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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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Brucellosis is a nationally and internationally regulated disease of livestock with significant consequences for animal health, public health, and international trade.
This research theme provides land managers information to help them make restoration decision at local and landscape scales.
This research theme facilitates the sound management and restoration of Pacific Northwest Douglas-fir forests, as well as to refine broader-scale predictions of how temperate forests will function in an increasingly nitrogen-rich world.
This research theme examines the impacts of prescribed fire on plant productivity, soil physical, chemical, and biological characteristics, and nutrient leaching. Results from this research will enable improved decision-making of how to manage fire-prone forests to maintain long-term forest fertility and productivity, especially across wide climate gradients characteristic of the Pacific...
This research theme coalesces studies of old-growth temperate forests in several major thematic areas including landscape and ecosystem controls on watershed nutrient export, wildfire disturbance legacies on biogeochemical cycling, and the imprint of tree species on soil nutrients in old-growth forests.
The Hunt For The Southernmost Snakehead. Thirty-one fishery biologists from eleven agencies participated in a two-day Fish Slam event. Thirty-five sites in Broward and Miami-Dade counties were sampled for non-native fishes.
Find out more about invasive species in the Pacific islands such as brown treesnake, invasive mammals (mouflon, feral pigs, rats, and mongoose), plants, ants, and yellowjacket wasps.
USGS research focuses on developing and enhancing capabilities to forecast and predict invasive species establishment and spread. Early detection helps resource managers identify and report new invasive species, especially for cryptic species and those in very low abundance, to better assess risks to natural areas.
Fatality estimator user’s guide
This publication is the User's Guide for software developed to estimate wildlife fatalities at wind-power facilities, although the software is applicable to a variety of circumstances in which the objective is to estimate the size of a superpopulation and the probability of detection of the individuals is less than one. Simple counts of carcasses...Huso, Manuela M.; Som, Nicholas; Ladd, Lew
Reproductive success of Mariana swiftlets (Aerodramus bartschi) on the Hawaiian island of O'ahu
Mariana Swiftlets (Aerodramus bartschi) are federally listed as endangered, with populations currently limited to just three islands in the Mariana Islands plus an introduced population on the Hawaiian island of O'ahu. Before efforts are made to reintroduce Mariana Swiftlets to other islands in the Mariana archipelago, additional information is...Johnson, Nathan C.; Haig, Susan M.; Mosher, Stephen M.; Hollenbeck, Jeff P.
Effectiveness of common fish screen materials for protecting lamprey ammocoetes—Influence of sweeping velocities and decreasing flows
In previous tests of the effectiveness of four common fish screen materials for excluding lamprey ammocoetes, we determined that woven wire (WW) allowed substantially more entrainment than perforated plate (PP), profile bar (PB), or Intralox (IL) material. These tests were simplistic because they used small vertically-oriented screens positioned...Mesa, Matthew G.; Liedtke, Theresa L.; Weiland, Lisa K.; Christiansen, Helena E.
Vegetation response of a dry shrubland community to feral goat management on the island of Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i
The Hawaiian Islands are well known for their unique ecosystem assemblages that have a high proportion of endemic flora and fauna. However, since human colonization of this archipelago—starting with the arrival of Polynesian sailors approximately 1,200 years ago, and particularly following western contact in 1778—thousands of non-native species...Jacobi, James D.; Stock, Jonathan
Increased sediment load during a large-scale dam removal changes nearshore subtidal communities
The coastal marine ecosystem near the Elwha River was altered by a massive sediment influx—over 10 million tonnes—during the staged three-year removal of two hydropower dams. We used time series of bathymetry, substrate grain size, remotely sensed turbidity, scuba dive surveys, and towed video observations collected before and during dam removal...Rubin, Stephen P.; Miller, Ian M.; Foley, Melissa M.; Berry, Helen D.; Duda, Jeffrey J.; Hudson, Benjamin; Elder, Nancy E.; Beirne, Matthew M.; Warrick, Jonathan A.; McHenry, Michael L.; Stevens, Andrew W.; Eidam, Emily; Ogston, Andrea; Gelfenbaum, Guy R.; Pedersen, Rob
Observations and first reports of saprolegniosis in Aanaakłiq, broad whitefish (Coregonus nasus), from the Colville River near Nuiqsut, Alaska
We report the first confirmed cases (2013–2016) of saprolegniosis caused by water mold from the genus Saprolegnia in Aanaakłiq, broad whitefish (Coregonus nasus), from the Colville River near Nuiqsut, Alaska. While this mold is known to be worldwide, these instances represent the first cases in Nuiqsut and only the second instance on a...Sformo, Todd L.; Adams, Billy; Seigle, John C.; Ferguson, Jayde A.; Purcell, Maureen K.; Stimmelmayr, Raphaela; Welch, Joseph H.; Ellis, Leah M.; Leppi, Jason C.; George, John C.
