Due to a lapse in appropriations, the majority of USGS websites may not be up to date and may not reflect current conditions. Websites displaying real-time data, such as Earthquake and Water and information needed for public health and safety will be updated with limited support. Additionally, USGS will not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted. For more information, please see www.doi.gov/shutdown
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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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Conservation planning tools, such as those listed below, have been developed by USGS scientists to assist resource managers in prioritizing areas for future energy development.
As hydropower dams age and require critical upgrades, USGS hydrologists, engineers and fish biologists work together to design the next generation of dams and operational protocols that improve passage for migratory fish and cause fewer negative effects on upstream and downstream ecosystems.
USGS scientists conduct a combination of short- and longterm biological research, survey and monitoring, data analysis and applications, new tool and technology development and application, decision support, and adaptive management to address energy and wildlife management issues.
USGS science is helping to understand the potential population effects for a number of wildlife species. Scientists are also developing risk assessment tools to guide energy development to locations where it will have minimal impact on wildlife.
USGS scientists collect data and develop tools and techniques to minimize potential negative effects of new energy development. These tools are critical for supporting management efforts to monitor and improve effectiveness of how facilities are located, built, and operated.
USGS supports the U.S. goal to increase energy production from clean, renewable sources by conducting research into minimizing or mitigating potential negative effects of an expanding renewable energy infrastructure. USGS scientists collect data and develop tools and techniques to minimize potential negative effects of new energy development. Monitoring protocols and habitat-use models are...
USGS scientists are testing bird and bat deterrent devices (such as ultrasonic acoustic deterrents) as well as operational management strategies that can cost-effectively reduce wildlife fatalities while allowing wind operators to generate this carbon-free energy.
USGS assists state fish and wildlife agencies, land and wildlife managers, and other stakeholders by producing applied science-based tools to guide wind and solar energy development to locations where it will have minimal impact on wildlife. As a basis for these tools, USGS researchers study the movement and migration of wildlife.
USGS has made significant strides in addressing research needs identified by resource managers and industry to understand wildlife interactions with turbines, estimate causes and magnitude of fatalities, develop wildlife and mortality survey protocols, assess population effects, describe migrations and movement patterns, and develop potential mitigation measures. USGS also has developed tools...
For big game, USGS research on migrating animals interacting with housing and energy development suggests that this development and change to migration routes can alter optimal foraging. Continued energy development will lead to the loss of the foraging benefit of migration.
Wind-generated electricity in the marine environment promises to be an important source of renewable energy, but poses a potential risk to seabirds that share the airspace with wind turbines. USGS research assists regulatory agencies such as BOEM and USFWS evaluate the potential for adverse effects of wind facilities and other offshore activities on seabirds. To this end, scientist study...
Potential impacts of large wind energy developments to migratory landbirds and waterfowl remain poorly understudied even though thousands of turbines are actively generating power in these habitats and numerous wind energy projects have been proposed.
DATA RELEASE - Simulated Soil Water Potential in National Parks and Monuments of the Southern Colorado Plateau, 1915-2099—Data
These data were simulated using the SOILWAT model and were intended to characterize soil-water conditions at different ecological sites on the southern Colorado Plateau. The sites simulated correspond with Inventory and Monitoring plots established by the National Park Service’s Southern Colorado Plateau Network.
DATA RELEASE - The influence of water temperature on salmonid recruitment and adult size in tailwaters across western North America—Data
These data were used to examine drivers behind changes in water temperature downriver of dams across the western U.S. from 1995-2015 and the influence of such changes on rainbow trout recruitment and rainbow and brown trout adult length.
The Land Treatment Exploration Tool is designed for resource managers to use when planning land treatments. The tool provides useful summaries of environmental characteristics of planned treatment areas and facilitates adaptive management practices by comparing those characteristics to other similar treatments within a specified distance or area of interest. ...
DATA RELEASE - Population dynamics of humpback chub, rainbow trout and brown trout in the Colorado River in its Grand Canyon Reach: modelling code and input data
These data were compiled to fit an integrated population model of brown trout in the Glen Canyon reach of the Colorado River and test hypotheses regarding the driver of brown trout population dynamics. Also, data were compiled as inputs for a model to simulate population dynamics and species interactions among brown trout, rainbow trout, and humpback chub in the Colorado River.
These data represent a set of capture histories of rainbow trout captured in the Colorado River and(or) detected on the multiplexer array in the Little Colorado River.
DATA RELEASE - Remote sensing derived maps of tamarisk (2009) and beetle impacts (2013) along 412 km of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, Arizona - Data
These data are aerial image-derived, classification maps of tamarisk in a riparian zone of the Colorado River. Two maps are published: 1) a classification of tamarisk from a 0.2 m resolution multispectral image dataset acquired in May 2009, and 2) a classification of tamarisk impacted by the tamarisk beetle from a 0.2 m resolution multispectral image dataset acquired in May 2013.
These raster data represent the results of a case study in Arizona on how vertebrate richness metrics can be used with existing state and federal guidance in wind and solar energy facility siting. Each of the four geodatabases contain eight native terrestrial wildlife group models in Arizona: all vertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, bats, raptors and long-distance migratory birds...
