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.

 

Check out our Cool Tools for Hot Topics!
Filter Total Items: 740
Date published: February 26, 2019
Status: Active

Avian influenza virus in the aquatic environment: Surveillance in waterfowl habitat on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Avian influenza virus in the aquatic environment: Surveillance in waterfowl habitat on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Date published: February 26, 2019
Status: Active

An Evaluation of the Toxicity of Potassium Chloride, Active Compound in the Molluscicide Potash, on Salmonid Fish and Their Forage Base

An Evaluation of the Toxicity of Potassium Chloride, Active Compound in the Molluscicide Potash, on Salmonid Fish and Their Forage Base

Date published: February 25, 2019
Status: Active

Drylands are highly vulnerable to climate and land use changes: what ecosystem changes are in store?

Improper land use during drought has been a major driver of land degradation in drylands globally, especially in the western U.S.  Increasing aridity in western U.S. drylands under future climates will exacerbate risks associated with drought and land use decisions. This project provides critical observational, experimental, and modelling evidence to support our DOI partners with decision...

Date published: February 22, 2019
Status: Active

Point and Non-Point Sources of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds and the Potential Effects on Fish and Frogs in the New Jersey Pinelands

Point and Non-Point Sources of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds and the Potential Effects on Fish and Frogs in the New Jersey Pinelands

Contacts: Vicki Blazer
Date published: February 19, 2019
Status: Active

Risk Analysis of Invasive Freshwater Fishes in Hawaii and Micronesia

Invasive species threaten biodiversity around the world, especially on islands. USGS scientists are helping to identify fish species that have the greatest potential to invade the fresh waters of Microneisa. 

Date published: December 13, 2018
Status: Active

WFRC Ecology Section - Projects Overview

The Ecology Section examines how environmental variability, human activities and infrastructure influence food web interactions and species performance in freshwater and marine ecosystems. We have extensive experience in quantifying aquatic food web processes as they relate to growth, survival and production of key species of interest, especially resident and anadromous salmonids.

Date published: December 12, 2018
Status: Active

Geospatial Science and Technology

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Southwest Biological Science Center, and more specifically, its River Ecosystem Science branch which includes the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center (GCMRC), is a preeminent science group that has more than 20 years of experience of providing high-quality, detailed science to resource managers and stakeholders primarily concerned with the effects of dam...

Date published: December 12, 2018
Status: Active

Life History and Migration of Sturgeons in New England Waters

Sturgeons appear in the fossil record as early as the Triassic, 200 million years ago.  Although most populations could once tolerate harvesting pressures, most populations have collapsed and nearly all of the 28 species alive today are listed as threatened or endangered.  In New England, dams and water regulation challenge population recoveries of the two resident species, the shortnose and...

Contacts: Micah Kieffer
Date published: December 10, 2018
Status: Active

USGS Ecosystems Podcast Series - Outstanding in the Field

The USGS Ecosystems Mission Area brings you Outstanding in the Field, an 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.  

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: December 4, 2018
Status: Active

Life History of Pacific Northwest Fishes through Age and Growth Structures

The focus of our research is the ecological analysis of Pacific Northwest fishes through age and growth structures such as: scales, fin rays and otoliths (small calcium carbonate deposits beneath the brain used in hearing and balance that grow in proportion to the overall growth of the fish). These structures are utilized as research tools for understanding life histories and habitat...

Date published: November 29, 2018
Status: Active

Human and Ecological Health Impacts Associated with Water Reuse and Conservation Practices

Human and Ecological Health Impacts Associated with Water Reuse and Conservation Practices

Filter Total Items: 118
Date published: March 6, 2018

Annotated bibliography of scientific research on Greater Sage-grouse published since January 2015

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.

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 Wildlife 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).

Filter Total Items: 4,609
Year Published: 2019

Allowable take of black vultures in the eastern United States

Black vultures (Coragyps atratus) have been increasing in density and expanding their range in the eastern United States since at least the 1960s. In many areas, their densities have increased to the level where they are causing damage to property and livestock and the number of requests for allowable take permits has increased throughout these...

Zimmerman, Guthrie S.; Millsap, Brian A.; Avery, Michael L.; Sauer, John R.; Runge, Michael C.; Richkus, Kenneth D.

Year Published: 2019

Conceptualizing ecological responses to dam removal: If you remove it, what's to come?

One of the desired outcomes of dam decommissioning and removal is the recovery of aquatic and riparian ecosystems. To investigate this common objective, we synthesized information from empirical studies and ecological theory into conceptual models that depict key physical and biological links driving ecological responses to removing dams. We...

Bellmore, J. Ryan; Pess, George R.; Duda, Jeffrey J.; O'Connor, Jim E.; East, Amy E.; Foley, Melissa M.; Wilcox, Andrew C.; Major, Jon J.; Shafroth, Patrick B.; Morley, Sarah A.; Magirl, Christopher S.; Anderson, Chauncey W.; Evans, James E.; Torgersen, Christian E.; Craig, Laura S.

