Mission Areas

Ecosystems

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The USGS Ecosystems Mission Area, the biological research arm of the Department of the Interior (DOI), provides science to help America achieve sustainable management and conservation of its biological resources. This work is done within the broader mission of the USGS to serve the Nation with science that advances understanding of our natural resources and inform land and water stewardship.

Collaborative Conservation

Collaborative Conservation

What do gray wolves, manatees and bears have in common? They are just a few of the species that are part of important USGS research that informs U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decisions for endangered and threatened species.

Find out more

Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field

An Ecosystems Mission Area original podcast series that tells stories about our science, our adventures, and our efforts to better understand fish and wildlife and the ecosystems that support them.  

Ep 2-Citizen Science

Where's our Science?

Where

Find out where Ecosystems Science Centers, Field Stations, and Cooperative Research Units are located.

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News

Date published: May 1, 2019

Vaccination May Help Protect Bats from Deadly Disease

A new study shows that vaccination may reduce the impact of white-nose syndrome in bats, marking a milestone in the international fight against one of the most destructive wildlife diseases in modern times.

Date published: May 1, 2019

After Hurricane Devastation, Sea Turtle Scientists Rebound, Help Rebuild

Seven months after their home base in the Florida Panhandle was demolished by Hurricane Michael, U.S. Geological Survey sea turtle researchers are headed back into the field on May 1, the start of nesting season for Florida's sea turtles.

Date published: April 25, 2019

GCMRC Updates

The Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center currently has 11 active science projects as a part of its Triennial Work Plan (FY2018-2020) for work conducted as the science provider to the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program.  New developments, recent publications and other current activities will be listed here.  Check here to find out the latest information from the Center.

The Ecosystems Mission Area provides impartial science information and tools to the Nation’s natural resource managers, with particular focus on the science needs of the Department of the Interior (DOI) and DOI bureaus to manage species, lands and priority ecosystems; fulfill treaty obligations; respond to and reduce threats to natural resources; and manage mineral and energy resources.

 

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Date published: May 8, 2019
Status: Active

Spatio-Temporal Statistical Models for Forecasting Climate Change Effects on Bird Distribution

Ecological indicators of climate change are needed to measure concurrent changes in ecological systems, inform management decisions, and forecast the consequences of climate change. We seek to develop robust bird-based, climate-change indicators using North American Breeding Bird Survey data.

Date published: May 2, 2019
Status: Active

Expanding Distribution of Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in 26 US states and three Canadian provinces in free-ranging cervids and/or commercial captive cervid facilities. CWD has been detected in free-ranging cervids in 24 states and two provinces and in captive cervid facilities in 17 states and three provinces.

Contacts: Bryan Richards
Date published: May 1, 2019
Status: Active

Evaluating Ecological Vulnerabilities of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem to Provide Decision Support for Restoration

USGS scientists develop decision support tools to help inform management and restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem.

Date published: April 30, 2019
Status: Active

GCMRC Scientist & Staff Directory

Below is a list of GCMRC scientists and key project support staff with their contact information provided.  Names and positions are linked to each individual's USGS staff profile page (where applicable), so click there to find out more about each person's background, research interests and science products.  Clicking on email addresses will generate a new email message to that individual....

Date published: April 29, 2019
Status: Active

GCMRC Data and Tools

The Grand Canyon Monitoring and  Research Center offers a collection of data resources and online tools -- including web maps, applications, and other content -- that convey scientific information related to on-going monitoring of the Colorado River.  Some applications are a culmination of long-term monitoring work, while others are developed around more a specific set of information usually...

Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

Mapping riverine habitats of the Delaware River using bathymetric LiDAR

Ecosystem management and assessment of rivers requires detailed data on bathymetry before estimates of aquatic habitats can be determined. However, mapping bathymetry in shallow rivers is challenging due to river depth limitations for watercraft.  Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology has revolutionized aerial mapping of topography and vegetation, but the infrared lasers used on these...

Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

Assessing stream health and fish habitat in streams of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Streams and rivers provide habitat for a diverse array of aquatic and semi-aquatic species. However, human alteration to landscapes and riverscapes has affected this habitat resulting in its degradation and thus loss of habitat and associated sensitive aquatic species.  While this relationship has been known for many years, only recently has the availability of data and analytical capabilities...

Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

Exploring the potential effects of shale oil and gas development on freshwaters

Widespread shale oil and gas (unconventional oil and gas, UOG) has only recently begun and many gaps in our knowledge of its potential effects to freshwaters exist. We conducted several studies aimed at filling these gaps, providing data on the rates and volumes of materials spilled, proximity of spills to important ecosystems, and overall production of wastes. These data together with current...

Date published: April 24, 2019
Status: Active

Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Projects

The Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center currently functions under a Triennial Work Plan (TWP) which is thoroughly reviewed and vetted both internally within the Center and through the GCDAMP Technical Work Group (TWG) and the Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG).  These advisory panels have been a part of the Glen Canyon Dam adaptive management process since the inception of the...

Date published: April 23, 2019
Status: Active

Brook trout vulnerability to drought: eastern component of USGS national integrated ecohydrological research and monitoring plans

There is a growing and urgent need to develop and implement innovative strategies to research, monitor, and manage freshwater resources as societal demands escalate simultaneously with climate-driven changes in water availability. Over the past several years, many regions have experienced extreme droughts, fueled by prolonged periods of reduced precipitation and exceptionally warm temperatures...

Date published: April 16, 2019
Status: Active

A hydrological framework to improve precision of Vital Signs metrics in the Appalachian highlands

Stream flow is a fundamental driver of ecological structure and function, but its influence on bioassessment measures is poorly understood. Although extreme flow conditions (e.g., floods and droughts) have long been known to play a central role in structuring stream communities, a mechanistic understanding of the linkages between flow variables, landscape and local physical characteristics,...

Date published: April 15, 2019
Status: Active

Fish locomotion and biomechanics as limiting and optimizing factors in fish passage

Swimming ability determines how well fish are able to access habitat, and is a fundamental design consideration for passing fish at dams, road crossings etc.  The purpose of this study plan is to improve understanding of how fish are able to negotiate zones of high velocity and turbulent flow, such as are found in fishways, culverts, as well as in natural areas.   Swimming performance is...

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Date published: May 13, 2019

Raster data files for “Prioritizing conserved areas threatened by wildfire for monitoring and management."

The data set consists of 12 input data rasters that cover San Diego County, California. These input rasters represent criteria used in a Pareto ranking algorithm in the manuscript. These include three rasters related to fire threats, three rasters related to habitat fragmentation threats, four rasters related to species biodiversity, and two rasters related to genetic biodiversity. (see the...

Date published: May 10, 2019

Predicted Shorelines for High Flows on the Colorado River Application

This application highlights modeled flows of the Colorado River for a discharge of 41,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) that is approximate to recent (2012 - 2018) and future anticipated water releases associated with a High Flow Experiments conducted from Glen Canyon Dam near Page, Arizona.  These data are to help visualize the water levels during High Flow Events in relation to other map...

Date published: April 30, 2019

Sandbar Monitoring Sites - Remote Camera Photographs Application

GCMRC and Northern Arizona University have engaged in long-term monitoring of 45 sandbar sites along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon for close to three decades.  Remote cameras have been established to monitor sandbar changes in between site surveys that occur every Fall.   This application provides access to thousands of photos, with an option to view photos around specific high flow...

Date published: April 5, 2019

DATA RELEASE - Predictive maps of 2D and 3D surface soil properties and associated uncertainty for the Upper Colorado River Basin, USA

Raster datasets are maps of soil surface properties that were used in analyzing different approaches for digital soil mapping. They include maps of soil pH, electrical conductivity, soil organic matter, and soil summed fine and very fine sand contents that were created using 2D and 3D modeling strategies. For each property a map was created using 2D and 3D approaches to compare the mapped...

Date published: February 5, 2019

Pathology and bacteriology of 178 tadpoles with histologically confirmed Severe Perkinsea Infections: Data

(i) This dataset presents macroscopic and microscopic pathological findings and bacteriology of 178 tadpoles diagnosed with Severe Perkinsea Infections. (ii) Specimen were collected and submitted to the NWHC as part of mortality investigations and collection of specimen from apparently healthy populations as part of ongoing amphibian health monitoring. (iii) Necropsies and gross evaluation of...

Date published: January 1, 2019

LEAN-Corrected San Francisco Bay Digital Elevation Model, 2018

Lidar-derived digital elevation models often contain a vertical bias due to vegetation. In areas with tidal influence the amount of bias can be ecologically significant, for example, by decreasing the expected inundation frequency. We generated a corrected digital elevation mode (DEM) for tidal marsh areas around San Francisco Bay using the Lidar Elevation Adjustment with NDVI (LEAN) technique...

