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

Mission Areas

Ecosystems

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

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: October 26, 2018
Status: Active

Reptiles

Wind and solar energy development in reptile habitats is one of several threats, especially to critical species like the desert tortoise. USGS science supports recovery efforts for the desert tortoise, because populations have continued to decline in spite of designation of critical habitat and publication of a recovery plan. For example, between 2005-2014, populations in critical habitats...

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 26, 2018
Status: Active

Abbreviations

Projects with in the Energy and Wildlife program use many abbreviations to describe partners, equipment, and places. The list below gives the abbreviation and full name of the abbreviations used throughout the Energy and Wildlife program website.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 24, 2018
Status: Active

Fish

Hydropower has served as a significant and reliable source of electricity to many communities and industries across the nation for more than five decades. One of the largest challenges in managing rivers with hydropower resources is maintenance or restoration of viable fisheries that support commercial and sports fishing economic activity, for migratory species such as salmon, herring, and...

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 24, 2018
Status: Active

Raptors

USGS is evaluating how wind energy resources in California affect patterns of raptor use and movement through various habitats. Recent development of energy resources such as wind, oil, gas, and solar, can potentially affect landscapes in ways that require changes in raptor management practices. 

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 24, 2018
Status: Active

Bats

Bats are essential parts of Earth’s environments and perform services valuable to humans. Research by USGS scientists shows that insect-eating bats—through their free pest-suppression services—save farmers at least $3 billion each year. Many bat populations are declining due to factors such as habitat loss and disease. Recent growth in wind-energy development brought the unexpected consequence...

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 24, 2018
Status: Active

Terrestrial Species

USGS science guides responsible energy development by providing managers and energy developers authoritative and cutting edge tools to locate, plan, and build new energy facilities and avoid unnecessary impacts to fish and wildlife. These tools help managers balance energy development with stewardship of America’s fish and wildlife heritage.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 23, 2018
Status: Active

Assessment of the immune status of wild and laboratory-maintained smallmouth bass

Deaths of young-of-year smallmouth bass in the Chesapeake Bay drainage has been noted since 2005. Studies of affected fish have found bacterial, viral and parasitic infections. Mixed infections suggest these fish are immunosuppressed. Understanding the role of specific pathogens and environmental factors that contribute to their presence is important but equally important is the understanding...

Date published: October 22, 2018
Status: Active

Species Distribution Models

USGS scientists combine species data, range maps, and distribution models for amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles occurring in the U.S. These kinds of maps and data are fundamental to conservation planning, forecasting, and research.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 22, 2018
Status: Active

Facility Siting and Operations

Because energy development often takes place in critical wildlife habitats, ecological science can be used 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 22, 2018
Status: Active

Management and Restoration

USGS supports restoration activities by providing tools and data to assist partners.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 22, 2018
Status: Active

Indirect Effects and Disturbance

USGS scientists are studying how land-surface disturbance from energy development affect wildlife.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 21, 2018
Status: Active

Risk and Impact Assessment

USGS scientists study and monitor fish and wildlife, providing natural resource managers evidence-based information on the status and trends of species of interest. A rigorous scientific process is applied to understand risks, measure impacts, and inform solutions to national and local challenges facing both humans and wildlife.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Filter Total Items: 119
Date published: March 6, 2018

Land Treatment Digital Library

The Land Treatment Digital Library (LTDL) was created by the U.S. Geological Survey to catalog legacy land treatment information on Bureau of Land Management lands in the western United States. The LTDL currently houses thousands of treatments from BLM lands across 10 states. 

Date published: March 6, 2018

Conservation Efforts Database

The Conservation Efforts Database is a partnership between the USGS and USFWS to collect and analyze ongoing conservation efforts for the Greater Sage-Grouse. Understanding the distribution and type of conservation actions happening across the landscape will allow visualization and quantification of the extent to which threats are being addressed.

Date published: March 2, 2018

Field Manual of Wildlife Diseases

Access field manual resources from the National Wildlife Health Center.

