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: 745
Date published: March 12, 2019
Status: Active

Improving Forage for Honey Bees on USDA Conservation Lands: A Pilot Study for Testing Sampling Methods and Hypothesis Development

Commercial beekeepers have been bringing their bees to the Northern Great Prairie (NGP) for many decades due to the availability of nectar and pollen-rich plants in abundant grasslands.  

Date published: March 11, 2019
Status: Active

Establishing Molecular Methods to Quantitatively Profile Stomach Diet Items of Fish—Application to the Invasive Blue Catfish (Ictalurus furcatus)

The USGS Leetown Science Center (USGS LSC) scientists are collaborating with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDDNR) to develop and evaluate a genetic assay for blue catfish fish diets that will allow us to design a cost-effective monitoring program for determining the diet of wild fish. We will test the utility of this method and, once fully developed, these methods could be...

Date published: March 7, 2019
Status: Active

Mississippi Coastal Improvements Program (MsCIP)

In 2009, the Mississippi Coastal Improvements Program (MsCIP) was developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Mobile District in conjunction with other Federal and State agencies, to help reduce future storm damage along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Comprehensive Plan for MsCIP includes restoring the Mississippi barrier islands and over 3,000 acres of wetland and coastal forest...

Date published: March 7, 2019
Status: Active

Alabama Barrier Island Restoration Assessment

This project is a collaborative effort between the USGS, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the State of Alabama funded by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to investigate viable, sustainable restoration options that protect and restore the natural resources of Dauphin Island, Alabama. The project is focused on restoration options that protect and restore habitat and living...

Date published: March 5, 2019
Status: Active

Quantitative Framework to Model Risk of Collisions between Marine Wildlife and Boats

Collisons between wildlife and vehicles threaten many species, and can lead to human loss of life, injuries, and loss of property. USGS is developing models to help evaluate the effectiveness of wildlife protection zones and optimize the design of these protected areas. 

Date published: March 5, 2019
Status: Active

The Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Flood and Storm Tracker (FaST)

Storm-related flooding can lead to the potential spread of nonindigenous (or non-native) aquatic species into waterways they have not been seen in before. The USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species program has developed an innovative mapping tool to help natural resource managers with post-storm nonindigenous aquatic species detection and assessment efforts. 

Date published: March 5, 2019
Status: Active

Adaptive Harvest Management of European Geese

Pink-footed geese in Svalbard are a highly valued resource, but their increasing population causes conflicts with agricultural needs. USGS is devloping population models to help inform management of optimal harvest strategies. 

Date published: March 4, 2019
Status: Active

Natural Resource Damage and Assessment (NRDA) Program Monitoring and Adaptive Management

State and Federal agencies are working together to assess the damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and to determine appropriate restoration actions to restore natural resources, ecological services, and recreational services injured or lost due to the incident. 

Date published: March 1, 2019
Status: Active

Bees of the Northeastern U.S.

 

Declines of pollinators have engendered worldwide concern, but trends in the faunas of most insect pollinators, including bees, remain uncertain.  We are studying the bee fauna of southern Rhode Island to provide baseline information about the current fauna, and information about bee-flower interactions.

Date published: March 1, 2019
Status: Active

Barrier Island Comprehensive Monitoring Program (BICM)

The goal of the State of Louisiana Barrier Island Comprehensive Monitoring (BICM) program is to provide long-term data on the barrier islands of Louisiana that could be used to plan, design, evaluate, and maintain current and future barrier-island restoration projects.

Date published: March 1, 2019
Status: Active

Integrating Mapping and Modeling to Support the Restoration of Bird Nesting Habitat at Breton Island National Wildlife Refuge

Breton Island, located at the southern end of the Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana, is part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) established in 1904 by Theodore Roosevelt. Breton NWR is recognized as a globally important bird habitat because of the resources it provides, and hosts one of Louisiana's largest historical brown pelican nesting colonies. Without actions to restore sand to the...

Date published: March 1, 2019
Status: Active

Environmental Management of Vector-borne Diseases

Effective management programs for vector-borne pathogens, such as West Nile Virus and the Lyme disease spirochete, are necessary to protect public health.  However, some vector control methods, such as landscape manipulations and pesticide applications, can also adversely affect nontarget species and environmentally sensitive natural systems.  Efficient targeting and integration of vector...

Filter Total Items: 150
Date published: March 6, 2018

Weighted Surveillance for Detection of Chronic Wasting Disease

This application provides an easy-to-use interface for conducting weighted surveillance for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in white-tailed deer populations. The first tool called 'Design' is used for planning weighted surveillance activities. The second tool called 'Estimation' is for use after sampling for CWD detection has occurred and no positive cases were found.

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 9, 2018

Chelonid herpesvirus 5 virus isolation data

Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a tumor disease of marine turtles associated with Chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) that has historically been refractory to growth in tissue culture. Here, we show for the first time de novo formation of ChHV5-positive intranuclear inclusions in cultured green turtle cells, which is indicative for active lytic replication of the virus. The minimal requirements to...

