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.

Browse by Location

News

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

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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Filter Total Items: 810
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 22, 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: 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...

Date published: April 11, 2019
Status: Active

Effects of temperature and energy use on fish passage and spawning success of American shad

American Shad are the most numerous and economically important anadromous species on the east coast of the United States.  Yet in many river systems their populations have experienced declines, primarily due to the impacts of dams and habitat loss.  Although fish passage facilities have been constructed to mitigate the impacts of dams, many of these have not provided adequate passage success...

Date published: April 11, 2019
Status: Active

Genetic connectivity among regional populations of red tree corals (Primnoa pacifica) in the North Pacific Ocean

Knowledge of the degree to which populations are connected through larval dispersal is imperative to effective management, yet little is known about larval dispersal capability or population connectivity in Primnoa pacifica, an important habitat forming octocoral on the outer continental shelf and upper slope in the Gulf of Alaska. Red tree corals can reach massive size (up to 5m...

Date published: April 11, 2019
Status: Active

Conservation Genetics and Genomics of the Narrowly Endemic Island Marble Butterfly Euchloe ausonides insulanus

The island marble butterfly (Euchloe ausonides insulanus) was first discovered on Vancouver Island, Canada in 1861.  Based on morphological characteristics, it has been described as a subspecies of Euchloe ausonides.  After a collection was made in 1908 on Gabriola Island, Canada, the island marble was not seen again until 1998 on San Juan Island, Washington, USA. Recent...

Date published: April 9, 2019
Status: Active

Genetic characterization of the clubshell species complex (Pleurobema clava and P. oviforme) for enhanced conservation

The diversity of freshwater mussels (family Unionidae) in the United States is unmatched in the rest of the world, yet this biodiversity is highly vulnerable, with more than 70% of recognized species considered to be either endangered, threatened, or of special concern.  Most species inhabit limited ranges and have small (and/or often unknown) dispersal abilities due to reliance on specific...

Date published: April 9, 2019
Status: Active

Deepwater Atlantic Habitats II: Continued Atlantic Research and Exploration in Deepwater Ecosystems with Focus on Coral, Canyon, and Seep Communities. Part II: Genetic Connectivity and Oceanomic Studies

This study utilizes genetics and genomics techniques to characterize biodiversity and genetic connectivity among deep-sea coral habitats and cold seeps in and near submarine canyons and will use environmental DNA techniques to characterize plankton diversity and to identify key contributors to carbon export from surface waters that sustain sensitive benthic communities. The proposed genetics...

Date published: April 4, 2019
Status: Active

Health Effects and Behavioral Response of Florida Manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) to Persistent Algal Bloom and Associated Loss of Seagrass Resources in Brevard County, Florida

USGS researchers are working with partners to assess the health and foraging behavior of Florida manatees in the northern Indian River Lagoon and Banana River, areas that have experienced declining seagrasses due to an extended phytoplankton bloom. 

Date published: April 4, 2019
Status: Active

Survey and Assessment of Live Food Markets as an Invasion Pathway

Live food markets may be a source of the increasing number of non-native wild invertebrate and fish species, like Asian swamp eels and snakeheads. USGS is surveying such markets around the United States to identify and document species that might be of concern if released live into the wild to assess if the live food market is a possible invasion pathway. 

Contacts: Leo Nico, Ph.D.
Date published: April 3, 2019
Status: Active

Climate change forecasts for eastern salmonids

Small streams in forests are likely to see dramatic shifts as global climate change influences air temperature and rain patterns. We have already seen warmer stream temperatures as air temperatures increase in summer in the Northeastern US. The intensity and duration of floods and droughts are also expected to magnify as future rain patterns shift. This project will evaluate how stream...

Filter Total Items: 120
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: 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: December 11, 2018

TEST Data and Tools - Tom Gushue

Grand Canyon Sandbar Monitoring

The Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, in conjunction with Northern Arizona University, monitors changes to sandbars along the Colorado River downstream of Glen Canyon Dam near Page, Arizona.  Click here to launch the sandbar monitoring website and associated data applications for this on-going project.

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 10, 2018

Principal components of climate variation in the Desert Southwest for the time periods 1980-2010, 2040-2070 (RCP8.5) and (RCP4.5) - data release

Five principal components are used to represent the climate variation in an original set of 12 climate variables reflecting precipitation and temperature gradients. The dataset provides coverage for four regions (the Sonoran Desert, Mojave Desert, Colorado Plateau, and Southern Great Basin) and two time periods: current climate (defined as the 1980-2010 normal period) and future climate (...