Date published: March 1, 2018

Quarterly Mortality Reports

National Wildlife Health Center produces quarterly mortality reports, containing information about wildlife mortality events throughout the United States and on occasion across North America.

Date published: March 1, 2018

NPN Visualization Tool

Phenology map viewer from the National Phenology Network.

Date published: March 1, 2018

DATA RELEASE & MODEL - Humpback Chub and Rainbow Trout Joint Mark-Recapture Data and Model, Colorado River, Arizona-Data & Model

These data were compiled for a joint mark-recapture analysis of humpback chub and rainbow trout and include capture histories for both species, and environmental covariates associated with monthly time steps used to measure survival and growth, and environmental covariates used to predict capture probability during each sampling trip.

Date published: February 12, 2018

Shoreline change rates in salt marsh units in Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey

This dataset displays shoreline change rates at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (EBFNWR), which spans over Great Bay, Little Egg Harbor, and Barnegat Bay in New Jersey, USA

Date published: February 1, 2018

NWHC Reports to AFWA and WAFWA

Access NWHC reports to the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Date published: January 18, 2018

DATA RELEASE - Long-term Experimental Forest Growth and Drought Data

Forests around the world are experiencing severe droughts and elevated competitive intensity due to increased tree density. These data were compiled to represent multi-decadal forest growth across eight different experimental forests in the United States, each with replicated levels of density treatments, as well as an important drought index correlated to growth.

Date published: January 15, 2018

Medical Wallet Card for Wildlife Professionals

Biologists working with wildlife may be exposed to a variety of disease agents. NWHC has developed a wallet card that wildlife professionals can carry with them to alert medical personnel about potential exposure to zoonotic diseases. Contact information is provided for the Centers for Disease Control for the occurrence of zoonotic diseases in humans.

Date published: January 1, 2018

List of Species Affected by H5N1 (Avian Influenza)

List of species affected by H5N1 avian influenza (excel file).

Date published: January 1, 2018

Data to Support Efficacy Studies of Injectable Tulathromycin for Reduction of Vertical Transmission of Renibacterium salmoninarum in Spring Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

Bacterial kidney disease (BKD) caused by Renibacterium salmoninarum (Rs) occurs nearly worldwide where wild or cultured salmonid fishes are present. Control of BKD is confounded by its two modes of transmission, horizontal (fish-to-fish) and vertical (from female parent to progeny via the eggs). A highly successful BKD control strategy employed in Pacific Northwest hatcheries culturing spring...

Filter Total Items: 2,932
Year Published: 2018

Evidence for geographic variation in life-cycle processes affecting phenology of the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in the United States

The seasonal activity pattern of immature Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae) varies geographically in the United States, which may affect the efficiency of transmission cycles of pathogens transmitted by this species. To study the factors that determine seasonality, a multiyear study at seven sites across the geographic range of...

Ogden, Nicholas H.; Pang, Genevieve; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Hickling, Graham J.; Burke, Russell L.; Beati, Lorenza; Tsao, Jean I.
Ogden, N. H., Pang, G., Ginsberg, H. S., Hickling, G. J., Burke, R. L., Beati, L., and Tsao, J. I., 2018, Evidence for geographic variation in life-cycle processes affecting phenology of the lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in the United States: Journal of Medical Entomology, v. 55, no. 6, p. 1386-1401. https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjy104

Year Published: 2018

A test of sex specific genetic markers in the Hawaiian hoary bat and relevance to population studies

We tested the utility of a protocol using genetic markers that previously proved successful to identify the sex of Vespertilionid bats on tissues collected from live bats and carcasses of varying age from the Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus). This molecular method is based on genes unique to X and Y chromosomes in mammals and...

Pinzari, Corinna A.; Bonaccorso, Frank

Year Published: 2018

The Global food‐energy‐water nexus

Water availability is a major factor constraining humanity's ability to meet the future food and energy needs of a growing and increasingly affluent human population. Water plays an important role in the production of energy, including renewable energy sources and the extraction of unconventional fossil fuels that are expected to become important...

