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Ecosystems

The USGS Ecosystems Mission Area provides science to help America achieve sustainable management and conservation of biological resources in wild and urban spaces, and places in between.

News

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Science Communication Summer Intern Explores North Carolina’s Snakes – and Their Parasites

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Coral Reefs in 3D: A New Look at Guam’s Marine Habitats

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David Applegate Sworn In as Director of the U.S. Geological Survey

Publications

Can non-invasive methods replace radiocollar-based winter counts in a 50-year wolf study? Lessons learned from a three-winter trial

Context: Monitoring low-density, elusive predators such as grey wolves (Canis lupus) has often been undertaken via live-capture and radio-collaring. Recent advances in non-invasive methods suggest live-captures may not be necessary for adequate monitoring. Further, non-invasive methods are considered best practice when possible.Aims: I evaluated whether a suite of non-invasive methods could replac

Lacunarity as a tool for assessing landscape configuration over time and informing long-term monitoring: An example using seagrass

ContextSeagrasses are submerged marine plants that have been declining globally at increasing rates. Natural resource managers rely on monitoring programs to detect and understand changes in these ecosystems. Technological advancements are allowing for the development of patch-level seagrass maps, which can be used to explore seagrass meadow spatial patterns.ObjectivesOur research questions involv

Assembling a safe and effective toolbox for integrated flea control and plague mitigation: Fipronil experiments with prairie dogs

BackgroundPlague, a widely distributed zoonotic disease of mammalian hosts and flea vectors, poses a significant risk to ecosystems throughout much of Earth. Conservation biologists use insecticides for flea control and plague mitigation. Here, we evaluate the use of an insecticide grain bait, laced with 0.005% fipronil (FIP) by weight, with black-tailed prairie dogs (BTPDs, Cynomys ludovicianus).

Science

Distribution of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in North America, 2021/2022

The first 2021/2022 detection of Eurasian strain (EA) highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in North America occurred in December 2021 in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Subsequently, HPAI EA H5 and EA H5N1 viruses have been confirmed in wild birds, backyard flocks, commercial poultry facilities, and wild mammals in both Canada and the United States. This HPAI distribution map will be...
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Distribution of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in North America, 2021/2022

The first 2021/2022 detection of Eurasian strain (EA) highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in North America occurred in December 2021 in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Subsequently, HPAI EA H5 and EA H5N1 viruses have been confirmed in wild birds, backyard flocks, commercial poultry facilities, and wild mammals in both Canada and the United States. This HPAI distribution map will be...
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Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Acquired by Wild Birds in Urban Settings and Dispersed via Migration

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists have developed a model that demonstrates how migratory wild birds in urban areas can acquire bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, including those used in clinics, and potentially disperse these bacteria between continents via migration.
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Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Acquired by Wild Birds in Urban Settings and Dispersed via Migration

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists have developed a model that demonstrates how migratory wild birds in urban areas can acquire bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, including those used in clinics, and potentially disperse these bacteria between continents via migration.
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Avian Influenza Surveillance

The USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) conducts surveillance in wild birds to facilitate early detection and situational awareness for high consequence pathogens, including highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses.
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Avian Influenza Surveillance

The USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) conducts surveillance in wild birds to facilitate early detection and situational awareness for high consequence pathogens, including highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses.
Learn More