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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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Declines of pollinators have engendered worldwide concern, but trends in the faunas of most insect pollinators, including bees, remain uncertain. We are studying the bee fauna of southern Rhode Island to provide baseline information about the current fauna, and information about bee-flower interactions.
Integrating Mapping and Modeling to Support the Restoration of Bird Nesting Habitat at Breton Island National Wildlife Refuge
Breton Island, located at the southern end of the Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana, is part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) established in 1904 by Theodore Roosevelt. Breton NWR is recognized as a globally important bird habitat because of the resources it provides, and hosts one of Louisiana's largest historical brown pelican nesting colonies. Without actions to restore sand to the...
Effective management programs for vector-borne pathogens, such as West Nile Virus and the Lyme disease spirochete, are necessary to protect public health. However, some vector control methods, such as landscape manipulations and pesticide applications, can also adversely affect nontarget species and environmentally sensitive natural systems. Efficient targeting and integration of vector...
A Structured Decision-Making Framework for Controlling, Monitoring, and Containment of Invasive Species through Trapping: An Application to the Argentine Black and White Tegu
USGS is applying decision analysis to identify cost-effective methods for controlling invasive species like the Argentine black and white tegu.
National Wildlife Refuges provide habitat for important fish and wildlife species and services that benefit coastal communities, like storm-surge protection. USGS scientists are helping coastal refuges plan for and adapt to sea-level rise.
Melaleuca is an invasive tree that is highly problematic in the Everglades, threatening native wildlife and habitat. USGS is helping to improve management strategies for the invasive plant.
In November 2018, USGS researchers joined partners in South Florida where they sampled freshwater bodies for non-native fishes. The bi-annual Fish Slam event helps monitor new introductions and document range expansion of known non-native fishes.
This project is a collaboration of scientists from the USGS and University of Georgia to collect and analyze data describing how small-stream fishes use habitats created through stream restoration activities. The USFWS Region 4 requested this Science Support Partnership (SSP) project as a means to evaluate the effectiveness of stream restoration (primarily in north Georgia, and potentially in...
The Florida apple snail is a critical component of the state's wetland food webs. USGS scientists assess the effects of native and non-native fishes on the native snail populations.
Development of a Quantitative Risk Assessment Tool to Predict Invasiveness of Non-native Freshwater Fishes in Everglades National Park
The introduction of non-native fishes is a problem across the United States, particularly in Florida. USGS scientists are developing a decision support tool to help natural resourece managers prioritize which species to focus prevention, detection, rapid response, and control efforts.
Joint Ecosystem Modeling (JEM) provides real-time habitat suitability models for species of interest in Everglades restoration planning, including the federally endangered Everglades snail kite.
Mycobacteriosis among northern snakehead fish in the Potomac River
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.
The North American Breeding Bird Survey dataset contains avian point count data for more than 700 North American bird taxa (species, races, and unidentified species groupings). These data are collected annually during the breeding season, primarily June, along thousands of randomly established roadside survey routes in the United States and Canada.
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.
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)
Phylogeography and evolution of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus in China
Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) is a well-known rhabdoviral pathogen of salmonid fish. In this study, a comprehensive analysis of 40 IHNV viruses isolated from thirteen fish farms in nine geographically dispersed Chinese provinces during 2012 to 2017 is presented. Identity of nucleotide and amino acid sequences among all the...Xu, Liming; Zhao, Jingzhuang; Liu, Miao; Kurath, Gael; Breyta, Rachel B.; Ren, Guangming; Yin, Jiasheng; Liu, Hongbai; Lu, Tongyan
Occupancy models for citizen-science data
Large‐scale citizen‐science projects, such as atlases of species distribution, are an important source of data for macroecological research, for understanding the effects of climate change and other drivers on biodiversity, and for more applied conservation tasks, such as early‐warning systems for biodiversity loss.However, citizen‐science data...Altwegg, Res; Nichols, James D.
Estimating uncertainty of North American landbird population sizes
An important metric for many aspects of species conservation planning and risk assessment is an estimate of total population size. For landbirds breeding in North America, Partners in Flight (PIF) generates global, continental, and regional population size estimates. These estimates are an important component of the PIF species assessment process...Stanton, Jessica C.; Blancher, Peter J.; Rosenberg, Kenneth V.; Panjabi, Arvind O.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.
Water column nutrient processing rates in rivermouths of Green Bay (Lake Michigan)
Understanding the quantity and form of nutrient loads to large lakes is necessary to understand controls over primary production, phytoplankton community composition and the production of phytotoxins. Nutrient loading estimates to large lakes are primarily made at stream gages that are deliberately placed outside the direct influence of lake...Larson, James H.; Evans, Mary Anne; Fitzpatrick, Faith A.; Frost, Paul C.; Bailey, Sean; Kennedy, Robert J.; James, William F.; Richardson, William B.; Reneau, Paul C.
Simulating demography, genetics, and spatially explicit processes to inform reintroduction of a threatened char
The success of species reintroductions can depend on a combination of environmental, demographic, and genetic factors. Although the importance of these factors in the success of reintroductions is well‐accepted, they are typically evaluated independently, which can miss important interactions. For species that persist in metapopulations, movement...Mims, Meryl C.; Day, Casey C.; Burkhart, Jacob J.; Fuller, Matthew R.; Hinkle, Jameson; Bearlin, Andrew; Dunham, Jason B.; DeHaan, Patrick W.; Holden, Zachary A.; Landguth, Erin L.
