Due to a lapse in appropriations, the majority of USGS websites may not be up to date and may not reflect current conditions. Websites displaying real-time data, such as Earthquake and Water and information needed for public health and safety will be updated with limited support. Additionally, USGS will not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted. For more information, please see www.doi.gov/shutdown
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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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The sagebrush ecosystem extends across 11 Western States and two Canadian Provinces and over 60 percent of that landscape is on public lands, half of which are managed by the Interior. This area is dominated by sagebrush, which is priority habitat for over 350 wildlife species, most notably the greater sage grouse. Alterations in the sagebrush ecosystem including changing fire regimes, spread...
The USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Program provides science to support management and restoration of America’s Everglades. This program supports multi-year monitoring, modeling, and research projects that span the entire range of scientific disciplines. A recent emphasis has been on climate change effects. Research topics include biogeochemistry, invasive species detection and...
USGS scientists have made great strides in refining and extending the capabilities of the Computational Assessments of Scenarios of Change for the Delta Ecosystem (CASCaDE II model systems); a collaboration among the USGS and several academic and international organizations. This paved the way for more reliable and objective evaluations of the ecosystem consequences of management actions and...
USGS research has a critical role in providing scientific information to improve the understanding and management of the Nation’s largest estuary: the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The 64,000-square-mile watershed supports over 3,600 species of fish, wildlife, and plants and provides spawning grounds for many ecologically and economically important species including striped bass and blue crabs....
Protecting endangered species while managing economically important species is an ongoing natural
resource management challenge, especially in rivers. The USGS develops tools like biological/economic models to identify optimal strategies and economic and biological tradeoffs when adding nonnative species to rivers where endangered native species exist. This ongoing research will provide...
Mountain ecosystems are highly sensitive to climate change, and USGS is conducting montane research across the West to help resource managers plan now for the future. Coordination with scientists around the world has led to mountain research networks to expand our understanding of how these ecosystems respond to climate change.
USGS research on mangrove ecosystem biology includes mangrove regeneration, tree growth, sedimentation, and early seedling development. We are also interested in learning about how mangrove vegetation responds to and influences environmental stressors along the coast such as sea level rise.
Forests are a key component of a healthy ecosystem. Management of these resources is vital to their protection as a recreational resource as well as an environmental resource.
Deserts are areas of the country which receive less than 10 in (250 mm) annual precipitation. In the United States, we have four distinct major deserts. Three are “hot deserts” because they receive precipitation in the summer months (Mojave, Sonoran, Chihuahuan) and one “cold desert” because it receives precipitation during the winter (Great Basin).
Coral reef ecosystems are declining worldwide, and in some places their survival is doubtful. This is both ecologically and economically troubling since coral reefs are the source of essential tourism revenue and local fisheries, as well as unique and rich ecosystems.
USGS research on coastlines is focused on understanding the natural conditions and the influence of human disturbances on species, populations, communities, habitats, and ecosystems.
Ecological research is largely concerned with the system levels beyond that of the organism. An ecological community is all the animal and plant populations occupying a given area. The community (biotic) and the nonliving environment function (abiotic) together as an ecological system or “ecosystem” which is governed by principles such as population dynamics, competition, and energy and...
This web resource provides decision makers with the information needed to maintain the Upper Mississippi River System as a viable multiple-use large river ecosystem.
The Spring Indices are a suite of models developed to simulate the timing of the onset of spring in native and cultivated plants, as well as other physical and ecological processes, that are primarily sensitive to temperature. The SI can be calculated for any weather station that collects daily minimum and maximum temperatures.
The database houses contemporary and historical data on organismal phenology across the nation. These data are being used in a number of applications for science, conservation and resource management. Customizable data downloads using specific dates, regions, species and phenophases, are freely available.
The ARMI database provides occupancy and abundance estimates at the project level. Data can be accessed in tabular format or plotted directly via an interactive map browser. The trend data is updated annually and is useful for tracking the status of some of our nation’s amphibian populations.
Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center (FRESC, Corvallis) — The Raptor Information System (RIS) is a computerized literature retrieval system that focuses on raptor management, human impacts on raptors, the mitigation of adverse impacts, and basic raptor biology (with an emphasis on population dynamics and predation).
Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is a project monitored by the USGS and the Canadian Wildlife Service on the status and trends of North American bird populations. The data can be used to estimate population trends and relative abundances at various scales.
Across Trophic Level System Simulation for the Freshwater Wetlands of the Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp
Across Trophic Level System Simulation (ATLSS) is a project to develop a set of models for the Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp of South Florida. The models will support studies "to compare the future effects of alternative hydrologic scenarios on the biotic components of the system."
The North American Bird Monitoring Projects Database site is dedicated to bird monitoring in North America. It provides easy access to descriptions of all major bird monitoring projects in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
The North American Bird Phenology Program was a network of volunteer observers who recorded information on first arrival dates, maximum abundance, and departure dates of migratory birds across North America. Active between 1880 and 1970, the program exists now as a historic collection of six million migration card observations.
This site provides data and tools to help answer the question of how well we are protecting common plants and animals (GAP Analysis). Choose a state or the entire United States. Download data for land cover, species, protected areas and more or view online, using the interactive GAP Data Viewers.
Ask not what nature can do for you: A critique of ecosystem services as a communication strategy
Given the urgent need to raise public awareness on biodiversity issues, we review the effectiveness of “ecosystem services” as a frame for promoting biodiversity conservation. Since its inception as a communications tool in the 1970s, the concept of ecosystem services has become pervasive in biodiversity policy. While the goal of securing...Bekessy, Sarah A.; Runge, Michael C.; Kusmanoff, Alex; Keith, David A.; Wintle, Brendan A.
Extreme drought alters frequency and reproductive success of floaters in Willow Flycatchers
Changes in habitat quality, including those caused by extreme events like droughts and floods, could alter costs and benefits of territoriality and thereby the prevalence and reproductive consequences for individuals capable of breeding that do not do so (floaters). We studied floating behavior in a population of Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (...Theimer, Tad; Sogge, Mark K.; Cardinal, Suzanne N.; Durst, Scott L.; Paxton, Eben H.
Ichthyophonus in sport-caught groundfishes from southcentral Alaska
This report of Ichthyophonus in common sport-caught fishes throughout the marine waters of southcentral Alaska represents the first documentation of natural Ichthyophonus infections in lingcod Ophiodon elongates and yelloweye rockfish Sebastes ruberrimus. In addition, the known geographic range of ...Harris, Bradley P.; Webster, Sarah R.; Wolf, Nathan; Gregg, Jacob L.; Hershberger, Paul
Analytical and diagnostic performance of a qPCR assay for Ichthyophonus spp. compared to the tissue culture ‘gold standard’
Parasites of the genus Ichthyophonus infect many fish species and have a non-uniform distribution within host tissues. Due in part to this uneven distribution, the comparative sensitivity and accuracy of using molecular-based detection methods versus culture to estimate parasite prevalence is under debate. We evaluated the analytical and...Lowe, Vanessa C.; Hershberger, Paul K.; Friedman, Carolyn S.
