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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
Filter Total Items: 104
Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Routes of Elk in Fossil Buttes Population in Wyoming

The Fossil Butte (hereafter referred to as the Monument in this section of the report) elk population winters in the southern Wyoming Range between Fossil Butte National Monument and Cokeville (fig. 45). During spring, they migrate north short (11 mi [18 km]) to medium (74 mi [119 km]) distances. The segment of the elk population that winters near the Monument migrates i

Date published: November 9, 2020

Annual Ranges 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

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Routes of Elk in the Piney Herd in Wyoming

Migratory movements of elk within the Piney herd unit, a large area encompassing the eastern side of the Wyoming, include short (i.e., 10 miles) to medium (i.e., 30 miles) distance migrations. These elk migrate from low elevation elk feedgrounds and native winter ranges in the Upper Green River Basin to high elevation summer ranges in the Wyoming Range. In summer, some elk head

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration stopovers of mule deer in the Sheep Creek Range, Nevada

Mule deer in the Sheep Creek sub herd are part of the larger Area 6 herd that occupies portions of Elko, Lander, and Eureka counties. The primary winter range of this population is located along the eastern flank of the Sheep Creek Range and the west side of Boulder Valley. Most deer migrate approximately 30 miles from winter ranges in upper Boulder Creek and Antelope Creek drainages to summe...

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration corridors of mule deer in the Izzenhood herd, Nevada

Mule deer in the Izzenhood herd are part of a larger population known in Nevada as the “Area 6” mule deer population. They primarily reside on winter ranges in the Izzenhood Basin and upper Rock Creek drainages in western Elko County and northern Lander County. From their winter range, mule deer in this sub population migrate approximately 70 miles to summer ranges in the north

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Routes of Mule Deer in the Owl Creek/Meeteetse Herd in Wyoming

Mule deer within the Owl Creek/Meeteetse herd make a number of medium- to long-distance migrations west into the Shoshone National Forest. These migrations originate on the sagebrush grasslands just southwest and west of Meeteetse, Wyoming, where this population winters. In spring, an estimated 4,100 deer leave these foothills and travel into the rugged Absaroka mountain range. These jo

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration stopovers 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

Migration Routes of Mule Deer in the Mesa Population in Wyoming

The Mesa mule deer population is part of the larger Sublette herd that winters in the north-central portion of the Green River Basin, east of the Green River and west of U.S. Highway 191 (fig. 32). The Mesa wintering area supports 3,000 to 5,000 deer that migrate northwest to summer ranges in the Wyoming Range, Gros Ventre Range, and Salt River Range. The Mesa winter range, which

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration routes 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

Winter ranges of mule deer in the Izzenhood herd, Nevada

Mule deer in the Izzenhood herd are part of a larger population known in Nevada as the “Area 6” mule deer population. They primarily reside on winter ranges in the Izzenhood Basin and upper Rock Creek drainages in western Elko County and northern Lander County. From their winter range, mule deer in this sub population migrate approximately 70 miles to summer ranges in the north

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Corridors 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

Winter Ranges 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...

Filter Total Items: 2,756
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Year Published: 2019

Making Recursive Bayesian inference accessible

Bayesian models provide recursive inference naturally because they can formally reconcile new data and existing scientific information. However, popular use of Bayesian methods often avoids priors that are based on exact posterior distributions resulting from former studies. Two existing Recursive Bayesian methods are: Prior- and Proposal-...

Hooten, Mevin; Devin S. Johnson; Brian M. Brost

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Year Published: 2019

Puerto Rico Sicydium goby diversity: Species-specific insights on population structures and distributions

Sicydiine gobies are major contributors to Caribbean stream fish biodiversity, and ecosystem functions and services. In the Caribbean, Sicydiine gobies are represented by a single genus, Sicydium, but species-level Sicydium taxonomy and distributions remain unresolved in this region. A previous study posited that four species of Sicydium are...

Engman, A.C.; Hogue, G.M; Starnes, W.C.; Raley, M.E.; Kwak, Thomas J.

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Year Published: 2019

Toward a theory of connectivity among depressional wetlands of the great plains

Functions of inland, freshwater depressional wetlands of the Great Plains are driven by natural disturbance in the form of fluctuating water levels or shifts between wet and dry ecological states. The geographically isolated prairie potholes and playas form broad-scale systems or networks that support biodiversity and provide ecological goods and...

Albanese, Gene; Haukos, David A.

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Year Published: 2019

Age and growth of Freshwater Drum and Gizzard Shad occupying two reservoir-river complexes with different groundwater contributions

Restoring groundwater flow is a management option that improves water temperature regimes and benefits fishes. Although this strategy applies more readily to river systems, the thermal character of reservoirs is heavily influenced by inflowing rivers. We examined differences in age, structure, and growth of both Freshwater Drum Aplodinotus...

Dattilo, J; Shoup, D.E.; Brewer, Shannon K.

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Year Published: 2019

Ecosystem size predicts social dynamics in recreational fisheries

Recreational fisheries are complex adaptive systems that are inherently difficult to manage due to a heterogeneous user group (consumptive vs. non-consumptive) that utilize patchily distributed resources on the landscape (lakes, rivers, coastlines). There is a need to identify which system components can effectively predict and be used to manage...

Kaemingk, M. A.; Chizinski, C.J.; Allen, Craig R.; Pope, Kevin L.

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Year Published: 2019

Comparing and improving methods for reconstructing peatland water-table depth from testate amoebae

Proxies that use changes in the composition of ecological communities to reconstruct temporal changes in an environmental covariate are commonly used in paleoclimatology and paleolimnology. Existing methods, such as weighted averaging and modern analog technique, relate compositional data to the covariate in very simple ways, and different methods...