River‐valley morphology, basin size, and flow‐event magnitude interact to produce wide variation in flooding dynamics
Inundation dynamics are a key driver of ecosystem form and function in river‐valley bottoms. Inundation itself is an outcome of multi‐scalar interactions and can vary strongly within and among river reaches. As a result, establishing to what degree and how inundation dynamics vary spatially both within and among river reaches can be challenging....Van Appledorn, Molly; Baker, Matthew E.; Miller, Andrew J.
Economical environmental sampler designs for detecting airborn spread of fungi responsible for rapid `Ōhi` death
We designed two new samplers for monitoring airborne particulates that rely on either natural wind currents (Passive Environmental Sampler) or a battery-operated fan (Active Environmental Sampler). Both samplers are significantly less expensive than commercial devices such as Rotorod® and Burkard Samplers that are used in the agricultural and...Atkinson, Carter T.; Roy, Kylle; Granthon, Carolina
Effects of flood inundation, invasion by Phalaris arundinacea, and nitrogen enrichment on extracellular enzyme activity in an Upper Mississippi River floodplain forest
The community structures and ecosystem functions of floodplains are primarily driven by variation in flood inundation. However, global changes, such as invasive species and nutrient enrichment, may alter the effects of flooding in these systems. We added nitrogen (N) to correspond with twice the annual atmospheric deposition rate of the south-west...De Jager, Nathan R.; Swanson, Whitney; Hernandez, Daniel L.; Reich, Julia; Erickson, Richard A.; Strauss, Eric A.
A vision for documenting and sharing knowledge in conservation
As editors, we mark the launch of Conservation Science and Practice, a journal of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), with the following remarks framing the purpose and aspirations of the journal. Our aim is to share scholarship on and experiences of the practice of conservation. We define conservation practice as the application of...Schwartz, Mark W.; Belhabib, Dyhia; Biggs, Duan; Cook, Carly N.; Fitzsimmons, James; Giordano, Anthony J.; Glew, Louise; Gottlieb, Sara; Kattan, Gustavo; Knight, Andrew T.; Lundquist, Carolyn J.; Lynam, Antony J.; Masuda, Yuta J.; Mwampamba, Tuyeni H.; Nuno, Ana; Plumptre, Andrew J.; Ray, Justina C.; Reddy, Sheila M.; Runge, Michael C.
The missing dead: The lost role of animal remains in nutrient cycling in North American Rivers
While leaf litter, wood, and other plant remnants are known to play a central role in lotic ecosystems, animal remains (carcasses, bones, shells) have received less attention. We propose a simple classification scheme for animal remains in rivers based on origin (authochthonous vs. allochthonous) and frequency (pulsed vs continuous). We then...Wengerd, Seth J.; Subalusky, Amanda L.; Freeman, Mary C.
Compounding effects of climate change reduce population viability of a montane amphibian
Anthropogenic climate change presents challenges and opportunities to the growth, reproduction, and survival of individuals throughout their life cycles. Demographic compensation among life‐history stages has the potential to buffer populations from decline, but alternatively, compounding negative effects can lead to accelerated population decline...Kissel, Amanda M.; Palen, Wendy J.; Ryan, Maureen E.; Adams, Michael J.
Evaluating response distances to develop buffer zones for staging terns
Buffer zones, calculated by flight‐initiation distance (FID), are often used to reduce anthropogenic disturbances to wildlife, but FID can vary significantly across life‐history stages. We examined the behavioral effect of potential natural (gulls and shorebirds) and anthropogenic (pedestrians) disturbance sources to staging roseate (Sterna...Althouse, Melissa A.; Cohen, Jonathan B.; Karpanty, Sarah M.; Spendelow, Jeffrey A.; Davis, Kayla L.; Parsons, Katherine C.; Luttazi, Cristin F.
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.
Image collage of USGS Ecosystems Mission Area scientists in the field.
Top left – little brown bat with white-nose syndrome, USGS scientists with invasive python in the Everglades, male Laysan Duck.
Middle left – Greater sage-grouse, USGS scientist sampling in Glacier National Park, USGS scientist sampling a frog for chytrid fungus.
Lower left – Black and
Opening slide for the Intro to GenEst, A Generalized Estimator of Mortality, Workshop held at the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative's Wind Wildlife Research Meeting XII on November 26, 2018 in St. Paul Minnesota. https://www.nationalwind.org/meetings/wind-wildlife-research-meeting-...
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. This episode's buzz is all about pollinators, the birds, bees, bats, beetles, and other animals that feed on pollen from plants and help bring about one...
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...
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...
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...
A broken concrete foundation and some shattered floor tiles were all that remained of the sea turtle researchers' field station and home base after Category Four Hurricane Michael struck Cape San Blas on Oct. 10, 2018.
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...
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  and...
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.
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.
Bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles provide vital but often invisible pollination services that support terrestrial wildlife and plant communities, and healthy watersheds.
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.
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.