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: 809
Date published: February 15, 2018
Status: Active

Fish Passage

A major focus of USGS-LSC is the design and evaluation of state-of the-art upstream and downstream fish passage structures for hydropower facilities of different sizes and locations and for different fish species, including endangered sturgeons and Atlantic salmon. Performance, physiology, behavior and energetics of each fish species are tested in-house for each design.

Contacts: Alexander Haro
Date published: February 12, 2018
Status: Active

Comprehensive 1966 - 2017 Results! North American Breeding Bird Survey

The North American Breeding Bird Survey program (BBS) provides critical science-based population data for more than 400 bird species to improve our understanding of how these federally entrusted species respond to environmental variability and ecosystem change.  The BBS generates results that inform Federal wildlife managers in the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service,...

Date published: February 9, 2018
Status: Active

Avian Diseases

The Honolulu Field Station provides routine diagnostic support to state and federal agencies in order to determine cause of death in endangered and threatened native birds in Hawaii, US territories, and affiliated states in the Pacific.   These activities have resulted in information that was important in the recovery of several species of endangered birds such as Laysan ducks, Nihoa...

Contacts: Thierry M Work, Sarah Faegre, PhD
Date published: February 8, 2018
Status: Active

Louisiana Barrier Island Habitat Mapping and Change Assessment

Barrier islands provide numerous invaluable ecosystem goods and services including storm protection and erosion control for the mainland, habitat for fish and wildlife, salinity regulation in estuaries, carbon sequestration in marshes, recreation, and tourism. These islands are dynamic environments due to their position at the land-sea interface. Storms, wave energy, tides, currents, and...

Date published: February 8, 2018
Status: Active

Fish Health

Fish are an important component of marine ecosystems, but relatively little is known of their health, in part because sick and dying fish are difficult to detect.

Contacts: Thierry M Work
Date published: February 7, 2018
Status: Active

Relative Sensitivity of Adult Mosquitoes and Butterflies to Adult Mosquito Control Pesticides

Mosquito control on Department of the Interior (DOI) managed lands is a resource management challenge. The pesticides used to control mosquitoes may also affect nontarget organisms whose conservation is one of the primary responsibilities of resource managers.

Date published: February 7, 2018
Status: Active

Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

The USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program designs and develops large and small scale surveys for native bees. As part of that program we also develop identification tools and keys for native bee species. One aspect of creating those tools is creating accurate and detailed pictures of native bees and the plants and insects they interact with.

Contacts: Sam Droege
Date published: February 7, 2018
Status: Active

Invasive Species

Invasive plants and animals can cause havoc in tropical island ecosystems, because many organisms that have evolved on islands have lost the ability to combat organisms arriving from the continents for reasons as varied as changes in immunity, life history, or behaviors. Early detection and intervention are key aspects dictating whether or not invasive organisms become established.

Contacts: Thierry M Work
Date published: February 1, 2018
Status: Active

White-Nose Syndrome

White-nose syndrome (WNS) is an emergent disease of hibernating bats that has spread from the northeastern to the central United States at an alarming rate. Since the winter of 2007-2008, millions of insect-eating bats in 33 states and seven Canadian provinces (as of August 2018)...

Date published: February 1, 2018
Status: Active

Epidemiological Services

Professionals at the NWHC include wildlife biologists, veterinarians, statisticians, epidemiologists, and informatics specialists. This multidisciplinary group conducts investigations and disease ecology studies of emerging and recurring priority wildlife diseases, maintains and analyzes comprehensive information on wildlife disease events, and provides response and management consultation and...

Contacts: C. LeAnn White
Date published: February 1, 2018
Status: Active

Bird Banding Laboratory: Recent Accomplishments

The Challenge: Bird banding is one of the most indispensable techniques for studying the movement, survival and behavior of birds. The North American Bird Banding Program was established in 1920 and has evolved into the complex operation that supports the activities of approximately 1550 Master banders and 6000 sub-permittees in the United States.

Contacts: Bruce Peterjohn
Date published: January 26, 2018
Status: Active

Remote Sensing

USGS scientists are exploring new uses of remote sensing for monitoring and assessment.

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Filter Total Items: 30,677
Year Published: 2018

Predicting biological conditions for small headwater streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

A primary goal for Chesapeake Bay watershed restoration is to improve stream health and function in 10% of stream miles by 2025. Predictive spatial modeling of stream conditions, when accurate, is one method to fill gaps in monitoring coverage and estimate baseline conditions for restoration goals. Predictive modeling can also monitor progress as...