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.

Filter Total Items: 30,781
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Year Published: 2019

Wildland Fire Science—Supporting wildland fire and land management

The U.S. Geological Survey's Wildland Fire Science Program produces fundamental information to identify the causes of wildfires, understand the impacts and benefits of both wildfires and prescribed fires, and help prevent and manage larger, catastrophic events. Our fire scientists provide information and develop tools that are widely used by...

Steblein, Paul F.; Miller, Mark P.; Soileau, Suzanna C.
Steblein, P.F., Miller, M.P., and Soileau, S.C., 2019, Wildland fire science---Supporting wildland fire and land management: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019-3025, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193025.

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Year Published: 2019

Adaptive Management and Monitoring

This is a chapter in a technical report that is the second of two works describing longer-term actions to implement policies and strategies for preventing and suppressing rangeland fire and restoring rangeland landscapes affected by fire in the Western United States. The first part, Chambers et al 2017, "Science Framework for conservation and...

Wiechman , Lief A. ; Pyke, David A.; Crist, Michele R.; Munson, Seth; Brooks, Matthew; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Rowland, Mary M.; Kachergis, Emily J; Davidson, Zoe
Wiechman, L.A., Pyke, D.A., Crist, M.R., Munson, S.M., Brooks, M.L., Chambers, J.C., Rowland, M.M., Kachergis, E.J., Davidson, Z., 2019, Section 2. Adaptive Management and Monitoring In Crist, M.R., Chambers, J.C., Phillips, S.L., Prentice, K.L., Wiechman, L.A., eds., Science framework for conservation and restoration of the sagebrush biome: Linking the Department of the Interior’s Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy to long-term strategic conservation actions. Part 2. Management applications: Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-389, Fort Collins, CO, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, p. 237.

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Year Published: 2019

Temporal and abiotic fluctuations may be preventing successful rehabilitation of soil-stabilizing biocrust communities

Land degradation is a persistent ecological problem in many arid and semi-arid systems globally (drylands hereafter). Most instances of dryland degradation include some form of soil disturbance and/or soil erosion, which can hinder vegetation establishment and reduce ecosystem productivity. To combat soil erosion, researchers have identified a...

Young, Kristina E.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Reed, Sasha C.; Duniway, Michael C.; Belnap, Jayne

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Year Published: 2019

Evaluating and using existing models to map probable suitable habitat for rare plants to inform management of multiple-use public lands in the California desert

Multiple-use public lands require balancing diverse resource uses and values across landscapes. In the California desert, there is strong interest in renewable energy development and important conservation concerns. The Bureau of Land Management recently completed a land-use plan for the area that provides protection for modeled suitable habitat...

Reese, Gordon; Carter, Sarah K.; Christina Lunch; Steve Walterscheid

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Year Published: 2019

Phenological mismatch between season advancement and migration timing alters Arctic plant traits

1. Climate change is creating phenological mismatches between herbivores and their plant resources throughout the Arctic. While advancing growing seasons and changing arrival times of migratory herbivores has been shown to have consequences for herbivores and forage quality, developing mismatches are also likely to influence other traits of plants...

Choi, Ryan T.; Beard, Karen H.; Leffler, A. Joshua; Kelsey, Katharine C.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Welker, Jeffrey

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Year Published: 2019

Aerosol transmission of gull-origin Iceland subtype H10N7 influenza A virus in ferrets

Subtype H10 influenza A viruses (IAVs) have been recovered from domestic poultry and various aquatic bird species, and sporadic transmission of these IAVs from avian species to mammals (i.e., human, seal, and mink) are well documented. In 2015, we isolated four H10N7 viruses from gulls in Iceland. Genomic analyses showed four gene segments in the...

Guan, Minhui; Hall, Jeffrey S.; Zhang, Xiaojian; Dusek, Robert J.; Olivier, Alicia K.; Liu, Liyuan; Li, Lei; Krauss, Scott; Danner, Angea; Li, Tao; Rutvisuttinunt, Wiriya; Lin, Xiaoxu; Hallgrimsson, Gunnar T.; Ragnarsdottir, Sunna B.; Vignisson, Solvi R.; TeSlaa, Josh; Nashold, Sean; Wan, Xiu-Feng; Jarman, Richard

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Year Published: 2019

Plague positive mouse fleas on mice prior to plague outbreaks in black-tailed and white-tailed prairie dogs

Plague is a lethal zoonotic disease associated with rodents worldwide. In the western United States, plague outbreaks can decimate prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) colonies. However, it is unclear where the causative agent, Yersinia pestis, of this flea-borne disease is maintained between outbreaks, and what triggers plague-induced prairie dog die-offs...

Bron, Gebbiena M.; Malave, Carly; Boulerice, Jesse T.; Osorio, Jorge E.; Rocke, Tonie E.

