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Established in 1935, our mission is our hallmark: meet the actionable science needs of our cooperators, provide technical assistance, and develop the future workforce through graduate education/mentoring. The Coop Units are located on 40 universities in 38 states. They are called Coop Units because each cooperator plays a role in the staffing, funding and directing the units. 

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News

Date published: November 20, 2020

Bird of Courage

When celebrating Thanksgiving with your family this year, remember that the turkey is not just the main course, but, as Benjamin Franklin said, it’s also a noble fowl deeply rooted in American tradition. 

Date published: November 12, 2020

New Maps Document Big-Game Migrations Across the Western United States

LARAMIE, Wyo. – For the first time, state and federal wildlife biologists have come together to map the migrations of ungulates – hooved mammals such as mule deer, elk, pronghorn, moose and bison – across America’s West. The maps will help land managers and conservationists pinpoint actions necessary to keep migration routes open and functional to sustain healthy big-game populations.

Date published: September 27, 2017

Research to Recover Threatened Waterfowl: USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Supervisor Receives Prestigious U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Champion Award

USGS scientist James “Barry” Grand, Ph.D., has been named a 2016 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Champion (Region 7) for his exemplary long-term research on two formerly threatened species, the spectacled eider and Alaska-breeding Steller’s eiders.

The Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (CRU) Program had a productive year in 2016. Despite vacancies in our scientist ranks exceeding 20 percent, our research, training, and teaching portfolio was full and we graduated 93 students and published 398 manuscripts primarily focused on addressing the real conservation challenges of our cooperators. 

CRU Science
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Date published: July 31, 2019
Status: Active

USGS Alaska Science Center Wildlife Tracking Data Collection

Understanding the short- and long-distance movements of wildlife is critical for a wide variety of ecological research questions and management decisions. Since the mid-1980s, the USGS Alaska Science Center has used information from telemetry devices on wildlife species to determine locations of animals throughout their annual cycles, understand patterns of habitat use, quantify time spent on...

The Cooperative Research Units Program conducts research on a wide range of disciplines related to fish, wildlife, and natural resource management. Our 40 Units collectively conduct research on virtually every type of North American ecological community. 

Data and Tools Technical Publications
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Date published: November 9, 2020

Routes of Mule Deer in the Ruby Mountains, Nevada

The Area 10 mule deer population is one of the largest deer herds in the state, accounting for roughly 20 percent of the statewide mule deer population. The Area 10 herd is comprised of several sub populations that occupy the majority of the Ruby Mountains, are highly migratory,and exhibit long distance migrations from summer to winter ranges. Several key stopovers occur within the migratio...

Date published: November 9, 2020

Wyoming Game and Fish Department Designated Migration Corridor of mule deer in the Sublette Herd, Wyoming

The Sublette Herd Corridor was designated by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in 2016. The Sublette Herd supports an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 animals, and the corridors represent movements from three subpopulations, including the Ryegrass, Mesa, and Red Desert segments. Deer from the Ryegrass winter west of the Green River and migrate northwest into portions of the Wyoming Range

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Stopovers of Mule Deer in the Kaibab North Herd in Arizona

Mule deer of the Kaibab North herd on the Kaibab Plateau are treasured for their historic and contemporary significance in North America. They are the densest population of mule deer in Arizona, with an estimate of 10,200 individuals in 2019. This report compiles two research efforts, the first completed by Arizona Game and Fish Department in 2014, and the second from Utah Division of Wil

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Routes of Mule Deer in the Paunsaugunt Plateau Herd in Utah

The Paunsaugunt Plateau in southern Utah is home to a prolific mule deer herd numbering around 5,200 individuals in 2019. In early October, these mule deer begin their migration from the Plateau traveling south distances up to 78 miles to winter range in the Buckskin Mountains near the Utah-Arizona border. Approximately 20-30% of the Paunsaugunt Plateau herd reside in northern Arizona durin...

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Routes of Mule Deer in the Wyoming Range North Population in Wyoming

Mule deer in the northern Wyoming Range population use winter ranges in the area between Big Piney and LaBarge. During spring, these deer generally move northwesterly to high-elevation summer ranges in the Salt River and Wyoming Ranges. Interchange with deer in the Sublette herd unit has been documented, with some individuals migrating northwest into Upper Green River drainages. At least one...