Date published: December 12, 2018

Grand Canyon Map Portal

Grand Canyon Map Portal

Click to launch the Grand Canyon Map Portal hosted by the U.S. Geological Survey's Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center (GCMRC).  GCMRC is part of the River Ecosystem Science branch of the Southwest Biological Science Center (SBSC) and is based in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Date published: November 13, 2018

Chinook Salmon Use of Eelgrass Habitats Skagit River Delta Washington

The degree to which eelgrass on river deltas provides critical habitat for estuarine fishes, especially out‐migrating juvenile salmon, is an important scientific and management issue that bears on efforts to conserve and restore both eelgrass and fish.

Date published: September 14, 2018

DATA RELEASE - Spatial distribution and risk analysis data for diamond-backed terrapins relative to crab trapping, Savannah Coastal Refuge Complex, USA - Data

The data collected during the systematic inventory of diamond-backed terrapins includes information on terrapin detection in tidal creeks on refuges, crab pot numbers and locations, and a variety of environmental-, location-, and observer-related variables to examine the effects of both environmental conditions and observer bias on terrapin detection.

Date published: September 7, 2018

Statistical Tools for Wind and Solar Energy Development and Operations

Solar and wind power development is increasing exponentially in the United States. However, these energy sources may affect wildlife, either directly from collisions with the turbine blades or photovoltaic arrays or indirectly from loss of habitat and migration routes. An important component to understanding the effects of these renewable energy projects on wildlife is accurate and precise...

Date published: August 20, 2018

Sylvatic plague vaccine field trials flea data

These data were collected as part of a field trial to test the efficacy of a sylvatic plague vaccine (see Rocke et al., 2017 for details). Vaccine and control plots were selected randomly from the available sites at each location. At least 1 week and no more than 2 months post-baiting each year, local collaborators captured, marked and sampled prairie dogs for a minimum of 3 trap days. Both...

Date published: August 20, 2018

Experimental infection of Tadarida brasiliensis with the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome: hibernation data

This dataset includes skin temperatures of twelve Tadarida brasiliensis held in environmental chambers maintained at 7.7 (SD 0.9) °C and 91.8 (SD 0.8) % relative humidity to induce and support hibernation for up to 3 months. Bats were randomly assigned to infected and control groups at the start of the experiment and infected with conidia of Pseudogymnoascus destructans or a sham...

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Date published: May 8, 2019

White-Nose Syndrome Occurrence Map

View current and archived maps of white-nose syndrome occurrence by county/district.

Date published: May 2, 2019

Chronic Wasting Disease Map

Reported distribution of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in North America. 

Date published: December 12, 2018

Grand Canyon Poster Map (Low Res)

This is a low resolution poster map of the Grand Canyon region provided by the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center (U.S. Geological Survey, Southwest Biological Science Center).  The poster map was exported from ESRI ArcGIS Desktop as a 36-inch by 24-inch output at 96 dots per inch (dpi).  This map is provided for general reference only and should be used for navigational purposes. 

Date published: December 12, 2018

Grand Canyon Poster Map (GCMRC)

The Grand Canyon Shaded Relief base map is provided by the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research (Southwest Biological Science Center) as a resource for identifying and locating important places of interest along the Colorado River and across the Grand Canyon region.  

Date published: July 5, 2018

Wildlife Health Information Sharing Partnership – event reporting system (WHISPers)

The NWHC developed the Wildlife Health Information Sharing Partnership – event reporting system (WHISPers) to increase public awareness of wildlife disease events and promote collaboration and data sharing among wildlife professionals. It is a partner driven tool that provides a dynamic, timely, searchable web-based system for visualizing and accessing data on wildlife disease events nationwide.

Date published: May 21, 2018

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Quagga Mussel Sightings Map

Interactive map of the distribution of quagga mussels in North America. This map is provided by the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species program.

Date published: May 21, 2018

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Zebra Mussel Sightings Map

Interactive map of the distribution of zebra mussels in North America. This map is provided by the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species program.

