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 1, 2019
Status: Active

A Structured Decision-Making Framework for Controlling, Monitoring, and Containment of Invasive Species through Trapping: An Application to the Argentine Black and White Tegu

USGS is applying decision analysis to identify cost-effective methods for controlling invasive species like the Argentine black and white tegu.

Date published: March 1, 2019
Status: Active

Climate Change Adaptation for Coastal National Wildlife Refuges

National Wildlife Refuges provide habitat for important fish and wildlife species and services that benefit coastal communities, like storm-surge protection. USGS scientists are helping coastal refuges plan for and adapt to sea-level rise. 

Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Active

Decision Analysis to Help Improve the Effectiveness of Invasive Plants Management

Melaleuca is an invasive tree that is highly problematic in the Everglades, threatening native wildlife and habitat. USGS is helping to improve management strategies for the invasive plant. 

Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Completed

Fish Slam November 2018

In November 2018, USGS researchers joined partners in South Florida where they sampled freshwater bodies for non-native fishes. The bi-annual Fish Slam event helps monitor new introductions and document range expansion of known non-native fishes. 

Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Active

Quantifying Restoration Benefits to Native Stream Fishes

This project is a collaboration of scientists from the USGS and University of Georgia to collect and analyze data describing how small-stream fishes use habitats created through stream restoration activities.  The USFWS Region 4 requested this Science Support Partnership (SSP) project as a means to evaluate the effectiveness of stream restoration (primarily in north Georgia, and potentially in...

Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

Effects of Native and Non-native Fishes on Native Apple Snail Population Dynamics

The Florida apple snail is a critical component of the state's wetland food webs. USGS scientists assess the effects of native and non-native fishes on the native snail populations.

Contacts: Pamela J Schofield, Ph.D., Daniel Slone, Ph.D., Kristen Reaver, Philip C. Darby, Ph.D., Silvia M. Gutierre, Ph.D.
Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

Development of a Quantitative Risk Assessment Tool to Predict Invasiveness of Non-native Freshwater Fishes in Everglades National Park

The introduction of non-native fishes is a problem across the United States, particularly in Florida. USGS scientists are developing a decision support tool to help natural resourece managers prioritize which species to focus prevention, detection, rapid response, and control efforts. 

Contacts: Pamela J Schofield, Ph.D., Daniel Slone, Ph.D., William F. Loftus, Jeff Kline
Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

Habitat Modeling for the Endangered Everglades Snail Kite and Its Prey

Joint Ecosystem Modeling (JEM) provides real-time habitat suitability models for species of interest in Everglades restoration planning, including the federally endangered Everglades snail kite. 

Date published: February 26, 2019
Status: Active

Mycobacteriosis among northern snakehead fish in the Potomac River

Mycobacteriosis among northern snakehead fish in the Potomac River

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...

Filter Total Items: 150
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...

Date published: January 1, 2018

Dataset: Molecular testing of adult Pacific salmon and trout (Oncorhynchus spp.) for several RNA viruses demonstrates widespread distribution of piscine orthoreovirus (PRV) in Alaska and Washington

Dataset for the publication 'Molecular testing of adult Pacific salmon and trout (Oncorhynchus spp.) for several RNA viruses demonstrates widespread distribution of piscine orthoreovirus (PRV) in Alaska and Washington'. This research was initiated in conjunction with a systematic, multi-agency surveillance effort in the United States (U.S.) in response to reported findings of infectious salmon...

Date published: January 1, 2018

USGS Dam Removal Science Database v2.0

This database is the result of an extensive literature search aimed at identifying documents relevant to the emerging field of dam removal science. In total the database contains 214 citations that contain empirical monitoring information associated with 181 different dam removals across the United States and abroad. Data includes publications through 2016 and supplemented with the U.S. Army...

Date published: January 1, 2018

Distribution and seasonal differences in Pacific Lamprey and Lampetra spp eDNA across 18 Puget Sound watersheds, 2014 and 2015

These data contain all the raw results needed to support the conclusions for the final product. These data are water sampling locations (latitude and longitude), date of water sampling, quantitative PCR values for each water sample, and stream flow at USGS stream gauging stations on sampling day.

Date published: January 1, 2018

Annual survival, site fidelity, and longevity in the eastern population of the Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris)

Data comprise 6632 observations of individually banded Painted Buntings, captured and observed from 1999-2016 at 40 study locations on the southeastern Atlantic Coast (NC, SC, GA and FL, US).

Date published: January 1, 2018

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

This dataset is comprised of 3 .csv files related to the use of unmanned aerial systems over waterbird colonies. Specifically, data detail the disturbance observed in birds during flights, the time required for traditional ground surveys to be conducted, and the distance at which birds flush during traditional ground surveys.