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Routes of Mule Deer in Platte Valley North Population in Wyoming

Mule deer in the Platte Valley North population are part of the larger Platte Valley herd unit with an estimated population of 11,000 animals (fig. 28). These mule deer winter in the sagebrush canyons and basins near the Platte River north of Saratoga, Wyoming. Other segments of this population winter in the Chokecherry Knob area, south of Sinclair, and the Dana Ridge area just north

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Routes of Moose in the Pinedale Herd in Wyoming

The Sublette herd is the largest moose population in Wyoming, numbering approximately 1,800 individuals. This herd winters among the willow-dominated floodplains of the Green River Basin, primarily the eastern foothills of the Wyoming Range; some animals winter also in the Hoback Basin. As a partially migratory population, approximately half of the moose are resident, while migratory

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Stopovers of Mule Deer in the San Francisco Peaks Herd in Arizona

In 2008, 13 mule deer were GPS collared near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to understand the impact of Arizona’s State Route 64 on mule deer movement. Unexpectedly, 4 individuals migrated over 50 miles to summer range near the San Francisco Peaks, north of Flagstaff, containing alpine, subalpine, and ponderosa pine habitats. The GPS collars dropped in 2009, but questions

Date published: November 9, 2020

Winter ranges of mule deer in the South Tuscarora Mountains, Nevada

Mule deer in the South Tuscarora herd are part of the larger “Area 6” deer population that reside in the southern and eastern portion of this big game Management Area (MA 6). The winter range for this sub population is located along the western slopes of the Tuscarora Mountains and the Dunphy Hills. The spring migration route for this deer herd traverses north along the toe

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Routes of Mule Deer in Atlantic Rim South Population in Wyoming

Mule deer in the Atlantic Rim South population are part of the Baggs herd unit that is managed for approximately 19,000 animals. These mule deer winter in the sagebrush canyons and basins north and west of Baggs, Wyoming and migrate north and east 20–50 mi (32–80 km) to various summer ranges (fig. 23). Many of these deer must navigate coal-bed methane developments situ

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Routes of Mule Deer in the South Wind River Herd in Wyoming

Mule deer within the South Wind River herd make short- and medium-distance migrations from the foothills near Lander, Wyoming, into the Wind River Range and around its southern flanks (fig. 31). The longest migration in this herd is a 75-mile (121-km) route originating south of Lander near Twin Creek. Deer following this long-distance route traverse the southern edge of the Wind River

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Routes of Pronghorn in the South of Interstate 40 Herd in Arizona

Interest in the movement of pronghorn south of Arizona’s Interstate 40 (I-40) began when telemetry data from 1999 – 2004 showed seasonal round-trip movements upwards of 100 miles. In 2018, high-resolution GPS location data confirmed persistence of this remarkable pronghorn migration. This herd resides primarily in Game Management Unit 8, which had a population estimate of

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Date published: April 19, 2018

USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units: 2017 Year In Review

In September 1960, the 86th Congress passed Public Law 86-686 to facilitate cooperation between the Federal government, colleges and universities, the States, and private organizations for Cooperative Unit Programs of research and education relating to fish and wildlife, and for other purposes. The Cooperative Research Units originated in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the mid 1930s

Date published: February 15, 2017

2016 Cooperative Research Unit Story Map

In this Year in Review report, you will find details on staffing, vacancies, research funding, and other pertinent information. You will also see snapshots of Unit projects with information on how results have been or are being applied by cooperators. That is the essence of what we do: science that matter.

 

Date published: February 1, 2016

2015 Cooperative Research Units Story Map

The Cooperative Research Unit mission is our hallmark: meeting the actionable science needs of our cooperators, providing them technical guidance and assistance in interpreting and applying new advances in science, and developing the future workforce through graduate education and mentoring. 

Unit scientists routinely develop programs and applications to be used by State and Federal natural resource managers to conduct data analyses to inform decision making.

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Date published: May 2, 2016

Wildlife Software and Models

A suite of software tools and models developed by Colorado State University and the USGS Colorado Cooperative Fish And Wildlife Research Unit.

