Mission Areas

Ecosystems

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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Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field

An Ecosystems Mission Area original podcast series that tells stories about our science, our adventures, and our efforts to better understand fish and wildlife and the ecosystems that support them.  

Ep 3 - CWD

Where's our Science?

Where

Find out where Ecosystems Science Centers, Field Stations, and Cooperative Research Units are located.

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News

Publications

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Year Published: 2019

Improving population estimates of threatened spectacled eiders: Correcting aerial counts for visibility bias

Listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1993, the Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri) population in western Alaska has since rebounded, prompting an assessment of their suitability for delisting. This assessment, however, is limited by aerial-based population estimates that are incompletely corrected for unobserved eiders....

Lewis, Tyler; Michael Swaim; Schmutz, Joel A.; Julian Fischer
Lewis TL, Swaim MA, Schmutz JA, Fischer JB (2019) Improving population estimates of threatened spectacled eiders: correcting aerial counts for visibility bias. Endang Species Res 39:191-206. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00959

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Year Published: 2019

Safety in numbers: Cost-effective endangered species management for viable populations

We develop a bioeconomic model to identify the cost-effective control of an invasive species (rain-bow trout) to achieve a population viability goal for an endangered species (humpback chub) in the Grand Canyon of the U.S. southwest. The population viability optimization problem is no-toriously difficult to solve due to a probabilistic restriction...

Donovan, Pierce; Bair, Lucas S.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Springborn, Michael R.

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Year Published: 2019

Examination of movements and survival of Pahranagat roundtail chub (Gila robusta jordani) in the Pahranagat River and adjacent waters, Nevada, 2014–18

Executive SummaryThe Pahranagat roundtail chub (Gila robusta jordani; hereinafter “chub”) was federally listed as endangered in 1970 (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1970). In the decades following the listing, the chub has declined to extremely low numbers (Tuttle and others, 1990; Guadalupe, 2014). Loss of available habitat appears to be one of...

Martin, Barbara A.; Hayes, Brian S.; Harris, Alta C.
Martin, B.A., Hayes, B.S., and Harris, A.C., 2019, Examination of movements and survival of Pahranagat roundtail chub (Gila robusta jordani) in the Pahranagat River and adjacent waters, Nevada, 2014–18: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1075, 23 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191075.