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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: 105
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

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration corridors 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

Migration corridors 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

Winter Range of Elk in the Interstate 17 Herd in Arizona

The Interstate 17 (I-17) elk herd primarily resides in Arizona’s GMU 6A and 11M south of Flagstaff. The population estimate for elk in GMU 6A was 6,500 in 2019. Their summer range consists of gentle topography with ponderosa pine forest and interspersed riparian-meadow habitat. Annually, the I-17 elk herd migrates an average of 24 miles to lower-elevation winter range dominated by

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Corridors 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

Migration Routes of Mule Deer in Clarks Fork Herd in Wyoming

Mule deer within the Clarks Fork herd make a number of significant westward long-distance migrations. These migrations originate north of Cody, near Heart Mountain and along the foothills of Absaroka Front. There, deer winter in the lower elevation sagebrush valleys, and in spring an estimated 2,700 deer head west into the high elevation mountain valleys of the Absaroka Range and Yellowst

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Routes of Mule Deer in the Upper Shoshone Herd in Wyoming

Mule deer within the Upper Shoshone herd make a number of significant, long-distance migrations west into the core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The longest is a 133-mile (214-km) migration that originates at the mouth of the South Fork of the Shoshone River near Buffalo Bill Reservoir and ends at Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. Deer in the Upper Shoshone herd winter in the...

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration Routes of Elk in Cody Herd in Wyoming

The Cody elk herd migrates across rugged country on the eastern side of the Absaroka Mountains near Cody, WY. This large herd of 6,000-7,000 animals winters in foothill habitat to the south and west of Cody. There are three core winter areas, namely the valleys formed by the North and South Fork of the Shoshone River and the headwaters of the Greybull River north to Meeteetse creek. In sp

Date published: November 9, 2020

Stopovers of mule deer in the Sublette Herd, 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 Routes of Mule Deer in the Dubois Herd in Wyoming

Mule deer within the Dubois herd make several long-distance migrations into the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (fig. 26). These migrations originate from winter range in the warm, protected sagebrush valley surrounding Dubois, Wyoming, and extend to the southeast on the Wind River Reservation. Each spring, an estimated 6,000–7,000 deer leave this valley and the

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration routes 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 Atlantic Rim North Population in Wyoming

Mule deer in the Atlantic Rim North population are part of the Baggs herd unit that is managed for approximately 19,000 animals. These mule deer winter in the pinyon-juniper and sagebrush badlands near Dad, Wyoming and migrate north and east 10–35 mi (16–56 km) to various summer ranges (fig. 22). Many of these deer must navigate coal-bed methane development that is sit

Filter Total Items: 2,785
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Year Published: 2020

Reproductive ecology and movement of pallid sturgeon in the upper Missouri River, Montana

Successful recruitment of endangered pallid sturgeon has not been documented in the upper Missouri River basin for decades, and research on the reproductive ecology of pallid sturgeon has been hindered by low sample size. A conservation propagation program was initiated in the 1990s, and the oldest age class of hatchery‐origin pallid sturgeon are...

Holmquist, Luke M.; Guy, Christopher S.; Tews, Anne; Trimpe, David J.; Webb, Molly A. H.

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Year Published: 2020

Relation of fish intersex to contaminants in riverine sport fishes

Endocrine active compounds (EACs) are pollutants that have been recognized as an emerging and widespread threat to aquatic ecosystems globally. Intersex, the presence of female germ cells within a predominantly male gonad, is considered a biomarker of endocrine disruption caused by EACs. We measured a suite of EACs and assessed...

Grieshaber, C. A.; Penland, T. N.; Kwak, Thomas J.; Cope, W. G.; Heise, R. J.; Law, J. M.; Shea, D.; Aday, D. D.; Rice, J. A.; Kullman, S. W.