A statistical method to predict flow permanence in dryland streams from time series of stream temperature
Intermittent and ephemeral streams represent more than half of the length of the global river network. Dryland freshwater ecosystems are especially vulnerable to changes in human-related water uses as well as shifts in terrestrial climates. Yet, the description and quantification of patterns of flow permanence in these systems is challenging...Arismendi, Ivan; Dunham, Jason B.; Heck, Michael; Schultz, Luke; Hockman-Wert, David
Energetic requirements of green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) feeding on burrowing shrimp (Neotrypaea californiensis) in estuaries: importance of temperature, reproductive investment, and residence time
Habitat use can be complex, as tradeoffs among physiology, resource abundance, and predator avoidance affect the suitability of different environments for different species. Green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris), an imperiled species along the west coast of North America, undertake extensive coastal migrations and occupy estuaries during the...Borin, Joshua M.; Moser, Mary L.; Hansen, Adam G.; Beauchamp, David A.; Corbett, Stephen C.; Dumbauld, Brett R.; Pruitt, Casey; Ruesink, Jennifer L.; Donoghue, Cinde
Heterogeneous responses of temperate-zone amphibian populations to climate change complicates conservation planning
The pervasive and unabated nature of global amphibian declines suggests common demographic responses to a given driver, and quantification of major drivers and responses could inform broad-scale conservation actions. We explored the influence of climate on demographic parameters (i.e., changes in the probabilities of survival and recruitment)...Muths, Erin L.; Chambert, Thierry A.; Schmidt, B. R.; Miller, D. A. W.; Hossack, Blake R.; Joly, P.; Grolet, O.; Green, D. M.; Pilliod, David S.; Cheylan, M.; Fisher, Robert N.; McCaffery, R. M.; Adams, M. J.; Palen, W. J.; Arntzen, J. W.; Garwood, J.; Fellers, Gary M.; Thirion, J. M.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Besnard, A.
How many Laysan Teal Anas laysanensis are on Midway Atoll? Methods for monitoring abundance after reintroduction
Wildlife managers often request a simple approach to monitor the status of species of concern. In response to that need, we used eight years of monitoring data to estimate population size and test the validity of an index for monitoring accurately the abundance of reintroduced, endangered Laysan Teal Anas laysanensis. The population was...Reynolds, Michelle H.; Courtot, Karen; Hatfield, Jeffrey
Interactions among invasive plants: Lessons from Hawai‘i
Most ecosystems have multiple-plant invaders rather than single-plant invaders, yet ecological studies and management actions focus largely on single invader species. There is a need for general principles regarding invader interactions across varying environmental conditions, so that secondary invasions can be anticipated and managers can...D'Antonio, Carla M.; Ostertag, Rebecca; Cordell, Susan; Yelenik, Stephanie G.
National Park Service Vegetation Mapping Inventory Program: Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve Vegetation Mapping Project
The National Park Service, Natural Resource Stewardship and Science office in Fort Collins, Colorado, publishes a range of reports that address natural resource topics. These reports are of interest and applicability to a broad audience in the National Park Service and others in natural resource management, including scientists, conservation and...Hop, Kevin D.; Strassman, Andrew C.; Sattler, Stephanie; Pyne, Milo; Teague, Judy; White, Rickie; Ruhser, Janis; Hlavacek, Enrika; Dieck, Jennifer
This is a recorded presentation describing a statistical software package called "Evidence of Absence" that can be used to provide evidence of compliance with incidental take permits. It will be useful to wildlife managers and wind energy operators to estimate, with reasonable certainty, that a certain number of birds or bats have been killed at wind energy facilities,...
When looking for a place to set up a capture location, biologists look for existing bear sign such as scratches on trees and bear scat. Sometimes traps are set in areas that have no obvious bear sign to determine if indeed bears are present.
This video was shot in Three Sisters Springs at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, Florida. The footage was captured using a GoPro while conducting health check-ups and taking photography for population research on Jan. 30, 2014.
Dr. Bob Bonde, USGS and the dozens of volunteers who conduct annual manatee health
The USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, located in the Northern Great Plains state of North Dakota highlights their current and ongoing research on land use and pollinator health.
This part of the country represents critical summer forage habitat for commercial beekeepers and their honey bees. Colonies located here in the summer produce honey and go on...
David Pelunis-Messier and Milton Roberts navigating on the Tanana River, a main tributary of the Yukon River. The two are taking part in the Yukon River permafrost study.
Researcher Carol Hasburgh taking winter water chemistry samples on the Yukon River for a permafrost loss study.
Charles Couvillion (USGS Alaska Science Center) at Pilot Station, AK, getting ready to take water samples and discharge measurements for a permafrost study in the Yukon River Basin.
Jay Hootch, former employee of Yupitt of Andreafski, drills to take winter chemistry samples to be used in a permafrost loss study in the Yukon River Basin.
Heading out to take water chemistry samples for a study on permafrost in the Yukon River Basin. The study examined the chemical and hydrological changes occurring in the basin due to permafrost loss.