Date published: August 10, 2018

Climate Distance Mapper - web application

Climate Distance Mapper is a spatial decision-support tool designed to help land managers match seed sources with restoration sites. Plant populations are commonly adapted to local climate gradients and frequently exhibit a home-site advantage. For this reason, climate information may serve as a proxy for local adaptation in restoration designs. Climate Distance Mapper allows users to rank the...

Date published: August 9, 2018

DATA RELEASE - Occurrence records and vegetation type data used for species distribution models in the western United States - Data

These data are species distribution information assembled for assessing the impacts of land-use barriers, facilitative interactions with other species, and loss of long-distance animal dispersal on predicted species range patterns for four common species in pinyon-juniper woodlands in the western United States.

Date published: July 19, 2018

DATA RELEASE - Aeolian mass flux, rangeland monitoring site, and unpaved road reach data - Data

These data were compiled for monitoring and analyzing the amount of windblown (aeolian) sediment at 100 cm height near Moab, UT. Big Springs Number Eight (BSNE) field aeolian passive sediment traps are summarized by location and time period in shapefiles. Shapefiles also include attributes used to analyze patterns in the aeolian transport.

Date published: July 12, 2018

Data collected in 2008-2010 to evaluate juvenile salmon and forage fish use of eelgrass on the Skagit River Delta, Washington State, USA

Data are abundance and body size (length) of juvenile salmon, forage fish, and other species captured with a lampara net in eelgrass and nearby unvegetated habitat on the Skagit River Delta monthly, April-September, 2008-2010, as well as vegetation status, water depth, temperature, salinity, and clarity for each fish netting event.

Date published: July 11, 2018

DATA RELEASE - Climate, hydrology and riparian vegetation composition data, Grand Canyon, Arizona - Data

These data were compiled for monitoring riparian vegetation change along the Colorado River. This file contains data recorded at 42 sandbars between Lees Ferry and Diamond Creek, AZ, which are annually sampled for both geomorphic and vegetation change. Field data contained here were collected from 2012 to 2016 in September and October of each year.

Filter Total Items: 21
Date published: April 23, 2019

White-Nose Syndrome Occurrence Map

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

Date published: April 22, 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.

Filter Total Items: 30,689
Year Published: 2019

Wildland Fire Science—Supporting Wildland Fire and Land Management

The U.S. Geological Survey's Wildland Fire Science Program produces fundamental information to identify the causes of wildfires, understand the impacts and benefits of both wildfires and prescribed fires, and help prevent and manage larger, catastrophic events. Our fire scientists provide information and develop tools that are widely used by...

Steblein, Paul F.; Miller, Mark P.; Soileau, Suzanna C.
Attribution: Ecosystems
Steblein, P.F., Miller, M.P., and Soileau, S.C., 2019, Wildland fire science---Supporting wildland fire and land management: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019-3025, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193025.

Year Published: 2019

Phenological mismatch between season advancement and migration timing alters Arctic plant traits

1. Climate change is creating phenological mismatches between herbivores and their plant resources throughout the Arctic. While advancing growing seasons and changing arrival times of migratory herbivores has been shown to have consequences for herbivores and forage quality, developing mismatches are also likely to influence other traits of plants...

Choi, Ryan T.; Beard, Karen H.; Leffler, A. Joshua; Kelsey, Katharine C.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Welker, Jeffrey

Year Published: 2019

Quantifying risk of whale–vessel collisions across space, time, and management policies

Transportation industries can negatively impact wildlife populations, including through increased risk of mortality. To mitigate this risk successfully, managers and conservationists must estimate risk across space, time, and alternative management policies. Evaluating this risk at fine spatial and temporal scales can be challenging, especially in...

Crum, Nathan J.; Gowan, Timothy A.; Krzystan, Andrea; Martin, Julien

Year Published: 2019

Morphology and molecular data reveal invasion of cryptic golden tegus Tupinambis cryptus Murphy et al., 2016) in Florida

Golden Tegus (Tupinambis teguixin sensu lato) are native to South America and have established a reproducing population in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Recent work divided the Golden Tegu into four separate species, leaving the specific identity of Golden Tegus in Florida unknown. We used morphometric and mitochondrial data to determine the species...

Pyron, R. Alexander; Reed, Robert; Colston, Timothy J.; Rochford, Michael R.