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Year Published: 2019

Evaluating environmental change and behavioral decision-making for sustainability policy using an agent-based model: A case study for the Smoky Hill River Watershed, Kansas

Sustainability has been at the forefront of the environmental research agenda of the integrated anthroposphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere since the last century and will continue to be critically important for future environmental science. However, linking humans and the environment through effective policy remains a major challenge for...

Granco, Gabriel; Heier Stamm, Jessica L.; Bergtold, Jason S.; Daniels, Melinda D.; Sanderson, Matthew R.; Sheshukov, Aleksey Y.; Mather, Martha E.; Caldas, Marcellus M.; Ramsey, Steven M.; Lehrter, Richard; Haukos, David A.; Gao, Jungang; Chatterjee, Sarmistha; Nifong, James C.; Aistrup, Joseph

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Year Published: 2019

Differences in mosquito communities in six cities in Oklahoma

Vector-borne diseases in the United States have recently increased as a result of the changing nature of vectors, hosts, reservoirs, pathogens, and the ecological and environmental conditions. Current information on vector habitats and how mosquito community composition varies across space and time is vital to successful vector-borne disease...

Bradt, D.; Wormington, J.D.; Long, James M.; Hoback, W. W.; Noden, B.H.

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Year Published: 2019

Predation strategies of larval clownfish capturing evasive copepod prey

Fish larvae depend on finding and capturing enough prey for rapid growth during the planktonic phase. The diet of many fish larvae is dominated by copepods, small crustaceans that are highly sensitive to hydrodynamic disturbances and possess strong escape responses. We examined how fish larvae with immature jaws, musculature and fins capture such...

Robinson, H. Eve; Strickler, J. Rudi; Henderson, Mark J.; Hartline, Daniel K.; Lenz, Petra H.

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Year Published: 2019

Migrating bison engineer the green wave

Newly emerging plants provide the best forage for herbivores. To exploit this fleeting resource, migrating herbivores align their movements to surf the wave of spring green-up. With new technology to track migrating animals, the Green Wave Hypothesis has steadily gained empirical support across a diversity of migratory taxa. This hypothesis...

Geremia, Chris; Merkle, Jerod; Eacker, Daniel R.; Wallen, Rick L.; White, P. J.; Hebblewhite, Mark; Kauffman, Matthew J.

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Year Published: 2019

Geometric targets for UAS Lidar

Lidar from small unoccupied aerial systems (UAS) is a viable method for collecting geospatial data associated with a wide variety of applications. Point clouds from UAS lidar require a means for accuracy assessment, calibration, and adjustment. In order to carry out these procedures, specific locations within the point cloud must be precisely...

Wilkinson, B.; Lassiter, H.A.; Abd-Elrahman, A.; Carthy, Raymond; Ifju, P.; Broadbent, E.; Grimes, N.

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Year Published: 2019

Population characteristics and the potential suppression of common carp in Lake Spokane, Washington

Common Carp Cyprinus carpio is a nonnative species that often has deleterious effects on aquatic systems. As such, there is interest in suppressing nonnative Common Carp populations in areas where humans have introduced them. The objectives of this study were to 1) provide insight on efficient techniques for capturing Common Carp, 2)...

Feeken, Stacey; Klein, Zachary B.; Quist, Michael C.; Horner, Ned

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Year Published: 2019

Potential threats facing a globally important population of the magnificent frigatebird Fregata magnificens

Tracking of seabirds has been used to identify foraging hotspots, migratory routes and to assess at-sea threats facing populations. One such threat is the potential negative interaction between seabirds and fisheries through incidental by-catch. In 2012, 60 magnificent frigatebirds Fregata magnificens were found dead, entangled in...

Zaluski, S.; Soanes, L.M.; Bright, J.A.; Georges, A.; Jodice, Patrick G.R.; Meyer, K.; Woodfield- Pascoe N.; Green, J.A

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Year Published: 2019

Creating figures in R that meet the AFS style guide: Standardization and supporting script

Visual display of information in scientific and non‐scientific literature is the most efficient way to summarize large amounts data, focus the readers’ attention on patterns, and substantiate the message in the narrative. Figures often represent years of data collection and substantial monetary investment, and it is worth repeating the cliché “a [...