Date published: January 1, 2018

Climatic CPGs -- Probability of Streamflow Permanence (PROSPER) Continuous Parameter Grids (CPGs)

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed the PRObability of Streamflow PERmanence (PROSPER) model, a GIS raster-based empirical model that provides streamflow permanence probabilities (probabilistic predictions) of a stream channel having year-round flow for any unregulated and minimally-impaired stream channel in the Pacific Northwest region, U.S. The model provides annual predictions...

Date published: January 1, 2018

Probability of Streamflow Permanence (PROSPER) Model Output Layers

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed the PRObability of Streamflow PERmanence (PROSPER) model, a GIS raster-based empirical model that provides streamflow permanence probabilities (probabilistic predictions) of a stream channel having year-round flow for any unregulated and minimally-impaired stream channel in the Pacific Northwest region, U.S. The model provides annual predictions...

Date published: January 1, 2018

Probability of Streamflow Permanence (PROSPER) Continuous Parameter Grids (CPGs)

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed the PRObability of Streamflow PERmanence (PROSPER) model, a GIS raster-based empirical model that provides streamflow permanence probabilities (probabilistic predictions) of a stream channel having year-round flow for any unregulated and minimally-impaired stream channel in the Pacific Northwest region, U.S. The model provides annual predictions...

Date published: January 1, 2018

Concentrations of environmental DNA (eDNA) during sockeye salmon spawning in 2016, Hansen Creek, Alaska, USA

This dataset contains environmental DNA (eDNA) concentrations and spawning adult abundances for sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) in Hansen Creek, a small tributary in the Wood River watershed, southeast Alaska, USA. We took temporally- and spatially-replicated eDNA samples during the spawning period (mid-July through August), along with fish counts (live, naturally dead, and killed),...

Filter Total Items: 30,781
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Year Published: 2019

Morphology and molecular data reveal invasion of cryptic golden tegus Tupinambis cryptus Murphy et al., 2016) in Florida

Golden Tegus (Tupinambis teguixin sensu lato) are native to South America and have established a reproducing population in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Recent work divided the Golden Tegu into four separate species, leaving the specific identity of Golden Tegus in Florida unknown. We used morphometric and mitochondrial data to determine the species...

Pyron, R. Alexander; Reed, Robert; Colston, Timothy J.; Rochford, Michael R.

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Year Published: 2019

Alaska Shorebird Conservation Plan, Version III

In recognition of declines among perhaps half of Alaska’s breeding shorebirds, ongoing or emerging threats to shorebirds and their habitats, and considerable knowledge of Alaska’s shorebirds acquired over the past decade, the Alaska Shorebird Group decided that the Alaska Shorebird Conservation Plan was due for updates. Similar to Version II (2008...

Ruthrauff, Daniel R.
Alaska Shorebird Group. 2019. Alaska Shorebird Conservation Plan. Version III. Alaska Shorebird Group, Anchorage, AK, https://www.fws.gov/alaska/mbsp/mbm/shorebirds/plans.htm

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Year Published: 2019

Risk factors and productivity losses associated with Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae infection in United States domestic sheep operations

Association of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae with pneumonia in domestic small ruminants has been described in Europe, Asia, and New Zealand but has received less attention in the United States. In 2011, the US Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Health Monitoring Survey detected M. ovipneumoniae shedding in 88% of 453 domestic sheep operations...

Manlove, Kezia R.; Branan, M; Baker, K; Bradway, D; Cassirer, E. F.; Marshall, K.L; Miller, Ryan S.; Sweeney, Steven J.; Cross, Paul C.; Besser, T. E.

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Year Published: 2019

Three-dimensional partitioning of resources by congeneric forest predators with recent sympatry

Coexistence of ecologically similar species can be maintained by partitioning along one or more niche axes. Three-dimensional structural complexity is central to facilitating resource partitioning between many forest species, but is underrepresented in field-based studies. We examined resource selection by sympatric northern spotted owls (Strix...

Jenkins, Julianna M; Lesmeister, Damon B.; Wiens, David; Kane, Jonathan T; Kane, Van R.; Verschuyl, Jake V

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Year Published: 2019

Quantifying ecological integrity of terrestrial systems to inform management of multiple-use public lands in the United States

The concept of ecological integrity has been applied widely to management of aquatic systems, but still is considered by many to be too vague and difficult to quantify to be useful for managing terrestrial systems, particularly across broad areas. Extensive public lands in the western United States are managed for diverse uses such as timber...

Carter, Sarah K.; Fleishman, Erica; Leinwand, Ian I.F.; Flather, Curtis H.; Carr, Natasha B.; Fogarty, Frank A.; Leu, Matthias; Noon, Barry R.; Wohlfeil, M.E.; Wood, David J. A.

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Year Published: 2019

Satellite tracking of gulls and genomic characterization of fecal bacteria reveals environmentally mediated acquisition and dispersal of antimicrobial resistant Escherichia coli on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Gulls (Larus spp.) have frequently been reported to carry Escherichia coli exhibiting antimicrobial resistance (AMR E. coli); however, the pathways governing the acquisition and dispersal of such bacteria are not well-described. We equipped 17 landfill-foraging gulls with satellite transmitters and collected gull fecal samples longitudinally from...

Ahlstrom, Christina; Bonnedahl, Jonas; Woksepp, Hanna; Hernandez, Jorge; Reed, John; Tibbitts, Lee; Olsen, Björn; Douglas, David C.; Ramey, Andrew M.

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Year Published: 2019

Can multi-element fingerprinting of soils inform assessments of chemical connectivity between depressional wetlands?

The question of wetland connectivity is particularly relevant regarding depressional wetlands because these wetlands often seem to be “isolated” from other wetlands on a landscape. In this study, multi-element fingerprinting of soils was used to assess similarity in element composition of depressional-wetland soils as a measure of wetland...

Xiaoyan Zhu; Yuxiang Yuan; Mushet, David M.; Marinus L. Otte

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Year Published: 2019

Advancing barrier island habitat mapping using landscape position information

Barrier islands are dynamic ecosystems that change gradually from coastal processes, including currents and tides, and rapidly from episodic events, such as storms. These islands provide many important ecosystem services, including storm protection and erosion control to the mainland, habitat for fish and wildlife, and tourism. Habitat maps,...

Enwright, Nicholas; Wang, Lei; Borchert, Sinéad M.; Day, Richard; Feher, Laura; Osland, Michael
.

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Year Published: 2019

To forage or flee: Lessons from an elk migration near a protected area

Alteration of wide-ranging wildlife migrations can drastically impact the structure and function of ecosystems, yet the causes and consequences of shifting migration patterns remain largely unknown. Management decisions made in one portion of a landscape may induce spatial and temporal shifts of wildlife use in another, creating tension among...

Mikle, Nathaniel; Graves, Tabitha A.; Olexa, Edward M.

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Year Published: 2019

Environmental DNA sampling reveals high occupancy rates of invasive Burmese pythons at wading bird breeding aggregations in the central Everglades

The Burmese python (Python bivittatus) is now established as a breeding population throughout south Florida, USA. However, the extent of the invasion, and the ecological impacts of this novel apex predator on animal communities are incompletely known, in large part because Burmese pythons (hereafter “pythons”) are extremely cryptic and there has...

Orzechowski, Sophia C. M.; Frederick, Peter C.; Dorazio, Robert M.; Hunter, Margaret

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Year Published: 2019

Hurricane Sandy impacts on coastal wetland resilience

The goal of this research was to evaluate the impacts of Hurricane Sandy on surface elevation trends in estuarine marshes located across the northeast region of the United States from Virginia to Maine using data from an opportunistic (in other words, not strategic) and collaborative network (from here on, an opportunistic network) of surface...

Cahoon, Donald R.; Olker, Jennifer H.; Yeates, Alice G.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Grace, James B.; Adamowicz, Susan C.; Anisfeld, Shimon C.; Baldwin, Andrew H.; Barrett, Nels; Beckett, Leah; Benzecry, Alice; Blum, Linda K.; Burdick, David M.; Crouch, William; Ekberg, Marci Cole; Fernald, Sarah; Grimes, Kristin Wilson; Grzyb, Joseph; Hartig, Ellen Kracauer; Kreeger, Danielle A.; Larson, Marit; Lerberg, Scott; Lynch, James C.; Maher, Nicole; Maxwell-Doyle, Martha; Mitchell, Laura R.; Mora, Jordan; O'Neill, Victoria; Padeletti, Angela; Prosser, Diann J.; Quirk, Tracy; Raposa, Kenneth B.; Reay, William G.; Siok, Drexel; Snow, Christopher; Starke, Adam; Stevenson, J. Court; Staver, Lorie; Turner, Vincent
Cahoon, D.R., Olker, J.H., Yeates, A.G., Guntenspergen, G.R., Grace, J.B., Adamowicz, S.C., Anisfeld, S., Baldwin, A.H., Barrett, N., Beckett, L., Benzecry, A., Blum, L.K., Burdick, D.M., Crouch, W., Ekberg, M.C., Fernald, S., Grimes, K.W., Grzyb, J., Hartig, E.K., Kreeger, D.A., Larson, M., Lerberg, S., Lynch, J.C., Maher, N., Maxwell-Doyle, M., Mitchell, L.R., Mora, J., O’Neill, V., Padeletti, A., Prosser, D., Quirk, T., Raposa, K.B., Reay, W.G., Siok, D., Snow, C., Starke, A., Staver, L., Stevenson, J.C., and Turner, V., 2019, Hurricane Sandy impacts on coastal wetland resilience: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1142, 117 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181142.

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Year Published: 2019

Annual survival, site fidelity, and longevity in the eastern coastal population of the Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) based on a 20-year mark-recapture/resighting study

A long-term study of annual survival, longevity, and site fidelity in the eastern coastal population of the Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) during the breeding season was conducted from 1999 through 2018 in the outer coastal plain of the southeastern Atlantic coast of the United States. Painted Buntings were uniquely color-banded from 1999...

Sykes, Paul W. Jr; Freeman, Mary C.; Sykes, Joan J.; Seginak, John T.; M. David Oleyar; Egan, Joshua P.

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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

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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.

Salt marsh harvest mouse
July 13, 2018

Endangered Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris)

A Federally endangered salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) climbs a branch.

Female northern harrier
July 13, 2018

Adult Female Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)

An adult, female northern harrier (Circus cyaneus) flies overhead in Suisun Marsh, CA. Before habitat loss drove declines in the bird's populations, Suisun Marsh hosted the state's largest population of northern harriers.

July 11, 2018

Four Examples of Nest Predation by Rats - Hawaii Volcanoes National

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

...
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

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Filter Total Items: 289
Date published: August 25, 2017

Story from the Field: Ducks of Suisun Marsh

Suisun Marsh in summer is typically heavy with fog, mosquitoes, and biting flies, but the sun casts sharp light across the water, beating back the usual unpleasantness as WERC volunteer Brock Riggs wades toward a study site on an early July morning. 

Date published: August 23, 2017

Invasive Pest May Not Be Only Cause of Recent Louisiana Marsh Die-off

A non-native insect infestation may not be the only factor involved in the ongoing die-back of a marsh grass in the Mississippi River’s “bird foot delta,” the ecologically and economically important part of coastal Louisiana where the river meets the Gulf of Mexico.

Date published: August 16, 2017

Changing Tides: Lake Michigan Could Best Support Lake Trout and Steelhead

Invasive mussels and less nutrients from tributaries have altered the Lake Michigan ecosystem making it more conducive to the stocking of lake trout and steelhead than Chinook salmon, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey and Michigan State University study.

Date published: August 10, 2017

Media Advisory: Wildlife Partners Unite to Protect Iconic Species from Deadly Plague

Reporters are invited to an event near Fort Collins showcasing cooperative efforts to develop a potential breakthrough in wildlife management – an oral vaccine that may help protect prairie dogs against plague and assist in the recovery of endangered black-footed ferrets at specific locations in the West.  

Date published: August 1, 2017

Deadly Fungus Affecting Hibernating Bats Could Spread During Summer

The cold-loving fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans, or Pd) that causes white-nose syndrome, a disease that has killed millions of North American bats during hibernation, could also spread in summer months. Bats and humans visiting contaminated caves and mines can inadvertently contribute to the spread of the fungus, according to a recently published study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: July 17, 2017

Wildlife Cameras Offer Insight on Geese for Industry and Researchers in the Arctic

Direct encounters with humans can increase the likelihood that nesting geese will lose their eggs to predators, according to a recent study released Monday, July 17.

Date published: July 12, 2017

Flexibility in Behavior of Some Animals Helps Them Accommodate a Changing Climate

A new study by the U.S. Geological Survey and its partners has identified situations and conditions where some animals display behavioral flexibility – the ability to rapidly change behavior in response to short – or long-term environmental changes such as climate variability. 

Date published: July 12, 2017

USGS: Louisiana’s Rate of Coastal Wetland Loss Continues to Slow

Lack of Major Hurricanes Since 2008 Is Likely the Main Reason

Date published: July 10, 2017

Hawaiian Birds Rapidly Colonize Young Restoration Forest

Forest birds on the island of Hawaii are responding positively to being restored in one of the largest, ongoing reforestation projects at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, according to a new study released July 10 in the journal Restoration Ecology.

Date published: July 5, 2017

Return of the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear

From the journals of Lewis & Clark, April 13, 1805 (in the vicinity of Pouch Point Recreation Area - 16 miles south of New Town, North Dakota):

Date published: July 5, 2017

Hot new imagery of wintering bats suggests a group behavior for battling white-nose syndrome

Hot new imagery from temperature-sensing cameras suggests that bats who warm up from hibernation together throughout the winter may be better at surviving white nose syndrome, a disease caused by a cold-loving fungus ravaging insect-eating bat populations in the United States and Canada.

Date published: June 29, 2017

More Milkweeds Located Throughout the Landscape Can Help Conserve Monarchs

Adding milkweeds and other native flowering plants into midwestern agricultural lands is key to restoring monarch butterflies, with milkweed sowers from all sectors of society being critically needed for success.