D'Odorico, Paolo; Frankel Davis, Kyle; Rosa, Lorenzo; Carr, Joel A.; Chiarelli, Davide; Dell’Angelo, Jampel; Gephart, Jessica; MacDonald, Graham K.; Seekell, David A.; Suweis, Samir; Rulli, Maria Cristina
D'Odorico, P., Davis, K. F., Rosa, L., Carr, J. A., Chiarelli, D., Dell'Angelo, J., Gephart, J., MacDonald, G. K., Seekell, D. A., Suweis, S., and Rulii, M. C., 2018, The global food-energy-water nexus: Reviews of Geophysics, v. 56, no. 3, p. 456-531. https://doi.org/10.1029/2017RG000591

Year Published: 2018

Identifying management-relevant research priorities for responding to disease-associated amphibian declines

A research priority can be defined as a knowledge gap that, if resolved, identifies the optimal course of conservation action. We (a group of geographically distributed and multidisciplinary research scientists) used tools from nominal group theory and decision analysis to collaboratively identify and prioritize information...

Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Adams, M.J.; Fisher, Robert N.; Grear, Daniel A.; Halstead, Brian J.; Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Smalling, Kelly L.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Walls, Susan C.; White, C. LeAnn
Grant, E. H. C., Adams, M. J., Fisher, R. N., Grear, D. A., Halstead, B. J., Hossack, B. R., Muths, E., Richgels, K. L. D., Russell, R. E., Smalling, K. L., Waddle, J. H., Walls, S. C., and White, C. L., 2018, Identifying management-relevant research priorities for responding to disease-associated amphibian declines: Global Ecology and Conservation, v. 16, article e00441, 9 p. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2018.e00441

Year Published: 2018

Investigating home range, movement pattern, and habitat selection of Bar-headed Geese during breeding season at Qinghai Lake, China

The Bar-headed Goose is an important species in Asia, both culturally and ecologically. While prior studies have shown Qinghai Lake supports one of the largest breeding areas for Bar-headed Geese, little is known regarding the species movement ecology during the breeding season. In this study, we examined Bar-headed Goose home range size within...

Zheng, Ruobing; Smith, Lacy M.; Prosser, Diann J.; Takekawa, John Y.; Newman, Scott H.; Sullivan, Jeffery D.; Luo, Ze; Yan, Baoping
Zheng, R., Smith, L. M., Prosser, D. J., Takekawa, J. Y., Newman, S. H., Sullivan, J. D., Luo, Z., and Yan, B., 2018, Investigating home range, movement pattern, and habitat selection of bar-headed geese during breeding season at Qinghai Lake, China: Animals, v. 8, no. 10, article 182, 13 p. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100182

Year Published: 2018

Barred owl research needs and prioritization in California

Barred owls (Strix varia) have reached high densities within the range of the northern spotted owl (S. occidentalis caurina) and are rapidly increasing in number within the range of the California spotted owl (S. o. occidentalis). Encroaching populations of barred owls pose a significant competitive threat to the viability of both spotted owl...

Peery, Zach; Wiens, David; Bown, Robin; Carlson, Peter C.; Dugger, Katie; Dumbacher, Jack; Franklin, Alan B.; Hamm, Keith A; Higley, Mark; Keane, John J.

Year Published: 2018

Wrangling distributed computing for high-throughput environmental science: An introduction to HTCondor

Biologists and environmental scientists now routinely solve computational problems that were unimaginable a generation ago. Examples include processing geospatial data, analyzing -omics data, and running large-scale simulations. Conventional desktop computing cannot handle these tasks when they are large, and high-performance computing is not...

Erickson, Richard A.; Fienen, Michael N.; McCalla, S. Grace; Weiser, Emily L.; Bower, Melvin L.; Knudson, Jonathan M.; Thain, Greg
Erickson, R.A., Fienen, M.N., McCalla, S.G., Weiser, E.L., Bower, M.L., Knudson, J.M., Thain, G. 2018. Wrangling distributed computing for high-throughput environmental science: An introduction to HTCondor. PLoS Computational Biology. 14(10):e1006468. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006468.