Nolan, Connor; Tipton, John; Booth, Robert K.; Hooten, Mevin; Jackson, Stephen

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Year Published: 2019

Differential effects of temperature and salinity on growth and mortality of oysters (Crassostrea virginica) in Barataria Bay and Breton Sound, Louisiana

Temperature and salinity and their interaction exert a major control on the life cycle of the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica), affecting reproduction, development, growth, and mortality. Quantifying specific temperature and salinity relationships on oyster growth and mortality has however proven difficult, with data suggesting potentially...

Sehlinger, T.; Lowe, M.R.; LaPeyre, Megan K.; Soniat, T.M.

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Year Published: 2019

Oyster reefs in northern Gulf of Mexico estuaries harbor diverse fish and decapod crustacean assemblages: A meta-synthesis

Oyster reefs provide habitat for numerous fish and decapod crustacean species that mediate ecosystem functioning and support vibrant fisheries. Recent focus on the restoration of eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) reefs stems from this role as a critical ecosystem engineer. Within the shallow estuaries of the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGoM...

LaPeyre, Megan K.; Marshall, D. A.; Miller, L. S.; Humphries, A. T.

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Year Published: 2019

Riverine turtles select habitats maintained by natural discharge regimes in an unimpounded large river

Turtle populations are imperiled worldwide, but limited ecological information from unaltered systems hampers science‐based management and conservation of some species, especially riverine turtles such as the spiny softshell (Apalone spinifera). We therefore investigated movements and spatial habitat selection of 54 A. spinifera in...

Tornabene, Brian J.; Jaeger, Matthew E.; Bramblett, Robert G.; Nelson, Mark; McClenning, Nathan; Watson, Trevor; Ankrum, Alan; Frazer, Kenneth; Reinhold, Ann Marie; Zale, Alexander V.

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Year Published: 2019

Foraging ecology mediates response to ecological mismatch during migratory stopover

Impacts of ecological mismatches should be most pronounced at points of the annual cycle when populations depend on a predictable, abundant, and aggregated food resource that changes in timing or distribution. The degree to which species specialize on a key prey item, therefore, should determine their sensitivity to mismatches. We evaluated the...

Tucker, A. M.; McGowan, Conor P.; Catalano, M.; Derose-Wilson, A.; Robinson, R. A.; Zimmerman, J.

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Year Published: 2019

International Organizations and Programs for Wildlife Conservation

Historically, private non-governmental entities in the developed world took interest in wildlife in developing nations. Nineteenth and early twentieth century explorers of Africa, Asia, and South America reported fascinating encounters with magnificent species that were previously cryptic or unknown (Robinson et al. 2017). Organizations such as...

Organ, John F.; Medina-Vogel, Gonzalo; Yoshida, T.

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Year Published: 2019

Energy intake rate influences survival of Black Oystercatcher Haematopus bachmani broods

Black Oystercatchers Haematopus bachmani, a species of conservation concern, depend on marine intertidal prey resources. We examined diet, feeding rates, growth, and survival of Black Oystercatcher broods in southcentral Alaska, 2013-2014. To determine the importance of diet on brood survival, we modeled daily survival rates of broods as a...

Robinson, B.H.; Phillips, L.M.; Powell, Abby

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.

Filter Total Items: 43
WorldCat holdings, OCLC, USGS Pubs Warehouse, Public Domain, Biodiversity Heritage Library
December 6, 2016

A student volunteer scans historic USGS library material

Student volunteers are trained to scan historic library materials. The materials can be complex, consisting of multiple parts.

Riparian system within the rugged desert landscape.
March 15, 2016

Riparian system within the rugged desert landscape.

An example of a riparian system within the rugged desert landscape. Zone-tailed Hawks nested in the trees in the bottom of the canyon. 

  1. Raptors in the Trans Pecos, Texas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit: State-Threatened, Riparian-Obligate Raptors in the Trans Pecos:  Desert riparian systems are distinct narrow drainages that provide environmental
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USGS Museum, historic preservation
December 31, 2015

In the Driver’s Seat

Student dusts the Model A Ford coupe used by USGS scientists from the 1930s to 1965. 

Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum
December 31, 2015

USGS Volunteer Student at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum

The Smithsonian Natural History Museum offers hands-on learning experiences.

Pallid sturgeon
December 31, 2015

Pallid Sturgeon

The pallid sturgeon is an endangered riverine sturgeon with historical distribution restricted to parts of the Yellowstone, Missouri, Mississippi, and Atchafalaya Rivers. Although rare, pallid sturgeon in the lower Mississippi River appear to be naturally recruiting, and information about habitat use is important to conserve this species. This study seeks to provide

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Assessment of the Invasion of the Asian Swamp Eels
August 1, 2015

Assessment of the Invasion of the Asian Swamp Eel

The Asian swamp eel is an invasive species that was introduced into the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area and has persisted for more than 20 years. The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area manages, protects, and interprets the biota and landscape of the Chattahoochee River corridor, and the Asian swamp eel is an invasive species that threatens the

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 Passage of adult Atlantic salmon in the Penobscot River, Maine
June 3, 2006

Passage of adult Atlantic salmon in the Penobscot River, Maine

Atlantic salmon runs in the Penobscot and Kennebec Rivers of Maine are federally endangered and remain low. Inefficient fishways at dams continue to slow and prevent upstream migrations to spawning habitat, and delays of weeks to months are common. These delays expose fish to elevated water temperatures, resulting in increased metabolic demands. These energetic costs have

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