Maloney, Kelly O.; Smith, Zachary M.; Buchanan, Claire; Nagel, Andrea; Young, John A.

Year Published: 2018

Thamnophis gigas (Giant Gartersnake). Diet.

No abstract available.

Fulton, Alexandria M.; Muñoz, Diana

Year Published: 2018

Estimating soil respiration in a subalpine landscape using point, terrain, climate and greenness data

Landscape carbon (C) flux estimates are necessary for assessing the ability of terrestrial ecosystems to buffer further increases in anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Advances in remote sensing have allowed for coarse-scale estimates of gross primary productivity (GPP) (e.g., MODIS 17), yet efforts to assess spatial patterns in...

Berryman, Erin Michele; Vanderhoof, Melanie K.; Bradford, John B.; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Henne, Paul D.; Burns, Sean P.; Frank, John M.; Birdsey, Richard A.; Ryan, Michael G.

Year Published: 2018

A video surveillance system to monitor breeding colonies of common terns (Sterna Hirundo)

Many waterbird populations have faced declines over the last century, including the common tern (Sterna hirundo), a waterbird species with a widespread breeding distribution, that has been recently listed as endangered in some habitats of its range. Waterbird monitoring programs exist to track populations through time; however, some of the more...

Wall, J.L.; Marban, Paul; Brinker, D.F.; Sullivan, J.D.; Zimnik, M.; Murrow, J.L.; McGowan, P.C.; Callahan, Carl R.; Prosser, Diann J.

Year Published: 2018

Biophysical assessment for indemnity selection of Federal Lands in Colorado

Information on the biophysical features of Federal lands identified as suitable for transfer to the State of Colorado was requested by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This information is intended for use in conducting an Environmental Assessment prior to the transfer of ownership (conveyance) to the State. The Colorado State Land Board filed...

Carr, Natasha B.; Burris, Lucy E.; Manier, Daniel J.
Carr, N.B., Burris, L.E., and Manier, D.J., 2018, Biophysical assessment for indemnity selection of Federal lands in Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1167, 51 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181167.

Year Published: 2018

Fish behavior and abundance monitoring near a floating surface collector in North Fork Reservoir, Clackamas River, Oregon, using multi-beam acoustic imaging sonar

An imaging sonar was used to assess the behavior and abundance of fish sized the same as salmonid smolt and bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) at the entrance to the juvenile fish floating surface collector (FSC) at North Fork Reservoir, Oregon. The purpose of the FSC is to collect downriver migrating juvenile salmonids (Chinook salmon [...

Smith, Collin D.; Plumb, John M.; Adams, Noah S.
Smith, C.D., Plumb J.M., and Adams, N.S. 2018, Fish behavior and abundance monitoring near a floating surface collector in North Fork Reservoir, Clackamas River, Oregon, using multi-beam acoustic imaging sonar: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018-1182, 28 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181182.

Year Published: 2018

Invasive rat control is an efficient, yet insufficient, method for recovery of the critically endangered Hawaiian plant hau kuahiwi (Hibiscadelphus giffardianus)

Biological invasions of rodents and other species have been especially problematic on tropical islands. Invasive Rattus rattus consumption of Hibiscadelphus giffardianus (Malvaceae; common Hawaiian name hau kuahiwi) fruit and seeds has been hypothesized to be the most-limiting factor inhibiting the critically endangered tree, but this has not been...

Gill, Nathan S.; Yelenik, Stephanie G.; Banko, Paul C.; Dixon, Christopher B.; Jaenecke, Kelly; Peck, Robert

Year Published: 2018

Tag retention and survival of juvenile bighead carp implanted with a dummy acoustic tag at three temperatures

Bighead carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and silver carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix(together, the bigheaded carps) are invasive fishes in North America that have resulted in substantial negative effects on native fish communities and aquatic ecosystems. Movement and behavior of adult bigheaded carps has been studied previously using...

Byrd, Curtis G.; Chapman, Duane C.; Pherigo, Emily K.; Jolley, Jeffrey C.

Year Published: 2018

Examining forest structure with terrestrial lidar: Suggestions and novel techniques based on comparisons between scanners and forest treatments

Terrestrial laser scanners (TLSs) provide a tool to assess and monitor forest structure across forest landscapes. We present TLS methods, suggestions, and mapped guidelines for planning TLS acquisitions at varying scales and forest densities. We examined rates of point‐density decline with distance from two TLS that acquire data at relatively high...