Year Published: 2019

Coastal wetlands: A synthesis

This book and this synthesis address the pressing need for better management of coastal wetlands worldwide because these wetlands are disappearing at an alarming rate; in some countries the loss is 70%–80% in the last 50 years. Managing requires understanding. Although our understanding of the functioning of coastal...

Perillo, Gerardo M. E.; Wolanski, Eric; Cahoon, Donald R.; Hopkinson, Charles S.; Hopkinson, Charles S.; Wolanski, Eric; Cahoon, Donald R.; Perillo, Gerardo M. E.; Brinson, Mark M.

Year Published: 2019

Evaluating restored tidal freshwater wetlands

As restoration of tidal freshwater wetlands has progressed in North America and Eurasia, research findings have continued to emerge on the postrestoration success of these ecosystems. The most common approaches used to restore tidal freshwater wetlands involve excavation or placement of dredged sediment to restore tidal ...

Perillo, Gerardo M. E.; Wolanski, Eric; Cahoon, Donald R.; Hopkinson, Charles S.; Baldwin, Andrew H.; Hammerschlag, Richard S.; Cahoon, Donald R.

Year Published: 2019

A Bayesian life-cycle model to estimate escapement at maximum sustained yield in salmon based on limited information

Life-cycle models combine several strengths for estimating population parameters and biological reference points of harvested species and are particularly useful for those exhibiting distinct habitat shifts and experiencing contrasting environments. Unfortunately, time series data are often limited to counts of adult abundance and harvest. By...

Ohlberger, Jan; Brinkman, Samuel J.; Crain, Patrick; Pess, George R.; Duda, Jeffrey J.; Buehrens, Thomas W.; Quinn, Thomas P.; Hilborn , Ray

Year Published: 2019

Movement ecology of reintroduced migratory Whooping Cranes

No abstract available.

Teitelbaum, Claire S.; Converse, Sarah J.; Fagan, William F.; Mueller, Thomas
Mueller, T., Teitelbaum, C.S., Fagan, W.F., and Converse, S.J., 2018, Movement Ecology of Reintroduced Migratory Whooping Cranes, in French, J.B., Jr., Converse, S.J., and Austin, J.E., editors, Whooping Cranes: Biology and Conservation: San Diego, CA, Academic Press, Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes, p. 217-238.

Year Published: 2019

Reproduction and reproductive strategies relevant to management of Whooping Cranes ex situ

Due to the small population size (∼400 birds) and continuing threats to wild Whooping Cranes (Grus americana), an ex situ (captive) population is maintained to contribute to the recovery of the species. The goals of the captive breeding program are to provide opportunity for research and birds for reintroduction. However, reproduction...

Songsasen, Nucharin; Converse, Sarah J.; Brown, Megan
Songsasen, N., Converse, S.J., and Brown, M., 2018, Reproduction and Reproductive Strategies Relevant to Management of Whooping Cranes Ex Situ, in French, J.B., Jr., Converse, S.J., and Austin, J.E., editors, Whooping Cranes: Biology and Conservation: San Diego, CA, Academic Press, Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes, p. 373-388.

Year Published: 2019

Population dynamics of reintroduced Whooping Cranes

Because of the small size and restricted range of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo Population, reintroduction is a prominent element of the recovery effort to ensure persistence of Whooping Cranes (Grus americana). A fundamental objective of all Whooping Crane reintroduction efforts is the establishment of a self-sustaining population. Therefore...

Converse, Sarah J.; Servanty, Sabrina; Moore, Clinton T.; Runge, Michael C.
Converse, S.J., Servanty, S., Moore, C.T., and Runge, M.C., 2018, Population Dynamics of Reintroduced Whooping Cranes, in French, J.B., Jr., Converse, S.J., and Austin, J.E., editors, Whooping Cranes: Biology and Conservation: San Diego, CA, Academic Press, Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes, p. 139-160.

Year Published: 2019

Whooping Cranes past and present

The Whooping Crane (Grus americana), endemic to North America, is the rarest of all crane species. It is believed that in the early 1800s, the Whooping Crane was widespread in North America, though it was never very abundant. Whooping Crane numbers decreased precipitously as westward migration of Euro-American settlers converted ...

French, John B.; Converse, Sarah J.; Austin, Jane E.
French, J.B., Jr., Converse, S.J., and Austin, J.E., 2018, Whooping Cranes Past and Present, in French, J.B., Jr., Converse, S.J., and Austin, J.E., editors, Whooping Cranes: Biology and Conservation: San Diego, CA, Academic Press, Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes, p. 3-16.