Year Published: 2019

Alaska Shorebird Conservation Plan, Version III

In recognition of declines among perhaps half of Alaska’s breeding shorebirds, ongoing or emerging threats to shorebirds and their habitats, and considerable knowledge of Alaska’s shorebirds acquired over the past decade, the Alaska Shorebird Group decided that the Alaska Shorebird Conservation Plan was due for updates. Similar to Version II (2008...

Ruthrauff, Daniel R.
Alaska Shorebird Group. 2019. Alaska Shorebird Conservation Plan. Version III. Alaska Shorebird Group, Anchorage, AK, https://www.fws.gov/alaska/mbsp/mbm/shorebirds/plans.htm

Year Published: 2019

Three-dimensional partitioning of resources by congeneric forest predators with recent sympatry

Coexistence of ecologically similar species can be maintained by partitioning along one or more niche axes. Three-dimensional structural complexity is central to facilitating resource partitioning between many forest species, but is underrepresented in field-based studies. We examined resource selection by sympatric northern spotted owls (Strix...

Jenkins, Julianna M; Lesmeister, Damon B.; Wiens, David; Kane, Jonathan T; Kane, Van R.; Verschuyl, Jake V

Year Published: 2019

Satellite tracking of gulls and genomic characterization of fecal bacteria reveals environmentally mediated acquisition and dispersal of antimicrobial resistant Escherichia coli on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Gulls (Larus spp.) have frequently been reported to carry Escherichia coli exhibiting antimicrobial resistance (AMR E. coli); however, the pathways governing the acquisition and dispersal of such bacteria are not well-described. We equipped 17 landfill-foraging gulls with satellite transmitters and collected gull fecal samples longitudinally from...

Ahlstrom, Christina; Bonnedahl, Jonas; Woksepp, Hanna; Hernandez, Jorge; Reed, John; Tibbitts, Lee; Olsen, Björn; Douglas, David C.; Ramey, Andrew M.

Year Published: 2019

Can multi-element fingerprinting of soils inform assessments of chemical connectivity between depressional wetlands?

The question of wetland connectivity is particularly relevant regarding depressional wetlands because these wetlands often seem to be “isolated” from other wetlands on a landscape. In this study, multi-element fingerprinting of soils was used to assess similarity in element composition of depressional-wetland soils as a measure of wetland...

Xiaoyan Zhu; Yuxiang Yuan; Mushet, David M.; Marinus L. Otte

Year Published: 2019

Advancing barrier island habitat mapping using landscape position information

Barrier islands are dynamic ecosystems that change gradually from coastal processes, including currents and tides, and rapidly from episodic events, such as storms. These islands provide many important ecosystem services, including storm protection and erosion control to the mainland, habitat for fish and wildlife, and tourism. Habitat maps,...

Enwright, Nicholas; Wang, Lei; Borchert, Sinéad M.; Day, Richard; Feher, Laura; Osland, Michael
.

Year Published: 2019

To forage or flee: Lessons from an elk migration near a protected area

Alteration of wide-ranging wildlife migrations can drastically impact the structure and function of ecosystems, yet the causes and consequences of shifting migration patterns remain largely unknown. Management decisions made in one portion of a landscape may induce spatial and temporal shifts of wildlife use in another, creating tension among...

Mikle, Nathaniel; Graves, Tabitha A.; Olexa, Edward M.

Year Published: 2019

Hurricane Sandy impacts on coastal wetland resilience

The goal of this research was to evaluate the impacts of Hurricane Sandy on surface elevation trends in estuarine marshes located across the northeast region of the United States from Virginia to Maine using data from an opportunistic (in other words, not strategic) and collaborative network (from here on, an opportunistic network) of surface...

Cahoon, Donald R.; Olker, Jennifer H.; Yeates, Alice G.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Grace, James B.; Adamowicz, Susan C.; Anisfeld, Shimon C.; Baldwin, Andrew H.; Barrett, Nels; Beckett, Leah; Benzecry, Alice; Blum, Linda K.; Burdick, David M.; Crouch, William; Ekberg, Marci Cole; Fernald, Sarah; Grimes, Kristin Wilson; Grzyb, Joseph; Hartig, Ellen Kracauer; Kreeger, Danielle A.; Larson, Marit; Lerberg, Scott; Lynch, James C.; Maher, Nicole; Maxwell-Doyle, Martha; Mitchell, Laura R.; Mora, Jordan; O'Neill, Victoria; Padeletti, Angela; Prosser, Diann J.; Quirk, Tracy; Raposa, Kenneth B.; Reay, William G.; Siok, Drexel; Snow, Christopher; Starke, Adam; Stevenson, J. Court; Staver, Lorie; Turner, Vincent
Cahoon, D.R., Olker, J.H., Yeates, A.G., Guntenspergen, G.R., Grace, J.B., Adamowicz, S.C., Anisfeld, S., Baldwin, A.H., Barrett, N., Beckett, L., Benzecry, A., Blum, L.K., Burdick, D.M., Crouch, W., Ekberg, M.C., Fernald, S., Grimes, K.W., Grzyb, J., Hartig, E.K., Kreeger, D.A., Larson, M., Lerberg, S., Lynch, J.C., Maher, N., Maxwell-Doyle, M., Mitchell, L.R., Mora, J., O’Neill, V., Padeletti, A., Prosser, D., Quirk, T., Raposa, K.B., Reay, W.G., Siok, D., Snow, C., Starke, A., Staver, L., Stevenson, J.C., and Turner, V., 2019, Hurricane Sandy impacts on coastal wetland resilience: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1142, 117 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181142.

Year Published: 2019

Annual survival, site fidelity, and longevity in the eastern coastal population of the Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) based on a 20-year mark-recapture/resighting study

A long-term study of annual survival, longevity, and site fidelity in the eastern coastal population of the Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) during the breeding season was conducted from 1999 through 2018 in the outer coastal plain of the southeastern Atlantic coast of the United States. Painted Buntings were uniquely color-banded from 1999...

Sykes, Paul W. Jr; Freeman, Mary C.; Sykes, Joan J.; Seginak, John T.; M. David Oleyar; Egan, Joshua P.

Filter Total Items: 12
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

Filter Total Items: 695
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.

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

...
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

...
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.

Location of Pend Oreille River and tributaries as a spatial network of habitat patches and barriers
February 12, 2019

Figure 1 from Mims, et al. (2019)

Location (A, B) of Pend Oreille River and tributaries assessed in this study as a spatial network of habitat patches and barriers (C) for which reintroduction of bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) (D) was simulated. Bull trout illustration by Joseph R. Tomelleri.

root nodules
January 2, 2019

Alder root nodules

Root nodules are a symbiotic relationship between a plant and nitrogen-fixing bacteria. A symbiotic relationship is one where both organisms benefit. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria change inorganic nitrogen from the air into ammonia, a form of nitrogen most organisms can use. They also use a process called rock dissolution to release other nutrients, such as calcium and

...
December 31, 2018

Toni Lyn Morelli, Research Ecologist

Biography of scientist featured in Circular 1443 about STEM and related careers in USGS, to be used for recruitment into STEM careers.
 

USGS
December 31, 2018

Cuban treefrog - Osteopilus septentrionalis

Can you hear the difference between the non-native Cuban treefrog and two common Louisiana native treefrogs? Cuban treefrogs’ call is distinctive. Biologist Paul Moler of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recorded them in South Florida. Credit: Paul Moler, used with permission.

USGS
December 31, 2018

Green treefrog - Hyla cinerea

Green treefrogs call from their favorite habitat, rivers and lakes. They’re native to Louisiana and Florida, where these were recorded. Credit: Paul Moler, used with permission.

Map of AK showing probability of change occurrence
December 31, 2018

Map of AK showing probability of change occurrence

Map of Alaska showing probability (%) of change occurrence. Insets show fire boundaries from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Large Fire Database and Landsat 8 imagery (bottom right; 2016) north of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Filter Total Items: 286
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.

Date published: September 14, 2018

Identifying Potential Contaminant Exposure to California Condors in the Pacific Northwest

Potential reintroduction of the endangered California Condor to parts of its historic range in the Pacific Northwest would benefit from information on possible threats that could challenge recovery efforts. Exposure to environmental contaminants is a key limiting factor for condor recovery in its southern range.

Date published: September 10, 2018

Cool Tools & Ready Resources for Hot Science

With labs that rival those of your favorite crime scene investigator and tech that would make even the most resourceful problem-solving secret agent jealous, the USGS is developing and using tools that help answer some of the most pressing questions being asked by wildlife, natural resource, and land managers. Here are just a few:

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: August 28, 2018

Toad Crossing Ahead: New Study Tests Elevated Roads as Underpasses for Rare Toad

Many amphibians are either too small or too slow to avoid an oncoming car. For some populations of the Federally threatened Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus canorus), this has meant increased mortality from vehicle strikes in addition to other threats from disease, drought, and habitat loss.

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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