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The CRU program remains very productive and maintains a bright future. One of the things contributing to that bright future is a $5.6 million increase in our most recent Congressional appropriations. This amount will help us meet longstanding programmatic needs, such as filling all the vacancies in our scientific workforce and providing much-needed upgrades to our research equipment.

CRU Science
Filter Total Items: 25
Date published: August 10, 2020
Status: Active

Managing Young Forest Wildlife Habitats in Rights-of-Way Landscapes

The West Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit is developing management strategies that may help to increase young forest habitat availability and conserve priority young forest species in the central Appalachian region.

Date published: July 13, 2020
Status: Active

Collaborating for Conservation: Coming Together to Conserve the Topeka Shiner

he U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (Unit) is leading research on Topeka shiner, a species listed in 1998 under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to loss of critical habitat and subsequent population declines. The focus of this research is on population size and geographic distribution, and Topeka shiner food and habitat requirements.

Date published: May 11, 2020
Status: Active

Engaging Hunters in Selecting Duck Season Dates Using Decision Science

The USGS New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) have been working together on a decision making process for setting duck season dates in New York.

Date published: April 13, 2020
Status: Active

Citizen Science Helps to Inform Ornamental Fishery Decisions in Hawaii

The commercial collection of marine ornamental fishes from coral reefs for the aquarium trade is one of the most controversial fisheries in Hawai'i. Most of the controversy relates to whether the fishery is being managed sustainably. The Hawai'i Cooperative Fishery Research Unit is assessing the impact of the marine...

Date published: March 9, 2020
Status: Active

New Habitat Suitability Maps for At-Risk Herpetofauna Species in the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem

Five at-risk species of herpetofauna – the gopher tortoise, gopher frog, striped newt, southern hognose snake, and Florida pine snake – have been petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and are the subjects of conservation planning efforts of federal, state, and other partners in the Southeast.

Date published: February 19, 2020
Status: Active

2019 CRU Year in Review Story Map

Established in 1935, the Cooperative Research Units Program is a partnership among the U.S. Geological Survey, Universities, State fish and wildlife agencies, the Wildlife Management Institute, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Date published: February 10, 2020
Status: Active

Oxbow Restoration in Iowa with an Emphasis on Topeka Shiner

The Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit is leading research on two projects focusing on oxbow restorations and the federally endangered Topeka shiner. These projects have provided insight into the habitat preferences and fish assemblage associations of Topeka shiner in oxbows, compared the occurrence and abundance of the species in restored and unrestored oxbows.

Date published: December 16, 2019
Status: Active

Yellowstone's Migrating Bison Manipulate Springtime Green-Up

The USGS Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit coauthored a paper titled “Migrating bison engineer the green wave” published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a leading journal publishing new discoveries across many disciplines. 

Date published: November 11, 2019
Status: Active

Species Status Assessments to Support Endangered Species Decision Making

The USGS Alabama Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and the USGS Leetown Science Center are partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to re-envision the way science supports endangered species decision making. The USFWS is required under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) to consider the health of species at risk of extinction.

Date published: October 14, 2019
Status: Active

https://wildlifemanagement.institute/brief/october-2019/kirtlands-warbler-delisted

On October 8, 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the Kirtland’s warbler, one of the initial species added to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), had recovered enough to be removed from protection under the ESA. The songbird that nests only in the young jack pine forests in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ontario...

Date published: September 16, 2019
Status: Active

App Allows Citizen Scientists to Contribute to Monarch Butterfly Research

Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (Maine CRU) have developed a model that predicts areas that have a high suitability for monarch butterflies for roosting during their fall migration to Mexico. 

Date published: August 12, 2019
Status: Active

Scientists Without Borders - Range-Wide Conservation for a Freshwater Mussel at Risk

Despite repeatedly being referenced as uncharismatic, few organisms can bring together 21 different agencies, drawing on collaborations from 14 states – but that is just what is happening with a freshwater mussel in the Northeast.

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 mule deer in the Pequop Mountains, Nevada

The Area 7 mule deer population is one of the state’s largest deer herds with an estimated population of about 11,000 in 2019. This deer herd is highly important to Nevada from an economic and ecological perspective. It’s one of the longest distance deer migrations in the state of Nevada with some animals known to migrate over 120 miles during a single migration. A subset of th

Date published: November 9, 2020

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

The Baggs Mule Deer Corridor was officially designated by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) in 2018 (fig. 24). The Baggs Herd is managed for approximately 19,000 animals, and the corridor is based on two wintering deer populations: a northern and southern segment. Animals in the north segment occupy a relatively small winter range along a pinyon-juniper ridge that runs alo

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

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Routes of Elk in the Jackson Herd in Wyoming

