Mission Areas

Ecosystems

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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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Filter Total Items: 715
Date published: July 24, 2018
Status: Active

Avian Influenza

Avian influenza is a viral disease caused by various strains of avian influenza viruses that can be classified as low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) or highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).  It remains a global disease with potential high consequence with the potential to threaten wildlife, agriculture, and human health. 

Date published: July 24, 2018
Status: Active

Avian Influenza Surveillance

The USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) serves on the U.S. Interagency Steering Committee for Surveillance for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Wild Birds to standardize surveillance for this disease and is a leading partner in conducting morbidity and mortality investigations in support of the Interagency Strategic Plan for Early Detection and Monitoring for Avian Influenzas of...

Date published: July 23, 2018
Status: Active

Index of Wildlife Disease Information Resources

The USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) provides the following index of wildlife disease information resources as a starting point to learn about selected wildlife diseases. The index includes informational web pages and communications and outreach products from the NWHC. To search for scientific literature, please visit the USGS Publications...

Date published: July 23, 2018
Status: Active

BOR environmental DNA sampling for invasive mussels at USGS gages

As part of an ongoing project funded by the Bureau of Reclamation and lead by the Idaho Water Sciences Center (IDWSC) and Northern Rocky Mountain Research Center (NOROCK), the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC) will analyze environmental DNA samples collected at gage stations directly downstream of multiple reservoirs throughout the Columbia River Basin. The goal of this...

Contacts: Jon Amberg
Date published: July 23, 2018
Status: Active

Avoidance behavior of cold-, cool-, and warmwater fish exposed to Zequanox in a two-choice preference chamber

Zebra (Dreissenia polymorpha, Pallas 1771) and quagga (D. bugensis, Andrusov 1897) mussels, collectively referred to as dreissenid mussels, are invasive bivalves native to the Ponto-Caspian region of Eurasia (Stepien et al. 2013; Benson 2018a). High fecundity and a free-swimming planktonic life stage allow for easy and rapid dispersal of dreissenid mussels (Mackie 1991;...

Contacts: James Luoma
Date published: July 23, 2018
Status: Active

Assessment of newly developed acoustic stimuli for manipulating movement of bigheaded carps

Bigheaded carps, like other cyprinids, have specialized structures known as Weberian ossicles that increase their hearing range and sensitivity. Recent results from controlled laboratory studies have indicated that playback of a recording of an outboard boat motor was effective at altering silver and bighead carp behavior. 

Date published: July 12, 2018
Status: Active

Emerging Viruses - HSL

Fish Diseases

Emerging Viruses

Date published: July 12, 2018
Status: Active

Nucleospora Salmonis - HSL

Fish Diseases

Nucleospora Salmonis

Date published: July 12, 2018
Status: Completed

Whirling Disease - HSL

Fish Diseases

Whirling Disease

Date published: July 12, 2018
Status: Active

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) - HSL

Fish Diseases

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS)

Date published: July 12, 2018
Status: Active

Spring Viremia of Carp (SVC) - HSL

Fish Diseases

Spring Viremia of Carp (SVC)

Date published: July 12, 2018
Status: Active

Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis (IHN) - HSL

Fish Diseases

Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis (IHN)

Filter Total Items: 115
Date published: December 1, 2016

DATA RELEASE - TsezhinBii Field and Summary Data, Navajo Nation, Arizona, 2004

These data provide the locational coordinates, soil texture characteristics, plant species occurrence and cover, and vegetation summary characteristics for the Tsezhin bii region in the south-central area of the Navajo Nation.

Date published: October 31, 2016

Dam Removal Information Portal (DRIP)

The Dam Removal Information Portal (DRIP) is a web application where partners, scientists, and practitioners can find information on dam removals and associated scientific studies. It is a visualization tool, including a map and interactive charts, of a dam-removal literature review designed and developed by a working group at the USGS John...

Date published: October 1, 2016

Approved Data Releases

This public folder contains approved data release products produced by the USGS Western Ecologial Research Center. This folder also includes metadata that will be harvested and displayed by the USGS Science Data Catalog ( http://data.usgs.gov/datacatalog) to improve access and discovery. 

Date published: July 14, 2016

Diamondback Terrapins in Chesapeake Bay, 2002 Beach Survey

The survey was conducted in summer 2002 to assess the presence of terrapins in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay. Results are spatial locations of evidence related to nesting.

Date published: May 2, 2016

Evidence of Absence Webinar

This video describes a statistical software package called "Evidence of Absence" that can be used to provide evidence of compliance with incidental take permits. It will be useful to wildlife managers and wind energy operators to estimate, with reasonable certainty, that a certain number of birds or bats have been killed at wind energy facilities, even when no carcasses are found.

