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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: 17
Date published: January 1, 2017

Composition of diet of juvenile Brown Pelican in the northern Gulf of Mexico (2013-2015)

The Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) is a large-bodied seabird that nests in colonies of 10 to upwards of 5,000 pairs, on nearshore barrier islands in subtropical and tropical North American waters. It breeds between March and August, laying 2–3 eggs and raising 1–2 chicks per year. The species is facultatively migratory during nonbreeding, with some individuals

Date published: January 1, 2017

Shapefiles and Historical Aerial Photographs, Little Missouri River, 1939-2003

The data archive contains the aerial photographs and channel delineations used in our analysis. The images have been geo-referenced to the 1995 digital orthophoto quarter quadrangles as described by Miller and Friedman (2009). The separate images for each year can be viewed as a composite along with that year’s channel delineation using a geographic information system (GIS). The 2

Date published: January 1, 2017

Productivity of Brown Pelican in the northern Gulf of Mexico (2014-2015)

The Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) is a large-bodied seabird that nests in colonies of 10 to upwards of 5,000 pairs, on nearshore barrier islands in subtropical and tropical North American waters. It breeds between March and August, laying 2–3 eggs and raising 1–2 chicks per year. The species is facultatively migratory during nonbreeding, with some individuals

Date published: January 1, 2017

Provisioning rate of Brown Pelican in the northern Gulf of Mexico (2014-2015)

The Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) is a large-bodied seabird that nests in colonies of 10 to upwards of 5,000 pairs, on nearshore barrier islands in subtropical and tropical North American waters. It breeds between March and August, laying 2–3 eggs and raising 1–2 chicks per year. The species is facultatively migratory during nonbreeding, with some individuals

Date published: January 1, 2017

Brown pelican foraging ecology in the northern Gulf of Mexico (2013-2015)_Colony reference

The Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) is a large-bodied seabird that nests in colonies of 10 to upwards of 5,000 pairs, on nearshore barrier islands in subtropical and tropical North American waters. It breeds between March and August, laying 2–3 eggs and raising 1–2 chicks per year. The species is facultatively migratory during nonbreeding, with some individuals

Filter Total Items: 2,623
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Year Published: 2019

Demographic factors affecting population growth in giant gartersnakes

Demographic models provide insight into which vital rates and life stages contribute most to population growth. Integral projection models (IPMs) offer flexibility in matching model structure to a species’ demography. For many rare species, data are lacking for key vital rates, and uncertainty might dissuade researchers from attempting to build a...

Rose, Jonathan P.; Ersan, Julia; Wylie, Glenn D.; Casazza, Michael L.; Halstead, Brian J.

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Year Published: 2019

Ecological health indicators

Contemporary policymakers rarely stress ecological knowledge, and yet this knowledge remains crucial—just as it was in prehistory—to protecting overall human well-being. Measuring carefully selected ecological health indicators—that is, signs or symptoms, especially those focused on biotic assemblages—can provide insights into the...

Angermeier, Paul L.

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Year Published: 2019

Trade-offs relating to grassland and forest mine reclamation approaches in the central Appalachian region and its implications for the songbird community

Surface mining in the Appalachian region, USA, converts large areas of mature forest to early-successional habitat. This shift in landscape structure has the potential to reduce habitat availability and suitability for forest-dwelling songbirds by reducing and fragmenting mature forest, but also to increase habitat availability for grassland and...

Wood, Petra B.; Eric L. Margenau; Cathy A. Weakland; Donald J. Brown
Margenau, Eric L.; Wood, Petra B.; Weakland, Cathy A.; Brown, Donald J. 2019. Trade-offs relating to grassland and forest mine reclamation approaches in the central Appalachian region and implications for the songbird community. Avian Conservation and Ecology. 14(1) 2. 14 p. https://doi.org/10.5751/ACE-01304-140102.

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Year Published: 2019

Bayesian statistics for beginners: A step-by-step approach

Bayesian statistics is currently undergoing something of a renaissance. At its heart is a method of statistical inference in which Bayes' theorem is used to update the probability for a hypothesis as more evidence or information becomes available. It is an approach that is ideally suited to making initial assessments based on incomplete or...