Date published: May 2, 2016

monitoR: Acoustic template detection in R

Tools for automated acoustic monitoring of nature.

Date published: May 2, 2016

R for Fisheries and Wildlife Applications

FW599: An introduction to data management and R for Fisheries and Wildlife applications--- a lighthearted look

Date published: May 2, 2016

InVEST: 18 different models for ecosystem services

The InVEST tool allows researchers to evaluate relationships between land management actions and wild bee populations.

Under the guidelines of the Cooperative Research Agreement, CRU is required to communicate with funders, cooperators, stakeholders, and the public. CRU maintains outreach pathways and participation among state, federal, university, and private researchers.

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discover ecosystems by clicking on image for full description.
March 24, 2020

Discover Ecosystems

Ecosystems and the wild things that live in them are the foundation of our conservation heritage and an economic asset to current and future generations of Americans. Healthy ecosystems support living things and natural processes that bring prosperity and enjoyment for all Americans. 

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$58.1 BILLION
Estimated economic output of DOI-

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Chronic wasting disease
July 9, 2019

Chronic wasting disease is an infectious disease

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an emerging infectious disease that is fatal to free-ranging and captive animals in Cervidae (the deer family; referred to as “cervids”). Affected animals include deer, elk, moose, and reindeer. Once an animal is infected, CWD typically causes neurological

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Chronic wasting disease
July 9, 2019

Chronic wasting disease is an infectious disease

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an emerging infectious disease that is fatal to free-ranging and captive animals in Cervidae (the deer family; referred to as “cervids”). Affected animals include deer, elk, moose, and reindeer. Once an animal is infected, CWD typically causes neurological

...
Chronic wasting disease
July 9, 2019

Chronic wasting disease is an infectious disease

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an emerging infectious disease that is fatal to free-ranging and captive animals in Cervidae (the deer family; referred to as “cervids”). Affected animals include deer, elk, moose, and reindeer. Once an animal is infected, CWD typically causes neurological

...
Chronic wasting disease
July 9, 2019

Chronic wasting disease is an infectious disease

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an emerging infectious disease that is fatal to free-ranging and captive animals in Cervidae (the deer family; referred to as “cervids”). Affected animals include deer, elk, moose, and reindeer. Once an animal is infected, CWD typically causes neurological

...
Chronic wasting disease
July 9, 2019

Chronic wasting disease is an infectious disease

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an emerging infectious disease that is fatal to free-ranging and captive animals in Cervidae (the deer family; referred to as “cervids”). Affected animals include deer, elk, moose, and reindeer. Once an animal is infected, CWD typically causes neurological

...
White-tailed deer and chronic wasting disease
July 9, 2019

White-tailed deer

Distribution map: distribution of chronic wasting disease in North America

Chronic wasting disease may have long-term negative effects on white-tailed deer, a highly visible and economically valuable keystone species, according to a 

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A brook floater filter feeding as it is anchored into the sediment of a stream bottom.
July 3, 2019

Brook floater mussel

A brook floater filter feeding as it is anchored into the sediment of a stream bottom. Habitat loss is a long-recognized problem for many endangered species, and the brook floater is no exception. In-stream alterations that change flow and alter sediment loads can affect downstream locations where freshwater mussels live. Further, human encroachment from development, run-

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Shovelnose sturgeon
June 3, 2019

Shovelnose sturgeon

Shovelnose sturegon. Understanding the

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Elk fitted with global positioning system tracking collar
June 3, 2019

Elk fitted with global positioning system tracking collar

Matt Kauffman, Unit Leader, USGS Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, second from left, works with Wyoming Game and Fish Department and University of Wyoming collaborators to release an elk fitted with a global positioning system (GPS) tracking collar.

Green sweat bee visits a blackberry flower
May 29, 2019

Green sweat bee visits a blackberry flower

Fruits of Her Labor: the flower on the left has been pollinated and the fruit is developing, but the flower on the right is still being pollinated, highlighting the importance of bees to humanity's food resources. 

Andrena spp. seemingly getting a piggyback ride from a bumblebee (Bombus spp.)
May 29, 2019

Bee landing zone

Andrena spp. seemingly getting a piggyback ride from a bumblebee (Bombus spp.). Researcher was holding the flower on private land in Macon County.