Date published: April 19, 2018

USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units: 2017 Year In Review

In September 1960, the 86th Congress passed Public Law 86-686 to facilitate cooperation between the Federal government, colleges and universities, the States, and private organizations for Cooperative Unit Programs of research and education relating to fish and wildlife, and for other purposes. The Cooperative Research Units originated in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the mid 1930s

Date published: April 3, 2018

Sea Star Wasting Syndrome Map

The map includes information from Pacific Rocky Intertidal Monitoring surveys as well as information from logs submitted by other researchers, divers, and the general public.

Date published: October 30, 2017

Movement Maps for Suisun Marsh Waterfowl and Waterbird Studies

Suisun Marsh is a critical habitat for wintering and breeding waterbirds in California. USGS is working with the California DWR to examine the trends in bird decline and to assess the habitat factors driving long-term survival of waterfowl, rails, and other birds in this important area.

Date published: July 20, 2017

Map of USGS WERC Locations

WERC headquarters, field stations, and sub-stations strategically located in or near California and Nevada bioregions, form the core of the WERC science program.

Date published: July 20, 2017

Re-establishing Waterbird Breeding Colonies in San Francisco Bay

This U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) story map details how partners are using ​science and management to maintain and establish new ​bird ​nesting colonies in support of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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Year Published: 2019

Movements of juvenile Pacific Lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) in the Yakima and Columbia Rivers, Washington, 2018—A pilot study using acoustic telemetry

Telemetry has been an invaluable tool to improve our understanding of adult Pacific Lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) movements and to guide management approaches to protect and restore this species of concern. Juvenile and larval lamprey, however, are much smaller than adults, and have not been monitored with telemetry because available...

Liedtke, Theresa L.; Lampman, Ralph T. ; Deng, Z. Daniel; Beals, Tyler E.; Hansen, Amy C.; Kock, Tobias J.; Tomka, Ryan G.; Monk, Patrick
Liedtke , T.L., Lampman, R.T., Deng, D.Z., Beals, T.E., Hansen, A.C., Kock, T.J., Tomka, R.G., and Monk, P., 2019, Movements of juvenile Pacific Lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) in the Yakima and Columbia Rivers, Washington, 2018—A pilot study using acoustic telemetry: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019-1058, 29 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191058.

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Year Published: 2019

Seed-vectored microbes: Their roles in improving seedling fitness and competitor plant suppression

This chapter discusses the role of seed-vectored microbes in modulating seedling development and increasing fitness of plants in terms of increased biotic and abiotic stress tolerance.

White, James F. Jr.; Kingsley, Kathryn L.; Butterworth, Susan; Brindisi, Lara; Gatei, Judy W; Elmore, Matthew T.; Verma, Satish Kumar; Yao, Xiang; Kowalski, Kurt P.

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Year Published: 2019

Hydrologic lag effects on wetland greenhouse gas fluxes

Hydrologic margins of wetlands are narrow, transient zones between inundated and dry areas. As water levels fluctuate, the dynamic hydrology at margins may impact wetland greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes that are sensitive to soil saturation. The Prairie Pothole Region of North America consists of millions of seasonally-ponded wetlands that are ideal...

Tangen, Brian A.; Bansal, Sheel

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Year Published: 2019

Monitoring live vegetation in semiarid and arid rangeland environments with satellite remote sensing in northern Kenya

As part of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) commitment to provide technical assistance to the Kenyan Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with the DOI International Technical Assistance Program and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s regional mission in East Africa, created a high...

Rangoonwala, Amina; Ramsey III, Elijah W.
Rangoonwala, Amina, and Ramsey, E.W., III, 2019, Monitoring live vegetation in semiarid and arid rangeland environments with satellite remote sensing in northern Kenya: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1037, 83 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191037.

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Year Published: 2019

Spatial integration of biological and social objectives to identify priority landscapes for waterfowl habitat conservation

Waterfowl population management and habitat conservation compose one of the oldest and most successful adaptive management frameworks in the world. Since its inception, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) has emphasized strategically targeted conservation investments in regions that most affect waterfowl population dynamics. By...

Krainyk, Anastasia; Lyons, James E.; Brasher, Michael G.; Humburg, Dale D.; Souilliere, Greg J.; Coluccy, John M.; Petrie, Mark J.; Howerter, David W.; Slattery, Stuart M.; Rice, Mindy B.; Fuller, Joe C.
Krainyk, A., Lyons, J.E., Brasher, M.G., Humburg, D.D., Soulliere, G.J., Coluccy, J.M., Petrie, M.J., Howerter, D.W., Slattery, S.M., Rice, M.B., and Fuller, J.C., 2019, Spatial integration of biological and social objectives to identify priority landscapes for waterfowl habitat conservation: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1029, 41 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191029.