Infection by Nanophyetus salmincola and toxic contaminant exposure in out‐migrating steelhead from Puget Sound, Washington: Implications for early marine survival
Out‐migrating steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss from four Puget Sound rivers and associated marine basins of Puget Sound in Washington State were examined for the parasite, Nanophyetus salmincola in 2014 to determine whether recent trends in reduced marine survival are associated with the presence of this pathogen. A subset of...Chen, M.F.; O'Neill, S. M.; Carey, A. J.; Conrad, R. H.; Stewart, B. A.; Snekvik, K. R.; Ylitalo, G. M.; Hershberger, Paul
Chapter 4: Northern spotted owl habitat and populations: Status and threats
The northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1990 (USFWS 1990). Providing adequate amounts of suitable forest cover to sustain the subspecies was a major component of the first recovery plan for northern spotted owls (USFWS 1992) and a driver in the basic reserve design and old-...Lesmeister, Damon B.; Davis, Ramond J; Singleton, Peter H; Wiens, David
Critically assessing the utility of portable lead analyzers for wildlife conservation
Lead (Pb) exposure in wildlife is a widespread management and conservation concern. Quantitative determination of Pb concentrations in wildlife tissues is the foundation for estimating exposure and risk. Development of low‐cost, portable instruments has improved access and cost‐effectiveness of determining Pb concentrations in blood samples, while...Herring, Garth; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Bedrosian, Bryan; Craighead, Derek; Domenech, Robert; Langner, Heiko W.; Parish, Chris N.; Shreading, Adam; Welch, Alacia; Wolstenholme, Rachel
Estimating freshwater productivity, overwinter survival, and migration patterns of Klamath River Coho Salmon
An area of great importance to resource management and conservation biology in the Klamath Basin is balancing water usage against the life history requirements of threatened Coho Salmon. One tool for addressing this topic is a freshwater dynamics model to forecast Coho Salmon productivity based on environmental inputs. Constructing such a...Manhard, Christopher V.; Som, Nicholas A.; Perry, Russell W.; Faukner, Jimmy; Soto, Toz
Estimation of stream conditions in tributaries of the Klamath River, northern California
Because of their critical ecological role, stream temperature and discharge are requisite inputs for models of salmonid population dynamics. Coho Salmon inhabiting the Klamath Basin spend much of their freshwater life cycle inhabiting tributaries, but environmental data are often absent or only seasonally available at these locations. To address...Manhard, Christopher V.; Som, Nicholas A.; Jones, Edward C.; Perry, Russell W.
The utility of point count surveys to predict wildlife interactions with wind energy facilities: An example focused on golden eagles
Wind energy development is rapidly expanding in North America, often accompanied by requirements to survey potential facility locations for existing wildlife. Within the USA, golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) are among the most high-profile species of birds that are at risk from wind turbines. To minimize golden eagle fatalities in areas...Sur, Maitreyi; Belthoff, James R.; Bjerre, Emily R.; Millsap, Brian A.; Katzner, Todd E.
Trophic compression of lake food webs under hydrologic disturbance
The need to protect biostructure is increasingly recognized, yet empirical studies of how human exploits affect ecological networks are rare. Studying the effects of variation in human disturbance intensity from decades past can help us understand and anticipate ecosystem change under alleviated or amplified disturbance over decades to come. Here...Hansen, Adam G.; Gardner, Jennifer R.; Connelly, Kristin A.; Polacek, Matt; Beauchamp, David A.
Adaptive population divergence and directional gene flow across steep elevational gradients in a climate‐sensitive mammal
The American pika is a thermally sensitive, alpine lagomorph species. Recent climate-associated population extirpations and genetic signatures of reduced population sizes range-wide indicate the viability of this species is sensitive to climate change. To test for potential adaptive responses to climate stress, we sampled pikas along two...Waterhouse, Matthew D.; Erb, Liesl P.; Beever, Erik; Russello, Michael A.
Permanent Site: C1 East Transect; Depth: 8.5 Meters (28.0 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.4 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14525225,-123.57294101; Site Description: Substrate is entirely sand. Current was high and contained lots of drift seaweed and eelgrass (0:05 seconds). In 2016 all seaweeds were absent but this...
Permanent Site: C1 West Transect; Depth: 9.3 Meters (30.4 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.4 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14525225,-123.57361291; Site Description: Substrate is entirely sand. Current was high and contained lots of drift seaweed and eelgrass (0:04, 0:38 seconds). Though seaweeds were absent in 2016...
Permanent Site: A2 East Transect; Depth: 12.9 Meters (42.3 Feet); Distance from river mouth: Kilometers 1.8 (1.1 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14130295, -123.58766124; Site Description: One of our deeper sites at over 40 feet. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud. Five species of seaweeds are present though not abundant. The two most...
Permanent Site: A2 West Transect; Depth: 12.8 Meters (42.0 Feet); Distance from river mouth: Kilometers 1.8 (1.1 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14130295, -123.5883331; Site Description: One of our deeper sites at over 40 feet. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud with scattered boulders. Seven species of seaweeds are present though not...
Permanent Site: H2 East Transect; Depth: 7.6 Meters (24.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.6 Kilometers (1.6 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15008216,-123.53210661; Site Description: This site is medium to shallow depth. Substrate is mainly gravel with some sand, cobble and an occasional boulder and has not changed since dam...
Permanent Site: H2 West Transect; Depth: 7.3 Meters (23.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.6 Kilometers (1.6 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15008216,-123.53277857; Site Description: This site is medium to shallow depth. Substrate is mainly gravel with some sand, cobble and an occasional boulder and has not changed since dam...
Permanent Site: A1 East Transect; Depth: 7.7 Meters (25.4 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.8 Kilometers (1.1 Miles) West; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13870775, -123.5855312; Site Description: Transect is in eastern part of Freshwater Bay. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud. Previous small boulders appear to still be buried. The sand on...
Permanent Site: A1 West Transect; Depth: 8.7 Meters (28.7 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.9 Kilometers (1.2 Miles) West; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13870775, -123.586203; Site Description: Transect is in eastern part of Freshwater Bay. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud with patches of boulders. The sandy areas on the entire transect...
Permanent Site: K1 East Transect; Depth: 6.2 Meters (20.4 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 4.5 Kilometers (2.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13592923,-123.5101581; Site Description: This is a shallow site. Sediment is a gravel/sand mixture. Both red (1:29 seconds) and brown seaweed was abundant but this year browns were...
Permanent Site: K1 West Transect; Depth: 5.5 Meters (18.0 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 4.5 Kilometers (2.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13592923,-123.51082988; Site Description: This is a shallow site. Sediment is a gravel/sand mixture. Both red (0:20, 0:25 seconds) and brown seaweed was abundant with the browns more...
Permanent Site: F2 West Transect; Depth: 11.1 Meters (36.3 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.5 Kilometers (0.9 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15672004,-123.55036603; Site Description: Substrate is mainly a gravel/cobble mixture with an occasional boulder. Seven species of brown seaweed were present. Seaweed was abundant but not...
Chart showing changes in vegetation density in the Mississippi River delta in Louisiana, May 2015-May 2016. From a USGS Open File Report published in July 2017 by co-authors Elijah Ramsey III and Amina Rangoonwala,
"It’s a grand slam for all involved,” said Dawn Childs, USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units. “Recent high school graduates with special needs get real-world experience while helping USGS scientists on projects ranging from grizzly bears and energy to historic documents and bird migration. And a school system gets to successfully train students to enter the workforce."
Caribou, North America’s wild reindeer, have lives apart from their famous role on Christmas Eve. Reindeer and caribou are large, cold-adapted, herding herbivores related to deer, elk and moose.
To learn more about how these arctic antler-bearers spend the other 364 days of the year, we talked to USGS caribou expert Dr. Layne Adams, who has studied these animals for more than 30 years.
Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative Launches Coastal Wetland Decision Support Tools
Perhaps some of you have already experienced a sweet smooch or two under the holiday mistletoe, enjoying this fairly old kissing ritual for people. While figuring prominently in ancient lore, mistletoe is important in other vital ways: it provides essential food, cover and nesting sites for an amazing number of critters. In fact, some animals couldn’t even survive without mistletoe.
True or false? People are the leading cause of wildfires in the United States.
A group of turkeys is referred to as either a rafter or a gang. So this Thanksgiving, when celebrating with your own gang, remember the turkey as more than just the main course, but, as Benjamin Franklin said so many years ago, as a noble fowl of American tradition.
West Glacier, Mont. – Two rare alpine insects – native to the northern Rocky Mountains and dependent on cold waters of glacier and snowmelt-fed alpine streams – are imperiled due to climate warming induced glacier and snow loss according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey and its partners.
A new USGS study shows non-native Brown Trout can place a burden on native Brook Trout under the increased water temperatures climate change can cause.
True or False? People can catch white-nose syndrome from bats or the environment.
Plan also addresses other rangeland threats