Year Published: 2019

Reproductive failure in the Eastern Migratory Population: The interaction of research and management

The reintroduction of the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes (Grus americana) has shown the most promise of any effort to date toward the establishment of a self-sustaining population. However, reproduction – including both nest success and chick survival – has been a major challenge. Here, we review the research and...

Converse, Sarah J.; Strobel, Bradley N.; Barzen, Jeb A.
Converse, S.J., Strobel, B.N., and Barzen, J.A., 2018, Reproductive Failure in the Eastern Migratory Population: The Interaction of Research and Management, in French, J.B., Jr., Converse, S.J., and Austin, J.E., editors, Whooping Cranes: Biology and Conservation: San Diego, CA, Academic Press, Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes, p. 161-178.

Year Published: 2019

Phenology of hatching, emergence, and end-of-season body size in young-of-year Coho Salmon in thermally contrasting streams draining the Copper River Delta, Alaska

Phenology can be linked to individual fitness, particularly in strongly seasonal environments where the timing of events have important consequences for growth, condition, and survival. We studied the phenology of Coho Salmon hatching and emergence in streams with contrasting thermal variability, but in close geographic proximity. Following...

Campbell, Emily Y.; Dunham, Jason B.; Reeves, Gordon H.; Wondzell, Steve M.

Year Published: 2019

Drivers and uncertainties of forecasted range shifts for warm-water fishes under climate and land cover change

Land cover is an important determinant of aquatic habitat and is projected to shift with climate changes, yet climate-driven land cover changes are rarely factored into climate assessments. To quantify impacts and uncertainty of coupled climate and land cover change on warm-water fish species’ distributions, we used an ensemble model approach to...

Bouska, Kristen L.; Whitledge, Gregory W.; Lant, Christopher; Schoof, Justin
Bouska, K.L., Whitledge, G.W., Lant, C., Schoof, J. 2018. Drivers and uncertainties of forecasted range shifts for warm-water fishes under climate and land cover change. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 35 pgs. DOI: 10.1139/cjfas-2018-0002.

Filter Total Items: 689
A deeply eroded sand dune at Cape San Blas, Florida
October 16, 2018

Hurricane Michael cut deep into Panhandle dunes

A deeply eroded sand dune on the beach at Cape San Blas shows Hurricane Michael's impact on parts of the Florida Panhandle shoreline.

A house destroyed by Hurricane Michael on Cape San Blas, Florida
October 15, 2018

Hurricane Michael destroyed many houses on Cape San Blas, Florida

A beach house in Cape San Blas, Florida destroyed by Hurricane Michael, which struck the Florida Panhandle as a Category Four storm Oct. 10, 2018.

One-story yellow concrete block house in Cape San Blas, Florida
October 9, 2018

Fish Inn, the scientists' field station, before Hurricane Michael

For ten years, this yellow concrete block house in Cape San Blas, Florida, dubbed Fish Inn, was the seasonal office, laboratory and living quarters for a team of USGS sea turtle researchers during their field season from November till April.

October 5, 2018

Bandit Download

This screencast is a tutorial on how to find Bandit for download as well as finding Bandit resources via the BBL's webpages. 
 

A RestoreNet garden with plots covered by white cloth.
August 31, 2018

RestoreNet garden testing seedling establishment.

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.

Array of photovoltaic cells and a wind energy facility
August 28, 2018

Array of photovoltaic cells and a wind energy facility

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 restoration field trial site on red soils, adjacent to buttes.
August 16, 2018

A RestoreNet Garden on the Colorado Plateau

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

...
A group of field workers installs an experimental garden.
August 16, 2018

Installing a restoration field trial site

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

...
Bare ground with 2x2 meter square plots of various restoration treatments.
August 16, 2018

Seeding treatment experiment

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 turbine
August 1, 2018

Setting up radar system near a wind energy field in Colorado.

Image of scientist setting up a radar system in Colorado to test its efficacy in detecting birds and bats flying towards spinning wind turbines.

July 19, 2018

Drilling an Ice Core

Researchers start drilling an ice core in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

adult male harrier
July 13, 2018

Adult Male Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)

An adult male Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) surveys Suisun Marsh, CA. Males are known for their beautiful, steel-gray plumage.

Filter Total Items: 284
Date published: March 1, 2018

Waterbirds at Risk in the Chesapeake Bay

Scientists investigate the impacts of shoreline armoring

Date published: February 22, 2018

USGS and NASA Team Up to Help Scientists Study the “Social Networks” of Wildlife

In the future of wildlife tracking, sea otters have their own social network.

Date published: February 1, 2018

Polar Bears Film Their Own Sea Ice World

In June of 2014, the USGS released the first-ever polar bear point-of-view footage, offering a never-seen-before perspective from the top Arctic predator.

Date published: January 19, 2018

Scientists, volunteers rescue about 1,000 cold-stunned sea turtles

Florida's second-largest turtle rescue of 21st century is “exhausting, inspiring,” USGS biologist says

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.