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Year Published: 2019

Monitoring long-term changes in forage fish distribution, abundance and body condition

We collected data on forage fish abundance, distribution and body condition in Prince William Sound, Alaska during summers in 2012 through 2016. This included acoustic – trawl surveys, aerial-acoustic surveys, opportunistic sampling where we encountered forage aggregations, and concurrent measurements of forage fish habitat. Acoustic indices of...

Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Piatt, John F.

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Year Published: 2019

Control of invasive sea lampreys using the piscicides TFM and niclosamide: Toxicology, successes & future prospects

The invasion of the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America by sea lampreys (Petromyzon marinus) in the early 20th century contributed to the depletion of commercial, recreational and culturally important fish populations, devastating the economies of communities that relied on the fishery. Sea lamprey populations were subsequently controlled...

Michael Wilkie; Terrance Hubert; Boogaard, Michael A.; Oana Birceanu

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Year Published: 2019

Resurgence of cisco (Coregonus artedi) population levels in Lake Michigan

In recent decades, many factors that were linked with the decline of Great Lakes cisco (Coregonus artedi) populations have subsided. The goal of this study was to investigate where cisco exist in Lake Michigan and evaluate evidence for recovery including when, where, and to what extent it is occurring. We evaluated datasets from several...

Claramunt, Randall M.; Smith, Jason; Donner, Kevin; Povolo, Annalise; Herbert, Matthew E.; Galarowicz, Tracy; Claramunt, Tracy L.; DeBoe, Scott; Stott, Wendylee; Jonas, Jory L.

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Year Published: 2019

Global patterns of tree stem growth and stand aboveground wood production in mangrove forests

Mangrove forests provide important ecological and economic services including carbon sequestration and storage. The conservation and restoration of mangroves are expected to play an important role in mitigating climate change, and understanding the factors influencing mangrove stem growth and wood production are important in predicting and...

Xiong, Yanmei; Cakir, Roxelane; Phan, Sang Minh; Ola, Anne; Krauss, Ken; Lovelock, Catherine E.

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Year Published: 2019

Adult sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) behavior and movement from Roza Dam to Cle Elum Dam, Washington, 2018

An evaluation was conducted to describe adult sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) upstream movement patterns from Roza Dam to Cle Elum Dam in the Yakima Basin, Washington. Sockeye salmon adults that arrive at Roza Dam are currently trapped and transported upstream of Cle Elum Dam because upstream fish-passage facilities aren’t currently in place...

Kock, Tobias J.; Evans, Scott D.; Ekstrom, Brian K.; Hansen, Amy C.
Kock, T.J., Evans, S.D., Ekstrom, B.K., and Hansen, A.C., 2019, Adult sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) behavior and movement from Roza Dam to Cle Elum Dam, Washington, 2018: Open-File Report 2019-1053, 8 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191053.

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Year Published: 2019

Developing an expert elicited simulation model to evaluate invasive species and fire management alternatives

Invasive species can alter ecosystem properties and cause state shifts in landscapes. Resource managers charged with maintaining landscapes require tools to understand implications of alternative actions (or inactions) on landscape structure and function. Simulation models can serve as a virtual laboratory to explore these alternatives and their...

Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Cullinane Thomas, Catherine; Young, Nicholas E.; Backer, Dana M.; Cline, Sarah A.; Frid, Leonardo; Grissom, Perry

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Year Published: 2019

Jump-starting coastal wetland restoration: A comparison of marsh and mangrove foundation species

During coastal wetland restoration, foundation plant species play a critical role in creating habitat, modulating ecosystem functions, and supporting ecological communities. Following initial hydrologic restoration, foundation plant species can help stabilize sediments and jump-start ecosystem development. Different foundation species, however,...

Yando, Erik S.; Osland, Michael; Jones, Scott; Hester, Mark W.

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Date published: October 19, 2018

GenEst - A Generalized Estimator of Mortality

GenEst, a generalized estimator of wildlife mortality at renewable energy facilities.

Date published: August 21, 2018

SSR_pipeline: Computer Software for the Identification of Microsatellite Sequences from Paired-End Illumina High-Throughput DNA Sequence Data

SSR_pipeline is a flexible set of programs designed to efficiently identify simple sequence repeats (SSRs; for example, microsatellites) from paired-end high-throughput Illumina DNA sequencing data.