Date published: April 27, 2016

South Florida Information Access (SOFIA)

South Florida Information Access (SOFIA) was established to provide coherent information access in support of research, decision-making, and resource management for the South Florida ecosystem restoration effort.

Date published: April 21, 2016

Sea-Level Rise Visualization for Alabama and Mississippi

The interactive sea-level rise visualization tool results from a collaborative effort between NOAA's Coastal Services Center, USGS WARC, and USGS Mississippi Water Science Center. The tool illustrates the scale of potential flooding, but not the exact location, and does not account for erosion, subsidence, sediment accretion, or future construction. 

Date published: April 21, 2016

Alabama Strategic Habitat Units Applications

WARC's Advanced Applications Team develops and maintains databases and applications to help the Alabama Department of Transportation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ensure new road construction and existing road maintenance at waterway crossings don't adversely affect threatened and endangered species dependent on those waterways. 

Date published: April 21, 2016

Hurricane Sandy Ecosystems Application Development

This showcases the data and analytical products from studies related to habitat change, storm surge and ecological modeling, migratory bird impacts, and other studies conducted at WARC and funded by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. WARC's Advanced Applications Team also supports the efforts of scientists conducting research in Hurricane Sandy-impacted areas. 

Date published: April 21, 2016

Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS)

CRMS is the largest of all Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPRRA) funded projects and has established a network of ~400 biological monitoring stations across coastal Louisiana spanning all coastal habitat types and generating tremendous volumes of data. 

Date published: April 21, 2016

Mississippi Coastal Improvements Program (MsCIP) Barrier Island Restoration

MsCIP was developed in 2009 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, in conjunction with other Federal and State agencies, to help reduce future storm damage along the Mississippi Gulf coast. In 2014, in cooperation with the USACE Mobile District, WARC's Advanced Applications Team began development on the MsCIP Data Viewer, an interactive web-mapping environment. 

Date published: April 20, 2016

Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA)

CWPPRA is the oldest and largest coastal restoration effort operating across coastal Louisiana and has constructed 105 restoration projects since its establishment over 20 years ago. WARC's Advanced Applications Team has proudly worked with the CWPPRA Task Force over the years to ensure timely and accurate project-specific information is publicly available. 

Filter Total Items: 2,931
Year Published: 2018

Density estimation of sound-producing terrestrial animals using single automatic acoustic recorders and distance sampling

Obtaining accurate information on the distribution, density, and abundance of animals is an important first step toward their conservation. Methodological approaches using automatic acoustic recorders for species that communicate acoustically are gaining increased interest because of their advantages over traditional sampling methods. In this...

Sebastián-González, Esther; Camp, Richard J.; Tanimoto, Ann M.; Monteiro de Oliveira, Priscilla; Lima, Bruna Barreto; Marques, Tiago A.; Hart, Patrick J.
Sebastián-González, E., R. J. Camp, A. M. Tanimoto, P. M. De Oliveira, B. B. Lima, T. A. Marques and P. J. Hart. 2018. Density estimation of sound-producing terrestrial animals using single automatic acoustic recorders and distance sampling. Avian Conservation and Ecology 13 (2):7.

Year Published: 2018

Snowmelt timing regulates community composition, phenology, and physiological performance of alpine plants

The spatial patterning of alpine plant communities is strongly influenced by the variation in physical factors such as temperature and moisture, which are strongly affected by snow depth and snowmelt patterns. Earlier snowmelt timing and greater soil-moisture limitations may favor wide-ranging species adapted to a broader set of ecohydrological...

Winkler, Daniel E.; Butz, Ramona J.; Germino, Matthew J.; Reinhardt, Keith; Kueppers, Lara M.
Winkler, D.E., Butz, R.J., Germino, M.J., Reinhardt, K., Kueppers, L.M., 2018, Snowmelt timing regulates community composition, phenology, and physiological performance of alpine plants: Frontiers in Plant Science, v. 9, p. 1140, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2018.01140.

Year Published: 2018

Evaluation of sockeye salmon after passage through an innovative upstream fish-passage system at Cle Elum Dam, Washington, 2017

Executive SummaryThe Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology), working with the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project Workgroup (composed of representatives of the Yakama Nation; Federal, State, county, and city governments; environmental organizations; and irrigation districts), developed...