Year Published: 2018

Fuels guide and database for intact and invaded big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) ecological sites—User manual

The Fuels Guide and Database (FGD) is intended to provide fuel loading and vegetation information for big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) ecological sites in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (hereinafter the NCA) in southern Idaho. Sagebrush ecosystems in the NCA and throughout much of the Great Basin are...

Shinneman, Douglas J.; Welty, Justin L.; Arkle, Robert S.; Pilliod, David S.; Glenn, Nancy F.; McIlroy, Susan K.; Halford, Anne S.
Shinneman, D.J., Welty, J.L., Arkle, R.S., Pilliod, D.S., Glenn, N.F., McIlroy, S.K., and Halford, A.S., 2018, Fuels guide and database for intact and invaded big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) ecological sites—User manual: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1048, 9 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1048.

Year Published: 2018

Multidirectional abundance shifts among North American birds and the relative influence of multifaceted climate factors

Shifts in species distributions are major fingerprint of climate change. Examining changes in species abundance structures at a continental scale enables robust evaluation of climate change influences, but few studies have conducted these evaluations due to limited data and methodological constraints. In this study, we estimate temporal changes in...

Huang, Qiongyu; Sauer, John R.; Dubayah, Ralph O.
Huang, Q., Sauer, J. R., and Dubayah, R. O., 2017, Multi-directional abundance shifts among North American birds and the relative influence of multi-faceted climate factors: Global Change Biology, v. 23, no. 9, p. 3610-3622.

Year Published: 2018

Preliminary evaluation of behavioral response of nesting waterbirds to small unmanned aircraft flight

Small unmanned aircraft systems present an emerging technology with the potential to survey colonial waterbird populations while reducing disturbance in comparison to traditional ground counts. Recent research with these systems has been performed on some colonially nesting avian species; however, none have focused on wading bird species. During...

Reintsma, Kaitlyn; McGowan, Peter C.; Callahan, Carl R.; Collier, Tom; Gray, David; Sullivan, Jeffery D.; Prosser, Diann J.
Reinstma, K. M., McGowan, P. C., Callahan, C., Collier, T., Gray, D., Sullivan, J. D., and Prosser, D. J., 2018, Preliminary evaluation of ehavioral response of nesting waterbirds to small unmanned aircraft flight: Waterbirds, v. 41, no. 3, p. 326-331. https://doi.org/10.1675/063.041.0314

Year Published: 2018

Floristic and climatic reconstructions of two Lower Cretaceous successions from Peru

Climate during the Early Cretaceous in tropical South America has often been reconstructed as arid. However, some areas seem to have been humid. We reconstructed the floristic composition of two tropical stratigraphic successions in Peru using quantitative palynology (rarefied species richness and abundance), and used the abundance of aridity vs....

Mejia-Velasquez, Paula J.; Manchester, Steven R.; Jaramillo, Carlos A.; Quiroz, Luiz; Fortini, Lucas B.
Mejia-Velasquez, P. J., S. R. Manchester, C. A. Jaramillo, L. Quiroz, and L. Fortini. 2018. Floristic and climatic reconstructions of two Lower Cretaceous successions from Peru. Palynology 42:420–433.

Year Published: 2018

Quantifying climate sensitivity and climate-driven change in North American amphibian communities

Changing climate will impact species’ ranges only when environmental variability directly impacts the demography of local populations. However, measurement of demographic responses to climate change has largely been limited to single species and locations. Here we show that amphibian communities are responsive to climatic variability, using >...

