwest Louisiana

Vegetation assessments are part of an effort to produce seamless, consistent, and high resolution landcover data for the northern portion of the western gulf coastal plain. This geography was once dominated by tallgrass prairie and has undergone dramatic change with less than 1% of this natural habitat in existence.

Tallgrass prairie provides a suite of ecosystem

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Three sailfin catfish found in the Big Cypress National Preserve
March 23, 2017

Sailfin catfishes discovered in Big Cypress

The sailfin catfish is one of 13 species of nonnative fish that biologists discovered during the Fish Slam in Big Cypress National Preserve, March 23, 2017.

 

Pike killifish found in Big Cypress
March 23, 2017

Non-native pike killifish from the Big Cypress

The pike killifish, native to Mexico and Central America, was one of 13 nonnative fish species that biologists discovered during the two-day Fish Slam in Big Cypress National Preserve, March 22 and 23, 2017.

 

In UV light an alga from the desmid family looks like a snowflake chain
February 28, 2017

A snowflake chain? Nope. A one-celled green alga.

The desmid family of single-celled green algae are never found in abundance, says USGS biologist Barry Rosen. They inhabit the soft, slightly acidic water of wetlands that depend on rainwater, like Florida’s Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. They don’t “bloom” en masse, but their presence is an indicator of good water quality. Rosen’s research is

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Frosted flatwoods salamander
December 31, 2016

Frosted flatwoods salamander

Frosted flatwoods salamander in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Florida

Frosted flatwoods salamander
December 31, 2016

Frosted flatwoods salamander

Frosted flatwoods salamander, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Florida

Beached boats and bare trees in Hurricane Hole
September 30, 2016

Irma leaves beached boats and broken trees in Huricane Hole

Boat owners sought protection for their vessels in sheltered Hurricane Hole, but Hurricane Irma sunk and beached many boats, likely damaging corals. Photo: Caroline Rogers, USGS, 2017

Newly discovered cavefish species, the Oaxaca Cave Sleeper
June 24, 2016

Oaxaca Cave Sleeper is a newly discovered species

This Oaxaca Cave Sleeper is one of thirteen specimens collected from a cave beneath a reservoir on Mexico's Tonto River. It lacks eyes, is unpigmented, and has sensory adaptations characteristic of fish that live in total darkness. Thuis is the holotype, the example used to describe and name this newly identified species. Credit: Howard L. Jelks and Stephen J. Walsh, USGS

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Laboratory specimen of newly-discovered Oaxaca Cave Sleeper
June 24, 2016

A laboratory specimen shows the cavefish's absence of eyes

A laboratory preparation of a Oaxaca Cave Sleeper specimen shows the absence of eyes in this newly identified cavefish species. Credit: Stephen J. Walsh, USGS

WRP Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana
April 26, 2016

WRP Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana

Wetlands Reserve Program site in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana.  Ten years ago, this landowner worked with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service through the Wetlands Reserve Program to design and construct this slough as part of a plan to restore this field’s natural wetland hydrology.

WRP Morehouse Parish, Louisiana
April 26, 2016

WRP Morehouse Parish, Louisiana

Wetlands Reserve Program site in Morehouse Parish, Louisiana.  Green tree frogs rest on a Wetlands Reserve Program easement boundary sign in Morehouse Parish, Louisiana.

WRP St. Landry Parish, Louisiana
April 26, 2016

WRP St. Landry Parish, Louisiana

Wetlands Reserve Program site in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana.  Changes in a local river resulted in the landowner’s fields flooding on a regular basis. The landowner worked through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to restore his fields to their natural wetland state.