Wetland and Aquatic Research Center

Species Biology

Research into life history, successful conservation, and recovery of threatened and endangered species listed under the Endangered Species Act; trust species that are protected by law; sensitive species that are declining, rare, or uncommon and are identified as candidates for future listing consideration; and species of management concern that warrant management or conservation attention as identified by a natural resource management agency. This category includes a variety of species, including those that are considered at-risk, have economic or intrinsic value, or are overly abundant and therefore leading to management conflicts; biological systematics to understand the evolutionary interrelationships of living things, trying to interpret the way in which life has diversified and changed over time; and decision science, a collaborative approach involving mathematical formulae, business tactics, technological applications, and behavioral sciences to help management make data driven decisions.

Filter Total Items: 92
Date published: June 4, 2019
Status: Active

Connectivity of Coral Ecosystems in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico

Connectivity among coral communities influences the probability of speciation and contributes to their ability to adapt to natural and anthropogenic stressors. Results from this study will enhance our understanding of Gulf of Mexcio ecosystems with regional conservation initiatives to inform the restoration of degraded deepwater coral communities and preserve long-term viability of coastal...

Date published: May 23, 2019
Status: Active

Modeling Spatial Habitat Quality for the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow

The Joint Ecosystem Modeling (JEM) team will develop species distribution models that incorporate hydrologic and habitat variables known to influence Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow occurrence.

Date published: April 4, 2019
Status: Active

Health Effects and Behavioral Response of Florida Manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) to Persistent Algal Bloom and Associated Loss of Seagrass Resources in Brevard County, Florida

USGS researchers are working with partners to assess the health and foraging behavior of Florida manatees in the northern Indian River Lagoon and Banana River, areas that have experienced declining seagrasses due to an extended phytoplankton bloom. 

Date published: March 26, 2019
Status: Active

Identification of Hydrologic Controls on Coastal Spartina patens Marshes and Optimal Hydrological Conditions for Sustainable Mottled Duck Habitat

Mottled ducks rely on the coastal marshes of the Texas Chenier Plain, which are considered among the most critically endangered habitats in the United States. USGS scientists are evaluating what might be contributing to the degradation of high-quality mottled duck habitat to better understand the causes of habitat loss and subsequently mitigate those losses.

Date published: March 26, 2019
Status: Active

Defining Native Ranges of U.S. Inland Fishes

Understanding the native versus non-native range of a species can provide useful information about dispersal, population distribution patterns, and human mediated movement across hydrologic barriers. The USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) Program is working with partners to define native ranges of inland fishes in the United States to help identify which species should be included in the...

Date published: March 26, 2019
Status: Active

Population Ecology of Florida Manatees

USGS is working with partners to understand how the federally protected Florida manatee population changes over time and responds to threats.

Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Active

Decision Analysis to Help Improve the Effectiveness of Invasive Plants Management

Melaleuca is an invasive tree that is highly problematic in the Everglades, threatening native wildlife and habitat. USGS is helping to improve management strategies for the invasive plant. 

Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

Effects of Native and Non-native Fishes on Native Apple Snail Population Dynamics

The Florida apple snail is a critical component of the state's wetland food webs. USGS scientists assess the effects of native and non-native fishes on the native snail populations.

Contacts: Pamela J Schofield, Ph.D., Daniel Slone, Ph.D., Kristen Reaver, Philip C. Darby, Ph.D., Silvia M. Gutierre, Ph.D.
Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

Habitat Modeling for the Endangered Everglades Snail Kite and Its Prey

Joint Ecosystem Modeling (JEM) provides real-time habitat suitability models for species of interest in Everglades restoration planning, including the federally endangered Everglades snail kite. 

Date published: November 1, 2018
Status: Active

Using Molecular Tools to Recalibrate Freshwater Mussel Taxonomy with a Focus on Imperiled Species

Freshwater mussels of the family Unionidae, also known as naiads, pearly mussels, freshwater clams, or unionids, are a diverse group of bivalve mollusks that are distributed on every continent except Antarctica. Approximately 300 species are known from the United States, with most of this diversity residing in rivers of the Southeast where many endemic taxa have evolved.

Date published: September 19, 2018
Status: Active

Joint Ecosystem Modeling: Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow Helper

The Sparrow Helper tool allows for the evaluation of water management scenarios by generating, plotting, and mapping hydrologic metrics across a range of time scales to predict impacts of proposed water depth changes to sparrow subpopulations.

Date published: September 18, 2018
Status: Active

Joint Ecosystem Modeling: Wader Distribution & Evaluation Modeling (WADEM)

WADEM (Wader Distribution Evaluation Modeling) is a JEM model that estimates species-specific habitat suitability across the landscape for Great Egret (Ardea alba), White Ibis (Eudocimus albus), and Wood Stork (Mycteria americana).