Donovan, Therese M.; Mickey, Ruth M.

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Year Published: 2019

Interactions of human-caused mortality, genetic introgression, and management among Wild Red Wolves: Developing scientific consensus

After being nearly driven to extinction by the combination of human persecution, human-caused habitat change, and subsequent hybridization with coyotes, red wolves (Canis rufus) were rescued from extinction by the establishment of a captive breeding program in 1973.  In 1987, red wolves were first released into a coyote-free (Canis latrans)...

Collazo, Jaime

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Year Published: 2019

Movement and mortality of Atlantic salmonkelts (Salmo salar) released into thePenobscot River, Maine

The Penobscot River is home to the last major run of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in the United States. For over one century, the river has been stocked intensively. Since the late 1970s, most kelts are released to the Penobscot River estuary following spawning in a hatchery. Over that time, the proportion of the run made up of iteroparous...

George A. Maynard; Lisa K. Izzo; Zydlewski, Joseph D.

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Year Published: 2019

Individual behaviour and resource use of thermally stressed brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis portend the conservation potential of thermal refugia

Individual aggression and thermal refuge use were monitored in brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis in a controlled laboratory to determine how fish size and personality influence time spent in forage and thermal habitat patches during periods of thermal stress. On average, larger and more exploratory fish initiated more aggressive...

White, Shannon L.; Kline, B.C.; Hitt, Nathaniel; Wagner, Tyler

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Year Published: 2019

Applications of emerging fisheries techniques for paddlefish

No abstract available. 

Gregory Whitledge; Richard Lance; Long, James M.; Ben Neely; Jason Schooley

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Year Published: 2019

Wild canid distribution and co-existence in a natural–urban matrix of the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts

Although development and urbanization are typically believed to have negative impacts on carnivoran species, some species can successfully navigate an urban matrix. Sympatric carnivorans compete for limited resources in urban areas, likely with system-specific impacts to their distributions and activity patterns. We used automatically triggered...

LeFlore, Eric G.; Fuller, Todd K.; Finn, John T.; Organ, John F.; DeStefano, Stephen

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Year Published: 2019

Looking for love under the ice: Using passive acoustics to detect burbot (Lota lota: Gadidae) spawning activity

Burbot (Lota lota: Gadidae) is a difficult species to manage effectively due to its preference for deep‐water habitats and under‐ice spawning behaviour, resulting in a poor understanding of its reproductive activity. However, the use of acoustic signalling by burbot as part of their mating system has recently been described and this behaviour may...

Grabowski, Timothy B.; Young, Shawn P.; Cott, Peter A.

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Year Published: 2019

Spatially-structured statistical network models for landscape genetics

A basic understanding of how the landscape impedes, or creates resistance to, the dispersal of organisms and hence gene flow is paramount for successful conservation science and management. Spatially structured ecological networks are often used to represent spatial landscape‐genetic relationships, where nodes represent individuals or populations...

Hooten, Mevin B.

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Year Published: 2019

Higher nest predation favors rapid fledging at the cost of plumage quality in nestling birds

Life-history theory predicts that rapid growth comes at a cost to offspring quality and adult longevity. However, trade-offs have been examined primarily based on proximate variation within species rather than evolved differences across species. Evolved differences are important to examine because species may co-evolve mechanisms to reduce long-...

Martin, Thomas E.; Lea M. Callan1; Frank A. La Sorte2; Vanya G. Rohwer1, 4

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: 29
Halictus ligatus female on an oxeye daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum).
May 29, 2019

Halictus ligatus female on an oxeye daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum)

The center of the composite flower looks like a "landing zone" and has evolved to guide pollinators to its nectar/pollen.