Date published: November 14, 2017

fatalityCMR

Capture-recapture software to correct raw counts of wildlife fatalities using trial experiments for carcass detecition probability and persistence time.

Date published: July 6, 2017

Evidence of Absence (EoA) Software and User's Guide

Software to Estimate Bird and Bat Fatality at Wind Farms

Date published: May 2, 2016

Wildlife Software and Models

A suite of software tools and models developed by Colorado State University and the USGS Colorado Cooperative Fish And Wildlife Research Unit.

Date published: May 2, 2016

monitoR: Acoustic template detection in R

Tools for automated acoustic monitoring of nature.

Date published: May 2, 2016

Fishery Information and Technology Software

Software from the American Fisheries Society

Date published: May 2, 2016

R for Fisheries and Wildlife Applications

FW599: An introduction to data management and R for Fisheries and Wildlife applications--- a lighthearted look

Date published: May 2, 2016

InVEST: 18 different models for ecosystem services

The InVEST tool allows researchers to evaluate relationships between land management actions and wild bee populations.

Date published: December 11, 2012

Fatality Estimator Software

Tool to Evaluate Wildlife Fatalities at Wind-Power Facilities

Date published: January 1, 1999

CloseTest

CloseTest is a Windows program for testing capture-recapture data

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Grass carp larvae
December 31, 2019

Grass carp larvae

These images show grass carp larvae from the Maumee River. Characteristics of larval grass carp include overall length (left), skeletal muscle development (center) and presence of an eye spot that lacks pigmentation (right; pigment starting to develop on lower eye).

USA-NPN Pheno Forecast of emerald ash borer adult emergence.
December 31, 2019

USA-NPN Pheno Forecast of emerald ash borer adult emergence.

USA-NPN Pheno Forecast of emerald ash borer adult emergence. Yellow areas indicate locations that will have reached the accumulated temperature requirements for adult emergence as of April 1, 2019.

Burned forest with plants growing between burned trees.
May 11, 2019

Hillside at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area 9 Months After Fire

Vegetation has begun to regrow in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area 9 months after summer 2018's Carr Fire near Redding, California, where USGS WERC researchers are studying fire impacts, post-fire vegetation recovery, and post-fire erosion and debris flows.

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Hill with grass and shrubs and trees regrowing after fire.
May 11, 2019

Hill at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area 9 Months After Fire

Vegetation has begun to regrow in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area 9 months after summer 2018's Carr Fire near Redding, California, where USGS WERC researchers are studying fire impacts, post-fire vegetation recovery, and post-fire erosion and debris flows.

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Field of growing spring grasses with hill in the background.
May 11, 2019

Landscape at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area 9 Months After Fire

Vegetation has begun to regrow in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area 9 months after summer 2018's Carr Fire near Redding, California, where USGS WERC researchers are studying fire impacts, post-fire vegetation recovery, and post-fire erosion and debris flows.

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Roadside landscape with newly grown grass and green trees.
May 11, 2019

Landscape at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area 9 Months After Fire

Vegetation has begun to regrow in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area 9 months after summer 2018's Carr Fire near Redding, California, where USGS WERC researchers are studying fire impacts, post-fire vegetation recovery, and post-fire erosion and debris flows.

...
Congressman Charlie Crist visits the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
May 6, 2019

Congressman Charlie Crist visits the SPCMSC

On May 6, 2019, Congressman Charlie Crist (13th district, FL) and Operations and Outreach Director Mr. Kendrick Lewis will visit the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC). Congressman Crist requested this visit because he is interested to learn more about the Center and to discuss needs/priorities that we may have. (First row, left to right:

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April 27, 2019

Under Ice Habitat in Canning River Delta

In the Arctic, rivers are often thought to freeze completely during winter. Since fish need liquid water to survive, there are few places where they can live. Fish usually inhabit deep river channels and areas where springwater enters a stream. However, this video shows that winter habitat occurs in places we didn't expect, below the ice in the delta of a shallow river. 

