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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 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

Date published: November 9, 2020

Winter Ranges 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 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

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 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

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

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...

Date published: November 9, 2020

Migration routes 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...

Filter Total Items: 2,792
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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.

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Year Published: 2019

Within-group relatedness and patterns of reproductive sharing and cooperation in the tropical chestnut-crested yuhina

In cooperatively breeding animals, genetic relatedness among group members often determines the extent of reproductive sharing, cooperation and competition within a group. Studies of species for which cooperative behaviour is not entirely based on kinship are key for understanding the benefits favouring the evolution and maintenance of cooperative...

Kaiser, Sara A.; Martin, Thomas E.; Oteyza, Juan C.; Danner, Julie E.; Armstad, Connor E.; Fleischer, Robert C.

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Year Published: 2019

Submergence responses of cool-season annual plants and potential for fish habitat

Unnatural water regimes of flood control reservoirs limit vegetation establishment in littoral zones and produce mudflats with low structural complexity insufficient for many juvenile fishes. One strategy to enhance habitat on mudflats is to sow cool-season plants to provide submerged structure when inundated. However, how long the structure of...

Coppola, G; Miranda, Leandro E.; Colvin, ME; Hatcher, HR; Lashley, Marcus A.

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Year Published: 2019

A statewide evaluation of Florida Bass genetic introgression in Tennessee

Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) are one of the most popular freshwater sport fish in the United States and managers in southeastern states have stocked the Florida Bass (M. s. floridanus) subspecies outside of its natural range to increase size structure of existing Largemouth Bass populations. In Tennessee, fisheries for Largemouth Bass...

Hargrove, J.S.; Rogers, Mark W.; Kackmar, P.T.; Black, P.

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Year Published: 2019

Changes in adult Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) survival within the lower Columbia River amid increasing pinniped abundance

Significant effort towards conservation has contributed to the recovery of historically depleted pinniped populations world-wide. However, in several locations where pinnipeds have increased, they have been blamed for preventing the recovery of commercially valuable fish species through predation. Prompted by increasing pinniped abundance within...

Wargo Rub, A. Michelle; Som, Nicholas A.; Henderson, Mark J.; Sandford, Benjamin P.; Van Doornik, Donald M.; Teel, David J.; Tennis, Matt; Langness, Olaf P.; van der Leeuw, Bjorn; Huff, David D.

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Year Published: 2019

Evaluation of artificial cover units as a sampling technique and habitat enhancement for madtoms in rivers

Instream habitat degradation and loss are major threats to freshwater fishes and critical conservation issues among nongame species, due to a lack of research and knowledge concerning their habitat requirements. Instream physical cover is an important component of fish habitat, especially for benthic species that require cover for reproduction and...

Cope, W.R.; Kwak, Thomas J.; Black, T.R.; Pacifici, K.

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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.

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
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.

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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