Kock, Tobias J.; Evans, Scott D.; Hansen, Amy C.; Perry, Russell W.; Hansel, Hal C.; Haner, Philip V.; Tomka, Ryan G.
Kock, T.J., Evans, S.D., Hansen, A.C., Perry, R.W., Hansel, H.C., Haner, P.V., and Tomka, R.G., 2018, Evaluation of sockeye salmon after passage through an innovative upstream fish-passage system at Cle Elum Dam, Washington, 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018-1116, 30 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181116.

Year Published: 2018

Survival, travel time, and utilization of Yolo Bypass, California, by outmigrating acoustic-tagged late-fall Chinook salmon

Juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) migrating through California's Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta toward the Pacific Ocean face numerous challenges to their survival. The Yolo Bypass is a broad floodplain of the Sacramento River that floods in about 70 percent of years in response to large, uncontrolled runoff events. As one of...

Pope, Adam C.; Perry, Russell W.; Hance, Dalton J.; Hansel, Hal C.
Pope, A.C., Perry, R.W., Hance, D.J., and Hansel, H.C., 2018, Survival, travel time, and utilization of Yolo Bypass, California, by outmigrating acoustic-tagged late-fall Chinook salmon: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018-1118, 33 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181118.

Year Published: 2018

U.S. Geological Survey response to white-nose syndrome in bats

OverviewSince its discovery in 2007, the fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) has killed more than six million bats. Ten of 47 bat species have been affected by WNS across 32 States and 5 Canadian Provinces. The cold-growing fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans) that causes WNS infects skin covering the muzzle, ears, and wings of...

Hopkins, M. Camille ; Soileau, Suzanna C.
Hopkins, M.C., and Soileau, S.C., 2018, U.S. Geological Survey response to white-nose syndrome in bats: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2018–3020, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20183020.

Year Published: 2018

Conservation threats and priorities for raptors across Asia

With long coastlines and some of the world’s most important rivers, mountain ranges, high-altitude plateaus, and islands, Asia is the largest and most populous continent in the world (Lyde 1904; Spencer 1954; Population Reference Bureau 2016). Asia supports all major terrestrial ecosystems and all major climatic types (Galloway et al. 1998;...

Conception, Camille B.; Bildstein, Keith L.; Collar, Nigel J.; Katzner, Todd E.
Conception, C.B., Bildstein, K.L., Collar, N.J., Katzner, T.E., 2018, Conservation threats and priorities for raptors across Asia In Sarasola, J.H., Grande, J.M., Negro, J.J., eds., Birds of Prey: Cham, SpringerLink, p. 395-418, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73745-4_17.

Year Published: 2018

Post-fledging movements and habitat associations of White-tailed Sea Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) in Central Asia

Behavior of young birds can have important consequences for population dynamics. We investigated the autumnal post-fledging movements of 3 White-tailed Sea Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) hatched in Kazakhstan. All 3 eagles traveled south, flying on average 25–108 km/d. Movement was nonrandom, with eagles generally traveling near mosaics of forest,...

Bragin, Evgeny A.; Poessel, Sharon; Lanzone, Michael J.; Katzner, Todd E.
Bragin, E.A., Poessel, S.A., Lanzone, M.J., Katzner, T.E., 2018, Post-fledging movements and habitat associations of White-tailed Sea Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) in central Asia: The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1676/17-055.1.

Year Published: 2018

Assessing the effectiveness of riparian restoration projects using Landsat and precipitation data from the cloud-computing application ClimateEngine.org

Riparian vegetation along streams provides a suite of ecosystem services in rangelands and thus is the target of restoration when degraded by over-grazing, erosion, incision, or other disturbances. Assessments of restoration effectiveness depend on defensible monitoring data, which can be both expensive and difficult to collect. We present a...

Hausner, Mark B.; Huntington, Justin L.; Nash, Caroline; Morton, Charles; McEvoy, Daniel J.; Pilliod, David S.; Hegewisch, Katherine C.; Daudert, Britta; Abatzoglou, John T.; Grant, Gordon E.
Hausner, M.B., Huntington, J.L., Nash, C., Morton, C., McEvoy, D.J., Pilliod, D.S., Hegewisch, K.C., Daudert, B., Abatzoglou, J.T., Grant, G.E., 2018, Assessing the effectiveness of riparian restoration projects using Landsat and precipitation data from the cloud-computing application ClimateEngine.org: Ecological Engineering, v. 120, no. 2018, p. 432-440, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2018.06.024.

Year Published: 2018

Post-spring migration colony-site prospecting by Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii)

We recorded banded Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii) and unbanded individuals mated to banded individuals in May and the first third of June in 2001 and 2002 to quantify post spring migration prospecting by this species at Falkner Island, Connecticut, USA. In 2001, more than one quarter: 34/125 (27.2%) of those observed by 19 May and 38/150 (25.3...