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Date published: November 20, 2020

Bird of Courage

When celebrating Thanksgiving with your family this year, remember that the turkey is not just the main course, but, as Benjamin Franklin said, it’s also a noble fowl deeply rooted in American tradition. 

Date published: November 12, 2020

New Maps Document Big-Game Migrations Across the Western United States

LARAMIE, Wyo. – For the first time, state and federal wildlife biologists have come together to map the migrations of ungulates – hooved mammals such as mule deer, elk, pronghorn, moose and bison – across America’s West. The maps will help land managers and conservationists pinpoint actions necessary to keep migration routes open and functional to sustain healthy big-game populations.

Date published: September 27, 2017

Research to Recover Threatened Waterfowl: USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Supervisor Receives Prestigious U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Champion Award

USGS scientist James “Barry” Grand, Ph.D., has been named a 2016 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Champion (Region 7) for his exemplary long-term research on two formerly threatened species, the spectacled eider and Alaska-breeding Steller’s eiders.

Date published: May 3, 2017

Migrating mule deer track “green waves” of spring forage: study highlights importance of habitat corridors for migrating game and other species

Migratory mule deer in Wyoming closely time their movements to track the spring green-up, providing evidence of an underappreciated foraging benefit of migration, according to a study by University of Wyoming and U.S. Geological Survey scientists at the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

Date published: December 22, 2016

A Grand Slam for Students, Schools and Science

"It’s a grand slam for all involved,” said Dawn Childs, USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units.  “Recent high school graduates with special needs get real-world experience while helping USGS scientists on projects ranging from grizzly bears and energy to historic documents and bird migration. And a school system gets to successfully train students to enter the workforce."

Date published: November 17, 2016

Wild Turkey Talk

A group of turkeys is referred to as either a rafter or a gang.  So this Thanksgiving, when celebrating with your own gang, remember the turkey as more than just the main course, but, as Benjamin Franklin said so many years ago, as a noble fowl of American tradition.

Date published: July 31, 2016

Hot off the Press! Great Balls of Fire!

The USGS Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in partnership with the Nebraska Intelligent MoBile Unmanned Systems Lab (NIMBUS) and the Applied Complex Adaptive Systems Lab have designed a drone prototype that drops balls filled with combustible material that ignites fire as part of prescribed fire management.

Date published: May 6, 2016

Happy Mother’s Day to Moms of All Species

USGS wishes to honor all mothers, of all species. Many of our research findings have and are shedding light on the lives of non-human moms.  

Date published: March 16, 2016

Shorebirds Ignore Aircraft, But Pay Attention to People, Off-road Vehicles

The American oystercatchers studied on Cape Lookout National Seashore in North Carolina were disturbed more by pedestrians and off-road vehicles passing their nests than the U.S. military aircraft flying overhead.

Date published: December 10, 2015

Continued Decline of the Northern Spotted Owl Associated with the Invasive Barred Owl, Habitat Loss, and Climate Variation

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Northern spotted owl populations are declining in all parts of their range in the Pacific Northwest, according to research published in The Condor. Based on data from 11 study areas across Washington, Oregon and northern California, a rangewide decline of nearly 4 percent per year was estimated from 1985 to 2013.

Date published: March 10, 2015

Endangered Flying Squirrel Relegated to Living on Sky-Islands

Habitat loss has fragmented the population of the Carolina northern flying squirrel, an endangered species now living on “sky-islands” on nine isolated mountain peaks in the southern Appalachians.

Date published: March 2, 2015

Wildlife Researchers to Give Public Close-Up, Real-Time View of Big Game Fieldwork

LARAMIE, WY — Seeking insights to help moose, elk, mule deer and bighorn sheep populations, researchers from the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the U.S. Geological Survey and other partners will spend much of March capturing animals on their winter ranges in western and southern Wyoming.

The cooperative nature of the CRU Program provides the workforce with a familiarity with the needs and policies of State and Federal science and management agencies. The success of this approach is evident in that CRU students have gone on to hold important leadership positions in nearly every State and Federal conservation agency.

Cooperators
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