Miller, David A.W.; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Muths, Erin L.; Amburgey, Staci M.; Adams, M.J.; Joseph, Maxwell B.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Johnson, Pieter T.J.; Ryan, Maureen E.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Calhoun, Daniel L.; Davis, Courtney L.; Fisher, Robert N.; Green, David M.; Hossack, Blake R.; Rittenhouse, Tracy A.G.; Walls, Susan C.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Cruickshank, Sam S.; Fellers, Gary M.; Gorman, Thomas A.; Haas, Carola A.; Hughson, Ward; Pilliod, David S.; Price, Steven J.; Ray, Andrew M.; Sadinski, Walter; Saenz, Daniel; Barichivich, William J.; Brand, Adrianne B,; Brehme, Cheryl S.; Dagit, Rosi; Delaney, Katy S.; Glorioso, Brad M.; Kats, Lee B.; Kleeman, Patrick M.; Pearl, Christopher; Rochester, Carlton J.; Riley, Seth P. D.; Roth, Mark F.; Sigafus, Brent
Miller, D. A. W., Grant, E. H. C., Muths, E., Amburgey, S. M., Adams, M. J., Joseph, M. B., Waddle, J. H., Johnson, P. J. T., Ryan, M. E., Schmid, B. R., Calhoun, D. L., Davis, C. L., Fisher, R. N., Green, D. M., Hossack, B. R., Rittenhouse, T. A. G., Walls, S. C., Bailey, L. L., Cruickshank, S. S., Fellers, G. M., Gorman, T. A., Haas, C. A., Hughson, W., Pilliod, D. S., Price, S. J., Ray, A. M., Sadinski, W., Saenz, D., Barichivich, W. J., Brand, A. B., Brehme, C. S., Dagit, R., Delaney, K. S., Glorioso, B. M., Kats, L. B., Kleeman, P. M., Pearl, C. A., Rochester, C. J., Riley, S. P. D., Roth, M., and Sigafus, B. H., 2018, Quantifying climate sensitivity and climate-driven change in North American amphibian communities: Nature Communications, v. 9, no. Article number: 3926, p. 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-06157-6

Filter Total Items: 660
July 11, 2018

Four Examples of Nest Predation by Rats (Short)

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

...
Canada lynx
June 21, 2018

Canada Lynx

– Scientists at the USGS Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and
Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in
collaboration with The Rockefeller University’s Vertebrate Genome Laboratory,
New York, are releasing to a public repository at the vertebrate lab, for use by
geneticists, conservationists and other researchers around the

...
Coring a ponderosa pine
June 16, 2018

WERC's Dr. Phil van Mantgem Cores Ponderosa Pine in Lassen NP

Dr. Phillip van Mantgem cores a ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) in Lassen National Park, CA.

Bee pollinating a flowering coastal prairie plant
June 15, 2018

Bee pollinating a flowering coastal prairie plant - WARC

Bee pollinating a flowering coastal prairie plant

June 1, 2018

PAMF Participation Cycle

This video describes the annual participation cycle for those enrolled in the Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework (PAMF). PAMF encompasses three annual steps including enrolling, monitoring and managing. As participants employ management actions and submit monitoring reports they will receive management guidance generated by the PAMF model, which provides the most

...
June 1, 2018

PAMF Participation Cycle (Audio-Described)

This video describes the annual participation cycle for those enrolled in the Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework (PAMF). PAMF encompasses three annual steps including enrolling, monitoring and managing. As participants employ management actions and submit monitoring reports they will receive management guidance generated by the PAMF model, which provides the most

...
USGS scientist using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
May 30, 2018

USGS scientist using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

USGS scientist Todd Preston using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).  USGS is actively exploring the use of small unmanned aerial system (aka drones) for scientific data collection and testing whether or not they are useful in monitoring wildlife. These systems have proven their utility in military reconnaissance missions and are now finding a second life in scientific

...
Fog on Yukon River
May 29, 2018

Fog on Yukon River

Fog along the Yukon River showing a Black Spruce dominated forest in the foreground, which is prone to wildfire.  Photo by Bruce Wylie, USGS

1985-2018 Lion fish invasion. Ecosystems Mission Area. Wetlands and Aquatic Research Center
May 16, 2018

1985-2018 Lionfish Invasion

Lionfish invasion (1985-2018). Lionfish invaded US Atlantic coastal waters, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico with unprecedented, alarming speed. Though reports of sightings date back to the 1980s, it is only recently that the species has exploded in numbers and range. In fact, the lionfish invasion is the 

...
Giant gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas)
May 14, 2018

Threatened Giant Gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas)

Threatened giant gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas). This semi-aquatic snake lives in rice fields and the remaining wetlands of California's Central Valley.