Spendelow, Jeffrey A.; Eichenwald, Adam J.
Spendelow, J. A. and Eichenwald, A. J., 2018, Post-Spring Migration Colony-site Prospecting by Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii): North American Bird Bander, v. 43, no. 1, p. 1-6.

Year Published: 2018

Bat community response to silvicultural treatments in bottomland hardwood forests managed for wildlife in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

Silvicultural treatments (e.g., selective timber harvests) that are prescribed to promote wildlife habitat are intended to alter the physical structure of forests to achieve conditions deemed beneficial for wildlife. Such treatments have been advocated for management of bottomland hardwood forests on public conservation lands in the Mississippi...

Ketzler, Loraine P.; Comer, Christopher E.; Twedt, Daniel J.
Ketzler, L. P., Comer, C. E., and Twedt, D. J., 2018, Bat community response to silvicultural treatments in bottomland hardwood forests managed for wildlife in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley: Forest Ecology and Management, v. 417, p. 40-48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2018.02.047

Year Published: 2018

Juvenile salmonid monitoring following removal of Condit Dam in the White Salmon River Watershed, Washington, 2017

Condit Dam, at river kilometer 5.3 on the White Salmon River, Washington, was breached in 2011, and removed completely in 2012, providing anadromous salmonids with the opportunity to recolonize habitat blocked for nearly 100 years. Prior to dam removal, a multi-agency workgroup concluded that the preferred salmonid restoration alternative was to...

Jezorek, Ian G.; Hardiman, Jill M.
Jezorek, I.G., and Hardiman, J.M., 2018, Juvenile salmonid monitoring following removal of Condit Dam in the White Salmon River watershed, Washington, 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018-1106, 31 p. https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181106.

Year Published: 2018

On the reliability of N‐mixture models for count data

N‐mixture models describe count data replicated in time and across sites in terms of abundance N and detectability p. They are popular because they allow inference about N while controlling for factors that influence p without the need for marking animals. Using a capture–recapture perspective, we show that the loss of information that results...

Barker, Richard J.; Schofield, Matthew J.; Link, William A.; Sauer, John R.
Baker, R. J., Schofield, M. R., Link, W. A., and Sauer, J. R., 2018, On the reliability of N-mixture models for count data: Biometrics, v. 74, no. 1, p. 369-377. https://doi.org/10.1111/biom.12734

Filter Total Items: 661
A discussion group looks at notes on a large easel pad
December 31, 2017

Collaborative Discussion

The USGS RAMPS program hosts workshops where land managers from federal, state, and local agencies, practitioners, and NGO's can come together to discuss challenges and develop creative solutions. Here,

...
November 30, 2017

2017 Nov. Pub. Lecture—Sea Otters: Confessions of a Keystone Carnivore

  • Sea otters are perhaps the best-known example of a "keystone predator".
  • Sea otter behavior -- in particular diet specialization and limited mobility -- can mediate their effects on ecosystem dynamics.
  • Other predators, especially large sea stars, can complement and reinforce the keystone role of sea otters: this became apparent with the loss of all
...
Attribution: Ecosystems
November 24, 2017

Serene Sirens: USGS Sea Cow Science

A USGS video about manatees reveals that while the animals may act like the cows of the sea, they also have more than a bit of the magical siren or mermaid about them.  Go for a serene swim.

Attribution: Ecosystems
A Cuban treefrog on a green leaf
November 13, 2017

Cuban treefrogs have leaped into Louisiana

Non-native Cuban treefrogs have established a breeding population in New Orleans, Louisiana, the first such population on the U.S. mainland outside Florida. The treefrogs were discovered at the Audubon Zoo shortly after a shipment of palm trees from Florida were planted in the zoo's elephant enclosure in 2016. USGS scientist Brad Glorioso confirmed the presence of a

...
October 31, 2017

USGS Hammond Bay Biological Station Building Demo Time Lapse Video

Out with the old, in with the new! A state-of-the-art aquatic science laboratory is being built on the shores of Lake Huron at the USGS Hammond Bay Biological Station (HBBS), one of seven field stations of the USGS Great Lakes Science Center, operated in partnership with the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. To make way for the new laboratory, four old buildings on the HBBS

...
Sonoran desert scene, complete with prickly pear, saguaro, and cholla cactus species.
October 31, 2017