Trail camera field work in Arizona
April 12, 2019

Trail camera field work in Arizona

Ongoing camera monitoring efforts in Southern Arizona to monitor wildlife for the goal of detecting endangered jaguars and ocelots have covered 20 mountain ranges, off and on, from 2012 to 2019.  Currently monitoring 12 Southern Arizona mountain ranges, this project is being conducted exclusively in the field by citizen science volunteers at the University of Arizona under

...
Trail camera field work in Arizona
April 12, 2019

Trail camera field work in Arizona

Ongoing camera monitoring efforts in Southern Arizona to monitor wildlife for the goal of detecting endangered jaguars and ocelots have covered 20 mountain ranges, off and on, from 2012 to 2019.  Currently monitoring 12 Southern Arizona mountain ranges, this project is being conducted exclusively in the field by citizen science volunteers at the University of Arizona under

...
Trail camera field work in Arizona
April 12, 2019

Trail camera field work in Arizona

Ongoing camera monitoring efforts in Southern Arizona to monitor wildlife for the goal of detecting endangered jaguars and ocelots have covered 20 mountain ranges, off and on, from 2012 to 2019.  Currently monitoring 12 Southern Arizona mountain ranges, this project is being conducted exclusively in the field by citizen science volunteers at the University of Arizona under

...
Canada lynx
June 21, 2018

Canada Lynx

– Scientists at the USGS Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and
Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in
collaboration with The Rockefeller University’s Vertebrate Genome Laboratory,
New York, are releasing to a public repository at the vertebrate lab, for use by
geneticists, conservationists and other researchers around the

...
Alligator Hatchlings
December 31, 2017

Alligator Hatchlings

Crocodilians are one of the few reptile taxa that exhibit parental care. In alligators, following nest construction, females stay nearby in a guard hole, and are known to defend their nests against predators or other intruders. At the end of the 60-day incubation period, alligator hatchlings will vocalize from within the egg, to signal to the mother that they are ready to

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Honey bee (Apis mellifera) foraging on coffee flowers of Coffea canephora and C. arabica plants
April 6, 2017

Honey bee pollination of coffee plants

Researcher swabs the body of a honeybee with fuschin gel to later use to identify the pollen particles on the bee's body and determine what plants the bee visited. The overal purpose of the project is to enable the Department of Applied Ecology of North Carolina State University (NCSU), Center for Landscape Conservation (CLC), and the Natural Resources Conservation Service

...
American Alligator
December 31, 2016

American Alligator

USGS and other scientists have studied in-depth alligator populations in Florida and Louisiana, but basic ecological knowledge is lacking for populations at the northern edge of their range. For example, differences in climate and habitat between the southern and northern portions of the range limit the applicability of findings from other studies to South Carolina

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American Alligator
December 31, 2016

Largest American Alligator Satellite Telemetry-Tracking Study

South Carolina alligators occupy a patchwork of diverse habitats, including rivers, lakes, wooded swamps, tidal marshes, and impounded freshwater wetlands. As a mobile, opportunistic predator, alligators seasonally adjust their habitat use for feeding. For example, some Florida alligators venture into brackish water habitats to feed on nutrient-rich blue crabs during the

...
Golden Eagle
December 31, 2016

Golden eagle fitted with Global Positioning System (GPS) backpack

Reports of golden eagle mortality linked to wind energy facilities are cause for concern especially when coupled with the knowledge that golden eagles move great distances between breeding and wintering areas. Mortalities at a particular wind energy facility can consequently affect breeding populations of golden eagles at local and continent-wide scales. Information is

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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.

The USGS Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit teams are capturing and marking black bears
May 6, 2016

Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Student with Black Bear Cub

The USGS Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit teams are capturing and marking black bears in the Ozark and Ouachita regions of Oklahoma.

Filter Total Items: 14
Date published: September 29, 2014

Wind Turbine or Tree? Certain Bats Might Not Know

Certain bats may be approaching wind turbines after mistaking them for trees, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Date published: February 12, 2014

Identifying Bats By Sound

Recording bats' echolocation "calls" is the most efficient and least intrusive way of identifying different species of bats in a given area, providing insight into some populations that have been decimated by white-nose syndrome.