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...
DATA RELEASE - Laboratory experiment data—turbidity response to increasing silt and clay concentration-Data
These data were compiled during a laboratory experiment showing the turbidity response to increasing silt and clay concentration. The sediment used for the laboratory experiment was collected in the Grand Canyon study area, from the bank of the Little Colorado River, approximately 1 kilometer upstream from its confluence with the Colorado River.
Geospatial Data for Object-Based High-Resolution Classification of Conifers within Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat across Nevada and a Portion of Northeastern California
These products were developed to provide scientific and correspondingly spatially explicit information regarding the distribution and abundance of conifers (namely, singleleaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla), Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma), and western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis)) in Nevada and portions of northeastern California.
This application provides an easy-to-use interface for conducting weighted surveillance for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in white-tailed deer populations. The first tool called 'Design' is used for planning weighted surveillance activities. The second tool called 'Estimation' is for use after sampling for CWD detection has occurred and no positive cases were found.
The Greater Sage-grouse annotated bibliography was developed as a synthesis of scientific information developed since the records of decision were completed for 2015 Bureau of Land Management/U.S. Department of Agriculture plan amendments for Greater Sage-grouse. This site provides an interactive, searchable interface to summaries of the scientific literature.
In this Year in Review report, you will find details on staffing, vacancies, research funding, and other pertinent information. You will also see snapshots of Unit projects with information on how results have been or are being applied by cooperators. That is the essence of what we do: science that matter.
The Clinch-Powell River Basins Spanning Virginia and Tennessee
Multiple search functions: State, major drainage area (HUC2), drainage area (HUC6), drainage area (HUC8), Zebra Mussel Collections, and fact sheets.
The Cooperative Research Unit mission is our hallmark: meeting the actionable science needs of our cooperators, providing them technical guidance and assistance in interpreting and applying new advances in science, and developing the future workforce through graduate education and mentoring.
Multiple large scale solar, wind, and geothermal energy development projects are currently proposed across the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of the southwestern U.S., and these development needs are likely to continue or increase into the future. Agencies tasked with managing biological resources must understand the potential impacts in order to select appropriate sites and to mitigate effects.
Extinct Taxa in States/Provinces of North America (2012)
Extinct Taxa in Ecoregions of North America (2012)
Natural resource condition assessment: Olympic National Park
The Natural Resource Assessment Program aims to document condition and trends of selected park resources while identifying emerging issues and information needs. This information is intended to serve as a platform for natural resource managers to use in developing future resource stewardship priorities and planning.Olympic National Park (OLYM) on...Mccaffery, Rebecca; Jenkins, Kurt J.
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
Quantitative acoustic differentiation of cryptic species illustrated with King and Clapper rails
Reliable species identification is vital for survey and monitoring programs. Recently, the development of digital technology for recording and analyzing vocalizations has assisted in acoustic surveying for cryptic, rare, or elusive species. However, the quantitative tools that exist for species differentiation are still being refined. Using...Stiffler, Lydia L.; Schroeder, Katie M.; Anderson, James T.; McRae, Susan B.; Katzner, Todd E.
Insect communities in big sagebrush habitat are altered by wildfire and post‐fire restoration seeding
Natural resource managers sow grass, forb, and shrub seeds across millions of hectares of public lands in the western United States to restore sagebrush‐steppe ecosystems burned by wildfire. The effects of post‐fire vegetation treatments on insect communities in these ecosystems have not been investigated.We conducted the first investigation of...Rohde, Ashley T.; Pilliod, David S.; Novak, Stephen J.
American Recent Eulipotyphla: Nesophontids, Solenodons, Moles, and Shrews in the New World
The mammalian taxonomic order Eulipotyphla is comprised of the living taxonomic families Erinaceidae (gymnures, hedgehogs, and moonrats), Solenodontidae (solenodonts), Soricidae (shrews), and Talpidae (desmans and moles). Morphological and molecular studies continue to alter our view of relationships within and among these families, and this...Woodman, Neal
GenEst user guide—Software for a generalized estimator of mortality
GenEst (Generalized Estimator) is a software tool for estimating the total number of individuals arriving in an area during a specific time period when their detection probability is unknown but estimable. Its development was motivated by the need to accurately estimate the total number of bird and bat fatalities occurring at wind and solar energy...Simonis, Juniper; Dalthorp, Daniel; Huso, Manuela M.; Mintz, Jeffrey; Madsen, Lisa; Rabie, Paul; Studyvin, Jared
GenEst statistical models—A generalized estimator of mortality
IntroductionGenEst (a generalized estimator of mortality) is a suite of statistical models and software tools for generalized mortality estimation. It was specifically designed for estimating the number of bird and bat fatalities at solar and wind power facilities, but both the software (Dalthorp and others, 2018) and the underlying statistical...Dalthorp, Daniel; Madsen, Lisa; Huso, Manuela M.; Rabie, Paul; Wolpert, Robert; Studyvin, Jared; Simonis, Juniper; Mintz, Jeffrey
Batrachochytrium salamandriovrans (Bsal) in Appalachia—Using scenario building to proactively prepare for a wildlife disease outbreak caused by an invasive amphibian chytrid fungus
Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), a pathogenic chytrid fungus, is nonnative to the United States and poses a disease threat to vulnerable amphibian hosts. The Bsal fungus may lead to increases in threatened, endangered, and sensitive status listings at State, Tribal, and Federal levels, resulting in financial costs associated with...Hopkins, M.C.; Adams, M.J.; Super, P.E.; Olson, D.H.; Hickman, C.R.; English, P.; Sprague, L.; Maska, I.B. ; Pennaz, A.B.; Ludwig, K.A.
