Status and Trends Program

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American pika in the Northern Cascades. American pikas occupy talus slopes in mountain ecosystems throughout western NA.
August 8, 2017

American pika in the Northern Cascades.

American pika in the Northern Cascades. American pikas occupy talus slopes in mountain ecosystems throughout western North America.

Two researchers aligning a 2 meter by 2 meter PVC square for an experimental restoration plot within a fenced area.
July 31, 2017

Setting up experimental restoration plots.

Field crew install a Restoration Field Trial Network garden in the rangelands of Northern Arizona. Each garden in the network is examining seedlings and seeds in conjunction with restoration treatments to better

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Blowing dust in a fallowed agricultural field in central Arizona.
June 30, 2017

Bare Ground = Blowing Dust

Across the desert Southwest, ground void of plant material is prone to soil erosoin and dust storms. In this fallowed agricultural field, we see that a spring breeze can carry away fertile top soil and create air quality concerns. USGS RAMPS defines causes of environmental hazards created by degraded land, and creates collaborative solutions to reduce these types of risks

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Research team in the Northern Cascades.
July 7, 2016

USGS - NOROCK Research team in the Northern Cascades.

USGS - NOROCK field team in the Northern Cascades studying Hoary marmots and American pika and snowpack dynamics.  

Sonoran desert spring wildflower display.
March 31, 2016

Sonoran Desert Wildflowers and Invasive Species

Ecosystems are changing at a rapid pace. It can be difficult to determine if a landscape is in need of restoration. In this photo of the spring wildflower bloom in the Sonoran desert, an invasive annual grass, Bromus rubens (red brome), is pervasive. Land managers have to make decisions about when, where, and how to intervene in a system. Does this grass pose a threat to

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Sampling for alpine insects above the stream in Glacier National Park.
September 21, 2015

Sampling for alpine insects above the stream in Glacier National Park.

A scientist is working to collect alpine insects by picking through moss below tiny, cold, alpine streams. This spot was below a small seep on a slope above a tributary to the Dry Fork, North of the Two Medicine area in Glacier National Park. 

Contact with intact forest ecosystems can lead to cutaneous leishmaniasis, also known as "chiclero's ulcer"
December 31, 2014

Contact with intact forest ecosystems can lead to chiclero's ulcer

Contact with intact forest ecosystems can lead to cutaneous leishmaniasis, also known as "chiclero's ulcer" (inset). Inset image Copyright 1997, 2004 by Current Medicine LLC. All rights reserved. Image reproduced here with kind permission from Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Looking out the mouth of Reynolds Glacier in Glacier National Park.
September 24, 2014

Looking out the mouth of Reynolds Glacier in Glacier National Park.

Looking out the mouth of Reynolds Glacier in Glacier National Park. Glacier National Park is iconic of the combined impacts of climate change and snow and ice loss – over 80 percent of the park’s glaciers have been lost since the mid-19th century.

Glacial fed alpine stream in Glacier National Park.
August 8, 2013

Glacial fed alpine stream in Glacier National Park.

Scientists sample for alpine insects in streams like this near Blackfoot Glacier in Glacier National Park. Alpine streams environments in the northern Rocky Mountains are especially vulnerable to climate change due to rapid warming resulting in loss of glaciers and snowpack. Glacier National Park is iconic of the combined impacts of climate change and snow and ice loss –

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A glacier stonefly (Zapada glacier) on a snowy backdrop in Glacier National Park.
July 24, 2013

Western glacier stonefly on a snowy backdrop in Glacier National Park

A glacier stonefly (Zapada glacier) on a snowy backdrop in Glacier National Park. The species is threatened by climate warming induced glacier and snow loss and has been petitioned for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act due to climate-change-induced habitat loss.

A meltwater stonefly larva (Lednia tumana) sits on a cobbled snow fed stream in Glacier National Park.
August 27, 2010

A meltwater stonefly larva (Lednia tumana)

A meltwater stonefly larva (Lednia tumana) sits on a cobbled snow fed stream in Glacier National Park. The species is threatened by climate warming induced glacier and snow loss and has been petitioned for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act due to climate-change-induced habitat loss.

Cattle behind a fence in a dry environment containing few plants and a lot of exposed soil.
December 31, 2006

Curious cattle on the Colorado Plateau

Cattle and grazing management are important to consider when thinking about ecosystem function in water-limited ecosystems. Management style can either promote or hinder productivity. Strategic distribution of water drinkers on the rangeland is a method that ranchers and land managers use to move cattle and reduce the threat of overgrazing. These cattle are keeping watch

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