Glassic, Hayley C.; Heim, Kurt C.; Guy, Christopher S.

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Year Published: 2019

Chronic wasting disease—Research by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners

IntroductionChronic wasting disease (CWD) is the only transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, a class of invariably fatal neurodegenerative mammalian diseases associated with a misfolded cellular prion protein found in wild free-ranging animals. Because it has a long incubation period, affected animals in Cervidae (the deer family; referred to as...

Hopkins, M. Camille; Carlson, Christina M.; Cross, Paul C.; Johnson, Christopher J.; Richards, Bryan J.; Russell, Robin E.; Samuel, Michael D.; Sargeant, Glen A.; Walsh, Daniel P.; Walter, W. David
Hopkins, M.C., Carlson, C.M., Cross, P.C., Johnson, C.J., Richards, B.J., Russell, R.E., Samuel, M.D., Sargeant, G.A., Walsh, D.P., and Walter, W.D., 2019, Chronic wasting disease—Research by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners (ver. 2.0, November 2019): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1109, 29 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191109.

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Year Published: 2019

Behavioural plasticity modulates temperature-related constraints on foraging time for a montane mammal

Contemporary climate change is altering temperature profiles across the globe. Increasing temperatures can reduce the amount of time during which conditions are suitable for animals to engage in essential activities, such as securing food. Behavioural plasticity, the ability to alter behaviour in response to the environment, may provide animals...

L. Embere Hall; Chalfoun, Anna D.

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 Functional Equivalency of Hawaiian fishponds
July 29, 2018

Assessing the Functional Equivalency of Hawaiian fishponds

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

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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

...
 A Zone-tailed Hawk in flight.
May 4, 2018

Zone-tailed hawk in flight

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 conditions for vegetation dependent on permanent or ephemeral surface and subsurface water. This results in desert riparian zones provide important

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 Assessing the distribution and habitat needs of the least darter
April 27, 2018

Assessing the distribution and habitat needs of the least darter

Isolated populations may benefit from different conservation and management activities. The least darter is a species of conservation concern that has two isolated populations occupying parts of the Arbuckle Mountain and Ozark Highlands ecoregions. The goal of this research is to assess different environmental factors at multiple spatial scales to determine the relations

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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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Lake Sturgeon caught on the Gasconade River, Missouri.
December 14, 2017

Lake Sturgeon caught on the Gasconade River, Missouri.

Lake Sturgeon caught on the Gasconade River, Missouri.

Assessing the effects of Stocked Rainbow Trout on Native Fishes
October 8, 2017

Assessing the effects of Stocked Rainbow Trout on Native Fishes

Rainbow trout are native only to the western United States but are stocked widely throughout the country to increase fishing opportunities for anglers. Competitive interactions have been shown to be condition specific (for example, water temperature) and, thus, may only occur seasonally or under certain environmental conditions. Understanding these differences is

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 Assessing the spawning movement and habitat needs of riverine Neosho smallmouth bass
May 27, 2017

Assessing the spawning movement and habitat needs in Utah

Limited information is available about the movements of riverine smallmouth bass in landscapes with prevalent river-reservoir interfaces. This lack of information is especially problematic for the Neosho subspecies of smallmouth bass given the distribution covers an interwoven landscape of rivers and reservoirs. This research focuses on the movement and habitat use of the

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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

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Advancing Adaptive Management in the Riverside East Solar Energy Zone
March 31, 2017

Advancing Adaptive Management in the Riverside East Solar Energy Zone

The Riverside East Solar Energy Zone is a vast area in southern California designated for large-scale solar development. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is charged with monitoring wildlife in this area to minimize the effects of the solar production on wildlife species. However, consistent monitoring of wildlife across vast spatial landscapes over time has proven to be

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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

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