Sonoran Desert Cactus Guild

The iconic Sonoran Desert is home to many species of cactus, vascular plants, and wildlife, including the giant saguaro, cholla, and prickley pear cacti seen here. Plants and animals have adapted to living in such a harsh dry environment. For example, the plants in this photo have grown up in the shade of one another, and survived due to protection from the hot sun. The

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R/V Arcticus at Sturgeon Bay
September 21, 2017

R/V Arcticus at Sturgeon Bay

Fog surrounds the USGS Research Vessel Arcticus as it comes into port at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

Man measuring a little red bird.
August 31, 2017

Iiwi banding 2

Measuring the wing length of a banded Iiwi

Photomicrograph of a green desmid alga resembling a holiday ornament
August 31, 2017

A natural marvel in a single cell

This single-celled freshwater algae wasa collected as part of the first-ever study of the green algae family called desmids in Florida’s Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, in the northern Everglades. USGS biologist Barry H. Rosen, an expert on freshwater algae who leads the study, used a technique called differential interference microscopy to highlight the relief of

...
Man holding red bird.
August 31, 2017

Iiwi with transmitter

Iiwi with small radio transmitter attached to help track the bird's movement through the forest

View of the lush green San Rafael grasslands of southern Arizona and northern Mexico, framed by a cloudy blue sky.
August 31, 2017

The Sonoran desert has grasslands, too.

The San Rafael grasslands are a diverse ecosystem in southern Arizona along the U.S./Mexico border region, a part of the Madrean Archipelago ecoregion. The USGS RAMPS program conducts collaborative

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Filter Total Items: 280
Date published: April 11, 2017

Florida Manatees Likely to Persist For At Least 100 Years—US Geological Survey  

Florida’s iconic manatee population is highly likely to endure for the next 100 years, so long as wildlife managers continue to protect the marine mammals and their habitat, a new study by the US Geological Survey and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute has found.

Date published: April 11, 2017

Scientists Evaluate Ways to Save Hawaiian Honeycreeper

Long distance flights in search of flowering trees threatens the Hawaiian Iiwi as climate change increases the distribution of avian diseases

Date published: April 11, 2017

Media Inquiries on USGS Manatee Research

We appreciate your interest in USGS' Sirenia Project. To help inform members of the media and public, we have provided relevant publications, reports, and websites. 

Date published: April 10, 2017

Turtles Die in Southern California Lake Following Drought and Fire

Almost all of the turtles living in a southern California lake died following a large fire and years of drought, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report published in the journal Knowledge and Management of Aquatic Ecosystems.

Date published: April 4, 2017

Hybridization between Native and Invasive Trout is Increasing in the West

Hybridization, or the interbreeding of species, is increasing between native and invasive trout across the northern Rocky Mountains, according to a study released Tuesday by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners.

Date published: March 29, 2017

USGS and Partners Team Up to Track Down Nonnative and Invasive Fishes in South Florida

The Fish Slam event discovered two nonnative fish species never seen before in Big Cypress National Preserve.

 

 

Date published: March 28, 2017

Sex-Shifting Fish: Growth Rate Could Determine Sea Lamprey Sex

Unlike most animals, sea lampreys, an invasive, parasitic species of fish damaging the Great Lakes, could become male or female depending on how quickly they grow, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study published today.

Date published: March 23, 2017

Chandler Robbins Inspired Generations of Scientists and Birders, 1918-2017

U.S. Geological Survey scientist emeritus Chandler S. Robbins, whose heartfelt love of birds, quicksilver mind, boundless energy and sunny demeanor made him a major force in bird conservation in the U.S. and worldwide, died Monday, March 20 at the age of 98.

Date published: March 21, 2017

Livestock grazing effects on sage-grouse: study identifies options to sustain ranching and help wildlife

Effects of livestock grazing on greater sage-grouse populations can be positive or negative depending on the amount of grazing and when grazing occurs, according to research published today in Ecological Applications. The research was conducted by scientists from the United States Geological Survey, Colorado State University and Utah State University.

Date published: March 16, 2017

New Study Supports the Rarity and Limited Range of a Kauai Endemic Bird

Approximately 500 Puaiohi exist in the wild, all on Kauai

Date published: March 15, 2017

Wild Birds an Unlikely Source of Costly Poultry Disease

Wild ducks and shorebirds do not appear to carry Newcastle disease viruses that sicken or kill poultry, according to a new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: March 13, 2017

Increase of Alaskan Snow Geese OK for Other Species

A new report by the USGS finds that although snow geese are increasing rapidly in northern Alaska, they are not having a negative effect on black brant. Brant are a goose species that shares its nesting habitat with snow geese.