Mission Areas

Ecosystems

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The USGS Ecosystems Mission Area, the biological research arm of the Department of the Interior (DOI), provides science to help America achieve sustainable management and conservation of its biological resources. This work is done within the broader mission of the USGS to serve the Nation with science that advances understanding of our natural resources and inform land and water stewardship.

Collaborative Conservation

Collaborative Conservation

What do gray wolves, manatees and bears have in common? They are just a few of the species that are part of important USGS research that informs U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decisions for endangered and threatened species.

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Cool Tools for Hot Topics

Cool Tools for Hot Topics

The USGS is developing and using tools that help answer some of the most pressing questions being asked by wildlife, natural resource, and land managers. 

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Where's our Science?

Where

Find out where Ecosystems Science Centers, Field Stations, and Cooperative Research Units are located.

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News

Date published: October 19, 2018

Honey Bee Helpers: It Takes a Village to Conserve a Colony

Do you eat fruits and vegetables? What about nuts? If so, you can thank an insect pollinator, usually a honey bee. These small insects play a major role in pollinating the world’s plants, including those we eat regularly. They also increase our nation’s crop values each year by more than 15 billion dollars.

Date published: October 18, 2018

Where Have All the Turtles Gone, and Why Should We Care?

A recently published paper on the global status of turtles and their ecological roles generated quite a bit of media interest.

Date published: September 14, 2018

Identifying Potential Contaminant Exposure to California Condors in the Pacific Northwest

Potential reintroduction of the endangered California Condor to parts of its historic range in the Pacific Northwest would benefit from information on possible threats that could challenge recovery efforts. Exposure to environmental contaminants is a key limiting factor for condor recovery in its southern range.

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: 681
Date published: November 1, 2018
Status: Active

Using Molecular Tools to Recalibrate Freshwater Mussel Taxonomy with a Focus on Imperiled Species

Freshwater mussels of the family Unionidae, also known as naiads, pearly mussels, freshwater clams, or unionids, are a diverse group of bivalve mollusks that are distributed on every continent except Antarctica. Approximately 300 species are known from the United States, with most of this diversity residing in rivers of the Southeast where many endemic taxa have evolved.

Date published: October 31, 2018
Status: Active

Wildlife Tracking/Telemetry

USGS scientists use tracking/telemetry tags to determine the occurrence and local movement patterns of wildlife. Because energy development often takes place in critical wildlife habitats, scientists can study these wildlife patterns to help guide project siting and operational decisions to areas and practices that present the lowest risk to energy development and wildlife.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 31, 2018
Status: Active

Management Support Tools

USGS scientists build broadly applicable management support tools to assist resource managers and the industry in siting of energy development and selection of off-site mitigation areas.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 31, 2018
Status: Active

Demographic and Population Models

USGS scientists are currently developing models for species of interest that can be overlaid with maps showing areas of potential energy. These models, or map overlays, identify areas of biological strengths and weaknesses or high- and low-quality habitat and can identify opportunities for conservation—areas of high-quality habitat where energy-generating potential is low—and areas of...

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 30, 2018
Status: Active

Conservation Planning

Conservation planning tools, such as those listed below, have been developed by USGS scientists to assist resource managers in prioritizing areas for future energy development.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 30, 2018
Status: Active

Fish Migration

 As hydropower dams age and require critical upgrades, USGS hydrologists, engineers and fish biologists work together to design the next generation of dams and operational protocols that improve passage for migratory fish and cause fewer negative effects on upstream and downstream ecosystems.  

Date published: October 30, 2018
Status: Active

Adaptive Management

USGS scientists conduct a combination of short- and longterm biological research, survey and monitoring, data analysis and applications, new tool and technology development and application, decision support, and adaptive management to address energy and wildlife management issues.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 30, 2018
Status: Active

Population Effects

USGS science is helping to understand the potential population effects for a number of wildlife species. Scientists are also developing risk assessment tools to guide energy development to locations where it will have minimal impact on wildlife. 

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 30, 2018
Status: Active

Monitoring and Detection

USGS scientists collect data and develop tools and techniques to minimize potential negative effects of new energy development. These tools are critical for supporting management efforts to monitor and improve effectiveness of how facilities are located, built, and operated.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 30, 2018
Status: Active

Mitigation and Compensation

USGS supports the U.S. goal to increase energy production from clean, renewable sources by conducting research into minimizing or mitigating potential negative effects of an expanding renewable energy infrastructure. USGS scientists collect data and develop tools and techniques to minimize potential negative effects of new energy development. Monitoring protocols and habitat-use models are...

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 29, 2018
Status: Active

Deterrent Technologies

USGS scientists are testing bird and bat deterrent devices (such as ultrasonic acoustic deterrents) as well as operational management strategies that can cost-effectively reduce wildlife fatalities while allowing wind operators to generate this carbon-free energy.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: October 29, 2018
Status: Active

Migration and Movement

USGS assists state fish and wildlife agencies, land and wildlife managers, and other stakeholders by producing applied science-based tools to guide wind and solar energy development to locations where it will have minimal impact on wildlife. As a basis for these tools, USGS researchers study the movement and migration of wildlife.

