Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
22-23 March 2017 - Ten teams of fishery biologists sampled 28 sites amid unexpected wildfires in the Big Cypress National Preserve over the two day period. On the second day a reporter from the Miami Herald accompanied a ground crew team.
Dozens of species of non-native fishes are present in the freshwaters of Florida, and new species are discovered each year. Maintaining current information on the geographic ranges of all non-native fishes is a daunting task, as many jurisdictions are involved at the state, federal, and municipal levels. There is a need to coordinate sampling, research and management across jurisdictional boundaries while also providing up-to-date geographic distribution information to publicly-accessible databases.
USGS scientists have been involved for a number of years in the development and use of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). This methodology represents an approach to statistical modeling that focuses on the study of complex cause-effect hypotheses about the mechanisms operating in systems. SEM is increasingly used in ecological and environmental studies and this site seeks to provide educational materials related to that enterprise. This site serves up tutorials, exercises, and examples designed to help researchers learn and apply SEM. Please click on the “Science” tab to learn more.
The U.S. Agency for International Development‘s regional mission in East Africa (USAID/EA) and contributing USAID bilateral missions in the region have partnered with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s International Technical Assistance Program (DOI-ITAP) to strategically leverage DOI expertise as it pertains to wildlife poaching and wildlife trafficking.
November 1 - 2, 2016 – Eight teams of fishery biologists from the US Geological Survey (USGS), US Fish and Wildlife Service - Peninsular Florida Fisheries Office and Welaka National Fish Hatchery (USFWS), the National Park Service (NPS), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Florida International University (FIU), and Zoo Miami sampled 20 sites for non-native fishes in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties in southeast Florida in this two-day event. A variety of collection gear was used, including electrofishing boats, backpack electrofishers, seines, fyke nets, minnow traps, hook and line, and dipnets.
Population models developed by USGS are the primary decision-support tools used for status assessments, and rely on estimates of adult survival and reproduction rates from mark-recapture studies.
Long-term monitoring data in the Manatee Individual Photo-identification System (MIPS), developed and coordinated by WARC-Sirenia Project in collaboration with Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory, are the basis for modeling manatee demography rates.
Nuclear microsatellite markers have been developed and implemented on ~2,000 West Indian manatees. These markers provide individual genetic fingerprints for mark-recapture studies, population structure information for the conservation of unique or isolated populations, and pedigree and relatedness information for addressing inbreeding and breeding structure patterns.
A multi-agency effort assesses the health of manatees and provides baseline information on their health, reproductive status, and nutritional condition.
Since 1978, USGS scientists have photo-documented manatees in the Southeast United States. Now, more than 3,000 manatees can be found in the MIPS database.
Manatees are tropical to subtropical in distribution and, with few exceptions, Florida is the northern limit of their natural winter range. The availability of warm-water habitat during winter is critical for the future persistence of the population in Florida.
USGS works with partners to assess manatee distribution and habitat use throughout the Northern Gulf of Mexico.