Donager, Jonathon J.; Sankey, Temuulen T.; Sankey, Joel B.; Sanchez Meadorc, Andrew J.; Springer, Abraham E.; Bailey, John D.

Year Published: 2018

Migratory coupling between predators and prey

Animal migrations act to couple ecosystems and are undertaken by some of the world’s most endangered taxa. Predators often exploit migrant prey, but the movements taken by these consumers are rarely studied or understood. We define such movements, where migrant prey induce large-scale movements of predators, as migratory coupling. Migratory...

Furey, Nathan B.; Armstrong, Jonathan B.; Beauchamp, David A.; Hinch, Scott G.

Year Published: 2018

The Pothole Hydrology-Linked Systems Simulator (PHyLiSS)—Development and application of a systems model for prairie-pothole wetlands

The North American Prairie Pothole Region covers about 770,000 square kilometers of the United States and Canada (including parts of 5 States and 3 provinces: North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Iowa, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta). The Laurentide Ice Sheet shaped the landscape of the region about 12,000 to 14,000 years ago. The...

McKenna, Owen P.; Mushet, David M.; Scherff, Eric J.; Mclean, Kyle I.; Mills, Christopher T.
McKenna, O.P., Mushet, D.M., Scherff, E.J., McLean, K.I., and Mills, C.T., 2018, The Pothole Hydrology-Linked Systems Simulator (PHyLiSS)—Development and application of a systems model for prairie-pothole wetlands: U.S. Geological Survey Report 2018–1165, 21 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181165.

Year Published: 2018

Quantitative acoustic differentiation of cryptic species illustrated with King and Clapper rails

Reliable species identification is vital for survey and monitoring programs. Recently, the development of digital technology for recording and analyzing vocalizations has assisted in acoustic surveying for cryptic, rare, or elusive species. However, the quantitative tools that exist for species differentiation are still being refined. Using...

Stiffler, Lydia L.; Schroeder, Katie M.; Anderson, James T.; McRae, Susan B.; Katzner, Todd E.

Filter Total Items: 694
February 23, 2016

Culvert trap

Biologists place a culvert trap in locations that they need data from.  Field crews will set up the culvert trap and check it daily, usually in the morning, to determine if a bear has been captured.  Additionally, trap doors are checked via radio telemetry. 

February 23, 2016

Telemetry by foot

Once a grizzly bear is radio collared, biologists can track its movements with telemetry on foot.   

February 23, 2016

Culvert trap and bait

Biologists use road-killed ungulates such as deer, elk, or bison as bait in the traps. 

February 23, 2016

At the capture site

At capture sites with road access, biologists drive to a trap with a bear inside to set up for collecting biological data. 

February 23, 2016

An immobilized bear.

Biologists use a syringe pole to immobilize the captured grizzly bear.  It takes approximately 10 minutes for a bear to become immobilized.  

February 23, 2016

Ready to remove from the trap

Biologists have immobilized the bear and prepare to lift it out of the trap and onto the tarp for data collection.  Once on the tarp the bear is easier to move. 

February 23, 2016

Preparing for collection of samples

A biologist prepares to collect biological information from the bear they have captured.  Biologists collect hair samples for genetic analysis, weigh the bear,  and gather numerous measurements of the body, such as the head, paws, claws, teeth, etc.  Overall condition of the bear is assessed as well, including a body fat measurement.

February 23, 2016

Getting the bear's weight

One of the first measurements taken is the bear’s weight using a quadpod and electronic scale. 

February 23, 2016

Getting set up

Biologists are very careful to keep the grizzly bear under shade and protected from the elements while they collect biological data.  Vital signs are monitored throughout the handling period. 

February 23, 2016

Close up

The kerchief over the grizzly bear’s eyes protects it from dust and debris and reduces visual stimulation. The small tubing in its nose, known as a nasal cannula, delivers oxygen to the animal while it is tranquilized.  

February 23, 2016

Assessing body fat percentage of grizzly bear

Field personnel use bioelectrical impedance to assess body fat percentage of captured bears.  The procedure is similar to how body fat is measured in humans and is based on the resistance of body tissues to the flow of a small, harmless electrical signal.  The electrical current is impeded more by fat tissues compared with tissues that are composed mostly of water, thus

...
February 23, 2016

Measuring the bear's head length

A biologist measures a grizzly bear’s head length.