Elk within the Jackson herd have been the focus of management for over a century. The herd, which numbers between 9,000 -13,000, winters in Jackson Hole. Most of the herd winters in the sagebrush basins and irrigated fields of the National Elk Refuge, with less than a quarter of the herd wintering in the Gros Ventre drainage to the east. Migrating animals travel an average one-way dista

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Stopovers 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

Ungulate Migrations of the Western United States, Volume 1

Here we provide the data archive for the publication Ungulate Migrations of the Western United States (Kauffman et al. 2020). This includes the collection of GIS/spatial data that are made available in the report. A few exceptions to data inclusions: Idaho data, routes from Grand Teton National Park deer in the Red Desert herd in Wyoming. The Ungulate Migrations of the Western United St

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Routes of Mule Deer in the Red Desert Population in Wyoming

Mule deer within the Red Desert population, part of the larger Sublette herd, make the longest ungulate migration ever recorded in the lower 48 states (fig. 33). Here, mule deer travel an average one-way distance of 150 mi (241 km) from the Red Desert in the south to the Gros Ventre Range and Teton Range in the north. This migration originates in the desert sagebrush basins of the R

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Stopovers of Mule Deer in the Platte Valley Herd in Wyoming

The Platte Valley Herd Corridor was designated by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in 2018 (fig. 30). The Platte Valley herd contains approximately 11,000 mule deer. The corridor is based on two wintering populations, including a south segment from Saratoga, Wyoming, to the Colorado State line, and a north segment from Saratoga to the Dana Ridge area north of I-80. Winter ranges

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration corridors 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 Ryegrass Population in Wyoming

The Ryegrass mule deer population is part of the larger Sublette herd that winters in the northwest portion of the Green River Basin, west of the Green River and north of Cottonwood Creek (fig. 34). In severe winters, these deer may travel southeast to The Mesa, Ross Ridge, or Reardon Draw areas. The Ryegrass region supports approximately 1,500 to 2,000 deer that migrate northwest

Filter Total Items: 2,892
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Year Published: 2021

Stormwater systems as a source of marine debris: A case study from the Mediterranean coast of Israel

Drainage (or stormwater) systems are a potential source of marine debris. Approximately 67 km (33%) of the land along the Mediterranean coast of Israel is considered urban, covered by concrete and asphalt. The purpose of the present pilot study was to determine the composition of the solid waste in a drainage system and evaluate to what...

Pasternak, Galia; Ribic, Christine; Spanier, Ehud; Zviely, Dov

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Year Published: 2021

Exploring relationships among stream health, human well-being, and demographics in Virginia, USA

Quantification of empirical relationships between ecosystem health and human well-being is uncommon at broad spatial scales. We used public data for Virginia (USA) counties to examine pairwise correlations among two indicators of stream health, thirteen indicators of human well-being, and four demographic metrics. Our indicators of stream health...

Angermeier, Paul; Marc J. Stern; Krometis, Leigh Anne; Hemby, Tyler L.

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Year Published: 2021

Deep-sea coral and sponge taxa increase demersal fish diversity and the probability of fish presence

Fishes are known to use deep-sea coral and sponge (DSCS) species as habitat, but it is uncertain whether this relationship is facultative (circumstantial and not restricted to a particular function) or obligate (necessary to sustain fish populations). To explore whether DSCS provide essential habitats for demersal fishes, we analyzed 10 years of...

Henderson, Mark J.; Huff, D.D.; Yoklavich, M.M

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Year Published: 2021

Groundwater discharges as a source of phytoestrogens and other agriculturally derived contaminants to streams

Groundwater discharge zones in streams are important habitats for aquatic organisms. The use of discharge zones for thermal refuge and spawning by fish and other biota renders them susceptible to potential focused discharge of groundwater contamination. Currently, there is a paucity of information about discharge zones as a potential exposure...

Tyler J. Thompson; Briggs, Martin; Phillips, Patrick J.; Blazer, Vicki S.; Smalling, Kelly; Kolpin, Dana W.; Wagner, Tyler

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Year Published: 2021

Movement of synthetic organic compounds in the food web after the introduction of invasive quagga mussels (Dreissena bugensis) in Lake Mead, Nevada and Arizona, USA

Introductions of dreissenid mussels in North America have been a significant concern over the last few decades. This study assessed the distribution of synthetic organic compounds (SOCs) in the food web of Lake Mead, Nevada/Arizona, USA and how this distribution was influenced by the introduction of invasive quagga mussels. A clear spatial...

Goodbred, Steven L.; Rosen, Michael R.; Patino, Reynaldo; Alvarez, David; Echols, Kathy R.; King, Kerensa; Umek, John

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Year Published: 2021

Factors influencing Cinnamon Teal nest attendance patterns

Patterns of nest attendance in birds result from complex behaviours and influence the success of reproductive events. Incubation behaviours vary based on individual body condition, energy requirements and environmental factors. We assessed nest attendance patterns in Cinnamon Teal Spatula cyanoptera breeding in the San Luis Valley of...