Sonoran desert scene showing invasion by red brome grass and fire scars on a saguaro cactus.
April 30, 2018

Red Brome Carries Fire and Burns Saguaros

Bromus Rubens (red brome) is an invasive annual grass that grows in warmer deserts of the Southwest U.S. It can carry fires in systems that aren't fire adapted, causing lasting damage to desert flora, as shown here in the Sonoran desert north of Phoenix, AZ. The

...
April 26, 2018

PubTalk 4/2018 - Coral Reefs

Title: The Role of U.S. Coral Reefs in Coastal Protection - Rigorously valuing flood reduction benefits to inform coastal zone management decisions

  • Coral reefs are a first line of coastal defense
  • We can account for the physical defense that reefs provide
  • We can provide value-based information to guide restoration efforts at management-relevant
...
Filter Total Items: 280
Date published: January 16, 2018

New Information on Bat Fungus Improves Detection of Deadly Disease

The fungus that causes white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease of hibernating bats, spreads rapidly by way of bats, then establishes and persists in soil and on walls of underground hibernation sites, according to a study published today.

Date published: December 13, 2017

Taking the Bait: Majority of Prairie Dogs Are Consuming Plague Vaccine

About 70 percent of wild prairie dogs successfully ingested baits containing an oral sylvatic plague vaccine, or SPV, that were distributed throughout their habitats, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

Date published: December 12, 2017

Saving Salamanders: Vital to Ecosystem Health

Amphibians—the big-eyed, swimming-crawling-jumping-climbing group of water and land animals that includes frogs, toads, salamanders and worm-like caecilians—are the world’s most endangered vertebrates. 

Date published: December 4, 2017

Avian Flu From Abroad Can Spread in North American Poultry, Wild Birds

Some avian influenza, or bird flu, viruses that are able to enter North America from other continents through migrating birds can be deadly to poultry and can infect waterfowl populations, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study.

Date published: November 24, 2017

Serene Sirens: USGS Sea Cow Science

It may be hard to believe the legend that sailors long-at-sea once considered manatees to be mermaids. The manatee nickname – the “Sea Cow” – which comes from the herbivores’ affinity for grazing on vegetation and their slow, ambling way just makes more sense. But a U.S. Geological Survey video reveals that while they may be cow-like, they also have more than a bit of the magical mermaid to them.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: October 25, 2017

Biologist starting over after Hurricane Irma damages home, office, research site

Coral reef expert Caroline Rogers was the only USGS employee in the Virgin Islands when the Category 5 storm hit.

Date published: October 23, 2017

Trick or Treat? The Frightening Threats to Bats

Written by Marisa Lubeck and Ethan Alpern

Date published: September 29, 2017

Annual Southern Sea Otter Survey: Despite Small Population Dip, Species Moves a Step Closer to Recovery

According to data released Friday by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners, the three-year average of the total counts of southern sea otters was down from last year’s high, although it still exceeded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s delisting threshold for a second straight year.

Date published: September 27, 2017

Research to Recover Threatened Waterfowl: USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Supervisor Receives Prestigious U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Champion Award

USGS scientist James “Barry” Grand, Ph.D., has been named a 2016 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Champion (Region 7) for his exemplary long-term research on two formerly threatened species, the spectacled eider and Alaska-breeding Steller’s eiders.

Date published: September 19, 2017

Emerging Disease Further Jeopardizes North American Frogs

A deadly amphibian disease called severe Perkinsea infections, or SPI, is the cause of many large-scale frog die-offs in the United States, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey