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.

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Cool Tools for Hot Topics

Cool Tools for Hot Topics

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. 

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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: 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.

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: 715
Date published: December 13, 2018
Status: Active

WFRC Ecology Section - Projects Overview

The Ecology Section examines how environmental variability, human activities and infrastructure influence food web interactions and species performance in freshwater and marine ecosystems. We have extensive experience in quantifying aquatic food web processes as they relate to growth, survival and production of key species of interest, especially resident and anadromous salmonids.

Date published: December 12, 2018
Status: Active

Life History and Migration of Sturgeons in New England Waters

Sturgeons appear in the fossil record as early as the Triassic, 200 million years ago.  Although most populations could once tolerate harvesting pressures, most populations have collapsed and nearly all of the 28 species alive today are listed as threatened or endangered.  In New England, dams and water regulation challenge population recoveries of the two resident species, the shortnose and...

Contacts: Micah Kieffer
Date published: December 4, 2018
Status: Active

Life History of Pacific Northwest Fishes through Age and Growth Structures

The focus of our research is the ecological analysis of Pacific Northwest fishes through age and growth structures such as: scales, fin rays and otoliths (small calcium carbonate deposits beneath the brain used in hearing and balance that grow in proportion to the overall growth of the fish). These structures are utilized as research tools for understanding life histories and habitat...

Date published: November 29, 2018
Status: Active

Human and Ecological Health Impacts Associated with Water Reuse and Conservation Practices

Human and Ecological Health Impacts Associated with Water Reuse and Conservation Practices

Date published: November 29, 2018
Status: Completed

Molecular characterization of unknown virus isolated from the introduced species, the Northern snake head (Channa argus), present in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Molecular characterization of unknown virus isolated from the introduced species, the Northern snake head (Channa argus), present in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Date published: November 29, 2018
Status: Active

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Prevalence of Intersex in Fish Populations in New Jersey

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Prevalence of Intersex in Fish Populations in New Jersey

Date published: November 13, 2018
Status: Active

Evaluating the pathogenicity and replication of a novel aquareovirus that infects the endangered fountain darter, Etheostoma fonticola

Evaluating the pathogenicity and replication of a novel aquareovirus that infects the endangered fountain darter, Etheostoma fonticola

Date published: November 1, 2018
Status: Active

Using Molecular Tools to Recalibrate Freshwater Mussel Taxonomy with a Focus on Imperiled Species

Freshwater mussels of the family Unionidae, also known as naiads, pearly mussels, freshwater clams, or unionids, are a diverse group of bivalve mollusks that are distributed on every continent except Antarctica. Approximately 300 species are known from the United States, with most of this diversity residing in rivers of the Southeast where many endemic taxa have evolved.

Date published: October 31, 2018
Status: Active

Wildlife Tracking/Telemetry

USGS scientists use tracking/telemetry tags to determine the occurrence and local movement patterns of wildlife. Because energy development often takes place in critical wildlife habitats, scientists can study these wildlife patterns to help guide project siting and operational decisions to areas and practices that present the lowest risk to energy development and wildlife.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 31, 2018
Status: Active

Management Support Tools

USGS scientists build broadly applicable management support tools to assist resource managers and the industry in siting of energy development and selection of off-site mitigation areas.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 31, 2018
Status: Active

Demographic and Population Models

USGS scientists are currently developing models for species of interest that can be overlaid with maps showing areas of potential energy. These models, or map overlays, identify areas of biological strengths and weaknesses or high- and low-quality habitat and can identify opportunities for conservation—areas of high-quality habitat where energy-generating potential is low—and areas of...

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Filter Total Items: 114
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.

Date published: July 1, 2018

Wildlife Health Bulletins

Wildlife Health Bulletins are distributed to natural resource/conservation agencies to provide and promote information exchange about significant wildlife health threats. 

Filter Total Items: 21
Date published: December 12, 2018

TEST Map - Grand Canyon Poster Map

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 importing places of interest along the Colorado River and across the Grand Canyon region.  

Date published: December 12, 2018

TEST Map - Grand Canyon Poster Map

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 importing places of interest along the Colorado River and across the Grand Canyon region.  

Date published: November 26, 2018

Chronic Wasting Disease Map

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

Date published: October 1, 2018

White-Nose Syndrome Occurrence Map

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

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: 2,930
Year Published: 2019

Coastal wetlands: A synthesis

This book and this synthesis address the pressing need for better management of coastal wetlands worldwide because these wetlands are disappearing at an alarming rate; in some countries the loss is 70%–80% in the last 50 years. Managing requires understanding. Although our understanding of the functioning of coastal...

Perillo, Gerardo M. E.; Wolanski, Eric; Cahoon, Donald R.; Hopkinson, Charles S.; Hopkinson, Charles S.; Wolanski, Eric; Cahoon, Donald R.; Perillo, Gerardo M. E.; Brinson, Mark M.

Year Published: 2019

Evaluating restored tidal freshwater wetlands

As restoration of tidal freshwater wetlands has progressed in North America and Eurasia, research findings have continued to emerge on the postrestoration success of these ecosystems. The most common approaches used to restore tidal freshwater wetlands involve excavation or placement of dredged sediment to restore tidal ...

Perillo, Gerardo M. E.; Wolanski, Eric; Cahoon, Donald R.; Hopkinson, Charles S.; Baldwin, Andrew H.; Hammerschlag, Richard S.; Cahoon, Donald R.

Year Published: 2019

Movement ecology of reintroduced migratory Whooping Cranes

No abstract available.

Teitelbaum, Claire S.; Converse, Sarah J.; Fagan, William F.; Mueller, Thomas
Mueller, T., Teitelbaum, C.S., Fagan, W.F., and Converse, S.J., 2018, Movement Ecology of Reintroduced Migratory Whooping Cranes, in French, J.B., Jr., Converse, S.J., and Austin, J.E., editors, Whooping Cranes: Biology and Conservation: San Diego, CA, Academic Press, Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes, p. 217-238.

Year Published: 2019

Reproduction and reproductive strategies relevant to management of Whooping Cranes ex situ

Due to the small population size (∼400 birds) and continuing threats to wild Whooping Cranes (Grus americana), an ex situ (captive) population is maintained to contribute to the recovery of the species. The goals of the captive breeding program are to provide opportunity for research and birds for reintroduction. However, reproduction...

Songsasen, Nucharin; Converse, Sarah J.; Brown, Megan
Songsasen, N., Converse, S.J., and Brown, M., 2018, Reproduction and Reproductive Strategies Relevant to Management of Whooping Cranes Ex Situ, in French, J.B., Jr., Converse, S.J., and Austin, J.E., editors, Whooping Cranes: Biology and Conservation: San Diego, CA, Academic Press, Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes, p. 373-388.

Year Published: 2019

Population dynamics of reintroduced Whooping Cranes

Because of the small size and restricted range of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo Population, reintroduction is a prominent element of the recovery effort to ensure persistence of Whooping Cranes (Grus americana). A fundamental objective of all Whooping Crane reintroduction efforts is the establishment of a self-sustaining population. Therefore...

Converse, Sarah J.; Servanty, Sabrina; Moore, Clinton T.; Runge, Michael C.
Converse, S.J., Servanty, S., Moore, C.T., and Runge, M.C., 2018, Population Dynamics of Reintroduced Whooping Cranes, in French, J.B., Jr., Converse, S.J., and Austin, J.E., editors, Whooping Cranes: Biology and Conservation: San Diego, CA, Academic Press, Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes, p. 139-160.

Year Published: 2019

Whooping Cranes past and present

The Whooping Crane (Grus americana), endemic to North America, is the rarest of all crane species. It is believed that in the early 1800s, the Whooping Crane was widespread in North America, though it was never very abundant. Whooping Crane numbers decreased precipitously as westward migration of Euro-American settlers converted ...

French, John B.; Converse, Sarah J.; Austin, Jane E.
French, J.B., Jr., Converse, S.J., and Austin, J.E., 2018, Whooping Cranes Past and Present, in French, J.B., Jr., Converse, S.J., and Austin, J.E., editors, Whooping Cranes: Biology and Conservation: San Diego, CA, Academic Press, Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes, p. 3-16.

Year Published: 2019

Reproductive failure in the Eastern Migratory Population: The interaction of research and management

The reintroduction of the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes (Grus americana) has shown the most promise of any effort to date toward the establishment of a self-sustaining population. However, reproduction – including both nest success and chick survival – has been a major challenge. Here, we review the research and...

Converse, Sarah J.; Strobel, Bradley N.; Barzen, Jeb A.
Converse, S.J., Strobel, B.N., and Barzen, J.A., 2018, Reproductive Failure in the Eastern Migratory Population: The Interaction of Research and Management, in French, J.B., Jr., Converse, S.J., and Austin, J.E., editors, Whooping Cranes: Biology and Conservation: San Diego, CA, Academic Press, Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes, p. 161-178.

Year Published: 2018

Optimization of salt marsh management at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Delaware, through use of structured decision making

Structured decision making is a systematic, transparent process for improving the quality of complex decisions by identifying measurable management objectives and feasible management actions; predicting the potential consequences of management actions relative to the stated objectives; and selecting a course of action that maximizes the total...

Neckles, Hilary A.; Lyons, James E.; Nagel, Jessica L.; Adamowicz, Susan C.; Mikula, Toni; Guiteras, Susan T.; Mitchell, Laura R.
Neckles, H.A., Lyons, J.E., Nagel, J.L., Adamowicz, S.C., Mikula, T., Guiteras, S.T., and Mitchell, L.R., 2018, Optimization of salt marsh management at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Delaware, through use of structured decision making: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1160, 18 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181160.

Year Published: 2018

Identification of bees in southwest Idaho—A guide for beginners

This document was prepared to help scientists and the public, both of whom may not be familiar with bee taxonomy, learn how to practically identify bees in sagebrush steppe and shrubland habitats in southwest Idaho. We provide information to identify bees to the level of family and genus. A tentative list of the bee genera captured at sites used...

Sun, Emily R.; Pilliod, David S.
Sun, E.R., and Pilliod, D.S., 2018, Identification of bees in southwest Idaho—A guide for beginners: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1448, 84 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1448.

Year Published: 2018

Eco‐evolutionary rescue promotes host–pathogen coexistence

Emerging infectious pathogens are responsible for some of the most severe host mass mortality events in wild populations. Yet, effective pathogen control strategies are notoriously difficult to identify, in part because quantifying and forecasting pathogen spread and disease dynamics is challenging. Following an outbreak, hosts must cope with the...

DiRenzo, Graziella V.; Zipkin, Elise F.; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Royle, J. Andrew; Longo, Ana V.; Zamudio, Kelly R.; Lips, Karen R.

Year Published: 2018

Waterfowl spring migratory behavior and avian influenza transmission risk in the changing landscape of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway

Avian influenza has advanced from a regional concern to a global health issue with significant economic, trade, and public health implications. Wild birds, particularly waterfowl (Anseriformes), are known reservoirs for low-pathogenic avian influenza viruses (AIV) and recent studies have shown their potential in the spread of highly pathogenic...

Sullivan, Jeffery D.; Takekawa, John Y.; Spragens, Kyle A.; Newman, Scott H.; Xiao, Xiangming; Leader, Paul J.; Smith, Bena; Prosser, Diann J.

Year Published: 2018

Invasive rat control is an efficient, yet insufficient, method for recovery of the critically endangered Hawaiian plant hau kuahiwi (Hibiscadelphus giffardianus)

Biological invasions of rodents and other species have been especially problematic on tropical islands. Invasive Rattus rattus consumption of Hibiscadelphus giffardianus (Malvaceae; common Hawaiian name hau kuahiwi) fruit and seeds has been hypothesized to be the most-limiting factor inhibiting the critically endangered tree, but this has not been...

Gill, Nathan S.; Yelenik, Stephanie G.; Banko, Paul C.; Dixon, Christopher B.; Jaenecke, Kelly; Peck, Robert

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: 682
Juvenile salt marsh harvest mouse
December 31, 2018

Juvenile Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris)

USGS wildlife biologists holding a juvenile salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris). The species is listed as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

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.

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.

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.

USGS
December 31, 2018

Squirrel treefrog - Hyla squirella (Marion)

Squirrel treefrogs are also native to Florida and Louisiana. Hear them calling from ditches, puddles and other ephemeral pools of water. Credit: Paul Moler, used with permission.
 

Four pits filled with water.
November 5, 2018

RestoreNet treatments

RestoreNet locations are testing commonly used restoration techniques, including pitting, mulching, and above-ground micro sites. Here, pits have filled with water, illustrating how this technique increases soil moisture by capturing rainwater. The project will illustrate which techniques work to establish plants depending on local conditions (like soil type) and climate

...
Wire crosses, called ConMods installed at a RestoreNet site.
November 5, 2018

RestoreNet treatments

RestoreNet locations are testing commonly used restoration techniques, including pitting, mulching, and above-ground micro sites. Here, metal crosses create an above-ground microsite that can increase soil moisture by providing shade and collecting debris under some conditions. The project will illustrate which techniques work to establish plants depending on local

...
Mulch treatment
November 5, 2018

RestoreNet treatments

RestoreNet locations are testing commonly used restoration techniques, including pitting, mulching, and above-ground micro sites. This photo shows the mulching treatment, which can increase soil moisture and lead to higher plant survival under some conditions. The project will illustrate which techniques work to establish plants depending on local conditions (like soil

...
Pacific fisher on a tree looking into a bait box
October 24, 2018

Pacific fisher trying to grab a chicken dinner from the bait box

USGS scientists are documenting the distribution of three mid-sized mammalian carnivores – or mesocarnivores –in the Klamath Network Parks using remote cameras and hair snares. Little is known about the status of Pacific fishers, Pacific martens, and Sierra Nevada red foxes living in the Klamath Network, which include Crater Lake National Park, Lassen Volcanic National

...
graphic of N and S deposition and annual temp and precipitation from Horn, et al. (2018)
October 18, 2018

Figure 1, Horn, et al. (2018)

Gradients of N deposition, S deposition, mean annual temperature, and mean annual precipitation across the conterminous U.S. Panels are the a) mean total N deposition from 2000–2012, b) mean total S deposition from 2000–2012, c) mean annual temperature from 2000–2014, and d) mean annual precipitation form 2000–2014. Deposition data are from the TDEP product [23] and

...
October 5, 2018

Bandit Download

This screencast is a tutorial on how to find Bandit for download as well as finding Bandit resources via the BBL's webpages. 
 

A RestoreNet garden with plots covered by white cloth.
August 31, 2018

RestoreNet garden testing seedling establishment.

The RestoreNet gardens test seedlings of priority restoration species across the Southwest. This is a recently installed garden located in the juniper woodlands of the Colorado Plateau. The experiemental network will support land managers by providing insight into various restoration techniques, including testing seedlings vs seeds.

Filter Total Items: 280
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.

Date published: August 21, 2018

Genetic Analysis of Florida's Invasive Pythons Reveals A Tangled Family Tree

A new genetic analysis of invasive pythons captured across South Florida finds the big constrictors are closely related to one another. In fact, most of them are genetically related as first or second cousins, according to a study by wildlife genetics experts at the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: August 6, 2018

USGS Scientist Dr. Craig D. Allen Named Ecological Society of America Fellow

The U.S. Geological Survey is celebrating the achievements of Dr. Craig D. Allen, who was recently named an Ecological Society of America (ESA) fellow for making exceptional contributions to a broad array of ecology. Dr. Allen, a research ecologist with the USGS Fort Collins Science Center, joins 27 other newly-initiated ESA fellows from academia, public and private sectors. Fellows are elected for life.

Date published: July 2, 2018

Born in a Los Angeles zoo, released into the San Gabriels, a rare frog bounces back (The LA Times)

SAN GABRIEL MOUNTAINS, CA — Last week, biologists from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) and partnering agencies released hundreds of endangered, mountain yellow-legged frog tadpoles back to their historic habitat in southern California.

Date published: June 19, 2018

New Approach May Detect Chronic Wasting Disease Earlier, at Less Cost

A new statistical approach to disease surveillance may improve scientists’ and managers’ ability to detect chronic wasting disease earlier in white-tailed deer by targeting higher-risk animals. This approach can also provide financial and personnel savings for agencies that are required to monitor for wildlife diseases, including the National Park Service, or NPS. 

Date published: June 18, 2018

It’s National Pollinator Week! Get the buzz on USGS pollinator research

Bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles provide vital but often invisible pollination services that support terrestrial wildlife and plant communities, and healthy watersheds.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: May 31, 2018

USGS Hurricane Response Met Challenges in 2017, Prepares for 2018

No one has a crystal ball to foresee what will happen during the 2018 hurricane season that begins June 1, but NOAA forecasters say there’s a 75 percent chance this hurricane season will be at least as busy as a normal year, or busier.

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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