Setash, Casey M.; Kendall, William L.; Olson, David

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Year Published: 2021

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

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Year Published: 2021

Selenium, mercury, and their molar ratios in sportfishes from drinking water reservoirs

Mercury (Hg) bioaccumulates in aquatic ecosystems and may pose a risk to humans who consume fish. Selenium (Se) has the ability to reduce Hg toxicity, but the current guidance for human consumption of fish is based on Hg concentration alone. The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between Se and Hg in freshwater sportfish...

Johnson, Tara K. B.; LePrevost, C. E.; Kwak, Thomas J.; Cope, W. G.

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Year Published: 2020

Estimating the invasion extent of Asian swamp eel (Monopterus: Synbranchidae) in an altered river of the south-eastern United States

The first reported invasion of Asian swamp eels (Monopterus albus, ASE) in the continental United States was in the state of Georgia in 1994. This population was first discovered within several ponds on a private nature centre, but the ponds drained via an outflow pipe into marsh habitats along the Chattahoochee River. Our objective was to...

Johnson, J.R.; Taylor, A.T.; Long, James M.

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Year Published: 2020

Why let the dogs out? Exploring variables associated with dog confinement and general characteristics of the free-ranging owned-dog population in a peri-urban area

Free-ranging dogs (FRDs), are a problem in several countries, with impacts on humans, domestic animals, and wildlife, although increasing evidence suggests that most FRDs are owned. Therefore, understanding dog ownership on a fine scale is critical. The main objectives of this study were to explore dog management in rural localities from central...

Astorga, Francisca; Poo-Muñoz, Daniela Alejandra; Organ, John F.; Medina-Vogel, Gonzalo

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Year Published: 2020

Temporal and spatial changes in Myotis lucifugus acoustic activity before and after white-nose syndrome on Fort Drum Army Installation, New York, USA

Changes to bat distribution and habitat associations at the local to sub-landscape scale in the post white-nose syndrome (WNS) environment have received little attention to date despite being critical information for managers. To better understand the spatial nature of bat population declines, we modelled both activity patterns and occupancy from...

Ford, W. Mark; Nocera, Tomás; Silvis, Alexander; Dobony, Christopher A.

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Year Published: 2020

Estimating response distances of lesser prairie-chickens to anthropogenic features during long-distance movements

Spatially distributed populations often rely on large-scale processes for long-term population stability. These processes are driven by individuals moving across the landscape through long-distance dispersal movements. However, as landscapes are continually altered by anthropogenic development, increased fragmentation and avoidance behavior can...

Peterson, Jacob M.; Earl, Julia E.; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D.; Elmore, Dwayne; Haukos, David A.; Tanner, Ashley M.; Carleton, Scott A.

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: 44
 Assessing the impact of nutrient enrichment in the Henry's Fork Headwaters
July 9, 2019

Assessing the impact of nutrient enrichment in Utah

Rivers in the western U.S. rivers are experiencing changes in nutrient loading because of rapid urban development, but the effects of changing nutrient loading on the structure and function of stream ecosystems, especially fish habitat, are not fully understood. The Henry’s Fork of the Snake River in east Idaho is a wide, shallow, clear, spring-fed river whose fish habitat

...
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.

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

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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

...
 Assessing fish habitat and population dynamics of fisheries resources at Kaloko Fishpond
July 29, 2018

Assessing fish habitat and population dynamics of fisheries resources

Throughout Hawaii, fishponds are considered by their local communities as important cultural touchstones, a source of local, sustainably produced food, and an important component to the development of community-based management for nearshore fisheries. Within Kaloko Honokōhau National Historic Park, the restoration of Kaloko Fishpond for traditional aquaculture management

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Assessing the Functional Equivalency of Hawaiian fishponds
July 29, 2018

Assessing the Functional Equivalency of Hawaiian fishponds

Hawaiian fishponds are important cultural and economic resources for native Hawaiians as they are an important component of a sophisticated, integrated food production system. However, changing demographics and systems of land ownership result in declines in the use and upkeep of Hawaiian fishponds throughout the 19th century. The cultural value of Hawaiian fishponds has

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Filter Total Items: 25
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.

Date published: January 23, 2015

Culprit Identified in Decline of Endangered Missouri River Pallid Sturgeon

BOZEMAN – Pallid sturgeon come from a genetic line that has lived on this planet for tens of millions of years; yet it has been decades since anyone has documented any of the enormous fish successfully producing young that survive to adulthood in the upper Missouri River basin.

Date published: December 8, 2014

USGS and University of Wyoming Researchers to Share Deer Capture Field Work Via Social Media

Wyoming's struggling mule deer populations are receiving significant attention from University of Wyoming researchers, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the U.S. Geological Survey and others, with at least five studies underway that could assist efforts to enhance deer numbers and their habitats.

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.