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Outstanding in the field podcast album art
April 10, 2019

Outstanding in the Field (Ep 2): Citizen Science—Your Data in Action

The USGS Ecosystems Mission Area brings you Outstanding in the Field, a series of stories about our science, our adventures, and our efforts to better understand our fish and wildlife and the ecosystems that support them. In this episode we’re talking about citizen science and getting the public involved in the scientific process of monitoring aquatic insects in the

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Who's who?  Front and back print casts of grizzly (top) and black bear (bottom).
February 27, 2019

Who's who? Print casts of grizzly (top) and black bear (bottom).

Who's who?  These are print casts of front and back paw prints of a grizzly bear (top) and black bear (bottom). The casts on the right are the front paws of each species; the casts on the left are the back.  How do you tell? 

Grizzly/brown bear toes are closer together and form a fairly straight line above the paw pad. On a black bear, the toes are further apart and

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A turtle mosaic made from broken tiles
February 12, 2019

A sea turtle mosaic made from the field station's broken floor tiles

After Hurricane Michael obliterated Fish Inn, the sea turtle research team's field station, team members salvaged some of the building's floor tiles and made this sea turtle mosaic, which they plan to eventually install in a new field station.

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Date published: May 1, 2019

Vaccination May Help Protect Bats from Deadly Disease

A new study shows that vaccination may reduce the impact of white-nose syndrome in bats, marking a milestone in the international fight against one of the most destructive wildlife diseases in modern times.

Date published: May 1, 2019

After Hurricane Devastation, Sea Turtle Scientists Rebound, Help Rebuild

Seven months after their home base in the Florida Panhandle was demolished by Hurricane Michael, U.S. Geological Survey sea turtle researchers are headed back into the field on May 1, the start of nesting season for Florida's sea turtles.

Date published: April 25, 2019

GCMRC Updates

The Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center currently has 11 active science projects as a part of its Triennial Work Plan (FY2018-2020) for work conducted as the science provider to the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program.  New developments, recent publications and other current activities will be listed here.  Check here to find out the latest information from the Center.

Date published: April 11, 2019

WERC Scientists Combine Bird Calls and Artificial Intelligence to Keep Tabs on the Elusive Ashy-Storm Petrel (Audubon magazine)

CALIFORNIA COAST – Artificial intelligence and acoustic sensors help scientists monitor seabirds

Date published: April 10, 2019

Burrowing owls and horned lizards thrive in ecological hot spot next to Los Angeles airport (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES -- WERC Researchers study lizards and owls at the LAX Dunes preserve

Date published: March 11, 2019

President Proposes $983 Million FY20 Budget for USGS

Budget Focuses on Priorities Supporting American Energy Enterprise, National Security, and Natural Hazard Response Efforts

Date published: March 6, 2019

Newly Hatched Invasive Grass Carp Found in Maumee River, Ohio

A genetic analysis conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey recently confirmed that  larval, or newly hatched, fish collected from the Maumee River during the summer of 2018 are grass carp, one species of invasive Asian carps that threaten the Great Lakes. The Maumee River is a tributary to Lake Erie.

Date published: March 4, 2019

Genetics study reveals good news for the southern California population of the California gnatcatcher

Results of a recent study by WERC scientists are providing helpful information to resource managers as they work to protect important habitat.

Date published: February 12, 2019

Vegetation Recovery on Abandoned Oil and Gas Well Sites is Variable on Colorado Plateau

Recovery of vegetation on plugged and abandoned oil and gas well sites on the Colorado Plateau is influenced by time, moisture, nonnative plants and the type of plant community that was originally in place before well sites were constructed, according to a recently published study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: November 13, 2018

How Hurricanes Michael, Florence May Have Spread Nonnative Species

USGS’ preliminary storm trackers show potential for subtle damage in natural areas

Date published: October 19, 2018

Honey Bee Helpers: It Takes a Village to Conserve a Colony

Do you eat fruits and vegetables? What about nuts? If so, you can thank an insect pollinator, usually a honey bee. These small insects play a major role in pollinating the world’s plants, including those we eat regularly. They also increase our nation’s crop values each year by more than 15 billion dollars.

Date published: October 18, 2018

Where Have All the Turtles Gone, and Why Should We Care?

A recently published paper on the global status of turtles and their ecological roles generated quite a bit of media interest.

Ecosystems provides scientific information and decision support to meet Interior’s shared responsibility to manage land and species, fulfill treaty obligations, develop energy and mineral resources on Interior lands, and supply water for irrigation and other human needs. Our main Interior Department partners are listed below. Additional partners are listed throughout our web pages.

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