Multi-state occupancy models of foraging habitat use by the Hawaiian hoary bat Lasiurus cinereus semotus
Multi-state occupancy modeling can often improve assessments of habitat use and site quality when animal activity or behavior data are available. We examine the use of the approach for evaluating foraging habitat suitability of the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus) from classifications of site occupancy based on flight...Gorresen, Paulo Marcos; Brinck, Kevin W.; DeLisle, Megan A.; Montoya-Aiona, Kristina; Pinzari, Corinna A.; Bonaccorso, Frank
Long-term impacts of exotic grazer removal on native shrub recovery, Santa Cruz Island, California
A combination of overgrazing and exotic species introduction has led to the degradation of habitats worldwide. It is often unclear whether removal of exotic ungulates will lead to the natural reestablishment of native plant communities without further management inputs. I describe here my return to sites on Santa Cruz Island, California, 12 years...Yelenik, Stephanie G.
Flooding tolerance of Sagittaria latifolia and Sagittaria rigida under controlled laboratory conditions
Pool‐scale growing‐season water‐level reductions (drawdowns) have been implemented on the Upper Mississippi River in an effort to improve fish and wildlife habitat. Aquatic vegetation is a key habitat component, with perennial emergent species, such as Sagittaria latifolia and Sagittaria rigida, especially important. River managers...Kenow, Kevin P.; Gray, Brian R.; Lyons, James E.
Resiliency of biological soil crusts and vascular plants varies among morphogroups with disturbance intensity
Background and aimsDisturbance affects the ability of organisms to persist on a site, and disturbance history acts as a filter of community composition. This is true for vascular plants and morphological groups of biocrusts, which respond differently to disturbance. Although functioning arid ecosystems include both groups, filtering of...Condon, Lea A.; Pyke, David A.
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.
Photovoltaic, or solar, cells array at the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility in the Mojave Desert and a wind energy facility in the Northeastern United States.
A completed restoration field trial site just after installation. Half of the site is seeded, and the other half had plants and weed cloth (white fabric) installed. RAMPS will be collecting data on this site for...
These workers are planting seedlings as part of the restoration field trial network. Each garden in the network is examining seedlings and seeds in conjunction with restoration treatments to better understand how...
View of a recently installed Restoration Field Trial Network site in the rangelands of Northern Arizona. This part of the site contains the seeding treatments: mulch, ConMods (metal crosses), pits, and two...
Image of scientist setting up a radar system in Colorado to test its efficacy in detecting birds and bats flying towards spinning wind turbines.
A Federally endangered salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) climbs a branch.
An adult, female northern harrier (Circus cyaneus) flies overhead in Suisun Marsh, CA. Before habitat loss drove declines in the bird's populations, Suisun Marsh hosted the state's largest population of northern harriers.
Black rats were unintentionally introduced to Hawai’i in the late 1800s, most likely as hitchhikers on trading vessels. Since their introduction, they have disrupted native ecosystems by destroying native plants, eating native arthropods, and depredating bird nests. Black rats have contributed to population declines and species extinctions of Hawaiian forest birds, and...
New research has revealed significant changes to Alaska’s landscape in recent decades
The Blackstone River in Rhode Island is where one of the Nation’s first fish passages was built back in 1714 to help fish navigate past manmade obstructions so they could complete their instinctual migration cycles.
Now through late July, 2018, U.S. Geological Survey scientists will conduct fieldwork on public lands in Phillips and Valley counties near Malta and Glasgow, Montana, as part of a grassland bird project.
A population of exotic invasive Cuban treefrogs has been discovered in New Orleans, more than 430 miles (700 kilometers) from the nearest known population in Florida, making this the first known breeding population in the mainland United States outside that state, reports a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Scroll down to hear and download calls of Cuban treefrogs and two native treefrogs.
In the featured photo, WERC scientists search for potential nesting habitat of seabirds like the Ashy Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa) on False Klamath Rock off the coast of California.
Research Ecologist Dan Fagre is the recipient of the 2017 Eugene M. Shoemaker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Communications
Honolulu, Hawaii – Control efforts such as the removal of shipwrecks and application of chlorine may help mitigate the damaging effects of corallimorph, which is a type of invasive anemone, on valuable coral reefs in the Central Pacific Ocean, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.
Environmental DNA picks up traces of the elusive mammals’ saliva, skin, waste, or exhaled breaths.
In the future of wildlife tracking, sea otters have their own social network.
Florida's second-largest turtle rescue of 21st century is “exhausting, inspiring,” USGS biologist says