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Year Published: 2019

Methane emissions from artificial waterbodies dominate the carbon footprint of irrigation: A study of transitions in the food-energy-water-climate nexus (Spain, 1900-2014)

Irrigation in the Mediterranean region has been used for millennia and has greatly expanded with industrialization. Irrigation is critical for climate change adaptation, but it is also an important source of greenhouse gas emissions. This study analyzes the carbon (C) footprint of irrigation in Spain, covering the complete historical process of...

Aguilera, Eduardo; Vila-Traver, Jaime; Deemer, Bridget; Infante-Amate, Juan; Guzmán, Gloria I.; González de Molina, Manuel

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Year Published: 2019

Sitting ducklings: Timing of hatch, nest departure, and predation risk for dabbling duck broods

For ground‐nesting waterfowl, the timing of egg hatch and duckling departure from the nest may be influenced by the risk of predation at the nest and en route to wetlands and constrained by the time required for ducklings to imprint on the hen and be physically able to leave the nest. We determined the timing of hatch, nest departure, and...

Peterson, Sarah H.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark P.; Hartman, Christopher; Croston, Rebecca; Feldheim, Cliff L.; Casazza, Michael L.

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Year Published: 2019

Quantifying risk of whale–vessel collisions across space, time, and management policies

Transportation industries can negatively impact wildlife populations, including through increased risk of mortality. To mitigate this risk successfully, managers and conservationists must estimate risk across space, time, and alternative management policies. Evaluating this risk at fine spatial and temporal scales can be challenging, especially in...

Crum, Nathan J.; Gowan, Timothy A.; Krzystan, Andrea; Martin, Julien

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Year Published: 2019

Spatiotemporal patterns of cheatgrass invasion in Colorado Plateau National Parks

Exotic annual grasses are transforming native arid and semi-arid ecosystems globally by accelerating fire cycles that drive vegetation state changes. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), a particularly widespread and aggressive exotic annual grass, is a key management target in national parks of the western United States due to its impacts on...

Bishop, Tara B.B.; Munson, Seth M.; Gill, Richard; Belnap, Jayne; St. Clair, Samuel B.; Petersen, Steven L.

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Year Published: 2019

The effects of geography, habitat, and humans on the ecology and demography of the Gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) in the southern Lake Wales Ridge region of Florida

A 35-year (1967–2002) demographic study was conducted on the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) from two different habitats on Archbold Biological Station located on the southern end of the Lake Wales Ridge in south-central Florida. We found geographic, habitat, and human-mediated effects on several aspects of its biology. Our findings...

Meshaka, Walter E.; Layne, James N.; Rice, Kenneth G.

Filter Total Items: 720
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.

Burned forest with a few small plants growing between burned trees.
October 11, 2018

Hillside at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area 2 Months After Fire

A landscape at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area 2 months after summer 2018's Carr Fire near Redding, California, where USGS WERC researchers are studying fire impacts, post-fire vegetation recovery, and post-fire erosion and debris flows.

...
Burned hill after fire with dead and charred trees.
October 11, 2018

Hill at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area 2 Months After Fire

A landscape at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area 2 months after summer 2018's Carr Fire near Redding, California, where USGS WERC researchers are studying fire impacts, post-fire vegetation recovery, and post-fire erosion and debris flows.

...
Clearing and road with burned hillside in the background.
October 11, 2018

Landscape at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area 2 Months After Fire

A landscape at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area 2 months after summer 2018's Carr Fire near Redding, California, where USGS WERC researchers are studying fire impacts, post-fire vegetation recovery, and post-fire erosion and debris flows.

...
Roadside area with burned  clearing and trees.
October 11, 2018

Hillside at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area 2 Months After Fire

A landscape at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area 2 months after summer 2018's Carr Fire near Redding, California, where USGS WERC researchers are studying fire impacts, post-fire vegetation recovery, and post-fire erosion and debris flows.

...
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. 
 

Remote Camera, 30-mile Camp (River MIe 30.7)
September 29, 2018

Remote Camera, 30-mile Camp (River MIe 30.7)

Remote Camera, 30-mile Camp (River MIe 30.7)

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

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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

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Filter Total Items: 289
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

Date published: September 6, 2017

Wildfire and Invasive Species Drives Increasing Size and Cost of Public Land Restoration Efforts

An examination of long-term data for lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management finds that land treatments in the southwestern United States are increasingly large, expensive and related to fire and invasive species control.

Date published: September 5, 2017

Public Invitation: USGS La Crosse Science Center Opens Doors for Interactive Experience

The public is invited to attend a free, family-friendly open house at a local U.S. Geological Survey center for ecology research on Saturday, September 9.  

Date published: August 30, 2017

Public Invitation: Jamestown Science Center Opens Doors for Interactive Experience

The public is invited to attend a free, family-friendly open house at a local U.S. Geological Survey center for ecology research on Saturday, September 16.