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Filter Total Items: 101
Date published: September 14, 2018

DATA RELEASE - Spatial distribution and risk analysis data for diamond-backed terrapins relative to crab trapping, Savannah Coastal Refuge Complex, USA - Data

The data collected during the systematic inventory of diamond-backed terrapins includes information on terrapin detection in tidal creeks on refuges, crab pot numbers and locations, and a variety of environmental-, location-, and observer-related variables to examine the effects of both environmental conditions and observer bias on terrapin detection.

Date published: September 13, 2018

"cbinom" R package: "Continuous Analog of a Binomial Distribution: d/p/q/r Family of Functions", ver. 1.3

This R package provides a standard d/p/q/r suite of functions for a continuous binomial distribution as presented by:

Ilienko, Andreii. 2013. Continuous counterparts of Poisson and binomial distributions and their properties. Annales Univ. Sci. Budapest, Sect. Comp. 39: 137-147.

Date published: September 7, 2018

Statistical Tools for Wind and Solar Energy Development and Operations

Solar and wind power development is increasing exponentially in the United States. However, these energy sources may affect wildlife, either directly from collisions with the turbine blades or photovoltaic arrays or indirectly from loss of habitat and migration routes. An important component to understanding the effects of these renewable energy projects on wildlife is accurate and precise...

Date published: August 10, 2018

Principal components of climate variation in the Desert Southwest for the time periods 1980-2010, 2040-2070 (RCP8.5) and (RCP4.5) - data release

Five principal components are used to represent the climate variation in an original set of 12 climate variables reflecting precipitation and temperature gradients. The dataset provides coverage for four regions (the Sonoran Desert, Mojave Desert, Colorado Plateau, and Southern Great Basin) and two time periods: current climate (defined as the 1980-2010 normal period) and future climate (...

Date published: August 10, 2018

Climate Distance Mapper - web application

Climate Distance Mapper is a spatial decision-support tool designed to help land managers match seed sources with restoration sites. Plant populations are commonly adapted to local climate gradients and frequently exhibit a home-site advantage. For this reason, climate information may serve as a proxy for local adaptation in restoration designs. Climate Distance Mapper allows users to rank the...

Date published: August 9, 2018

DATA RELEASE - Occurrence records and vegetation type data used for species distribution models in the western United States - Data

These data are species distribution information assembled for assessing the impacts of land-use barriers, facilitative interactions with other species, and loss of long-distance animal dispersal on predicted species range patterns for four common species in pinyon-juniper woodlands in the western United States.

Date published: July 19, 2018

DATA RELEASE - Aeolian mass flux, rangeland monitoring site, and unpaved road reach data - Data

These data were compiled for monitoring and analyzing the amount of windblown (aeolian) sediment at 100 cm height near Moab, UT. Big Springs Number Eight (BSNE) field aeolian passive sediment traps are summarized by location and time period in shapefiles. Shapefiles also include attributes used to analyze patterns in the aeolian transport.

Date published: July 11, 2018

DATA RELEASE - Climate, hydrology and riparian vegetation composition data, Grand Canyon, Arizona - Data

These data were compiled for monitoring riparian vegetation change along the Colorado River. This file contains data recorded at 42 sandbars between Lees Ferry and Diamond Creek, AZ, which are annually sampled for both geomorphic and vegetation change. Field data contained here were collected from 2012 to 2016 in September and October of each year.

Date published: July 1, 2018

Wildlife Health Bulletins

Wildlife Health Bulletins are distributed to natural resource/conservation agencies to provide and promote information exchange about significant wildlife health threats. 

Date published: June 12, 2018

DATA RELEASE - Simulated Soil Water Potential in National Parks and Monuments of the Southern Colorado Plateau, 1915-2099—Data

These data were simulated using the SOILWAT model and were intended to characterize soil-water conditions at different ecological sites on the southern Colorado Plateau. The sites simulated correspond with Inventory and Monitoring plots established by the National Park Service’s Southern Colorado Plateau Network.

Date published: June 5, 2018

DATA RELEASE - The influence of water temperature on salmonid recruitment and adult size in tailwaters across western North America—Data

These data were used to examine drivers behind changes in water temperature downriver of dams across the western U.S. from 1995-2015 and the influence of such changes on rainbow trout recruitment and rainbow and brown trout adult length.

Date published: May 3, 2018

Land Treatment Exploration Tool

The Land Treatment Exploration Tool is designed for resource managers to use when planning land treatments. The tool provides useful summaries of environmental characteristics of planned treatment areas and facilitates adaptive management practices by comparing those characteristics to other similar treatments within a specified distance or area of interest. ...

Filter Total Items: 19
Date published: July 5, 2018

Wildlife Health Information Sharing Partnership – event reporting system (WHISPers)

The NWHC developed the Wildlife Health Information Sharing Partnership – event reporting system (WHISPers) to increase public awareness of wildlife disease events and promote collaboration and data sharing among wildlife professionals. It is a partner driven tool that provides a dynamic, timely, searchable web-based system for visualizing and accessing data on wildlife disease events nationwide.

Date published: July 2, 2018

White-Nose Syndrome Occurrence Map

View current and archived maps of white-nose syndrome occurrence by county/district.

Date published: May 21, 2018

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Quagga Mussel Sightings Map

Interactive map of the distribution of quagga mussels in North America. This map is provided by the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species program.

Date published: May 21, 2018

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Zebra Mussel Sightings Map

Interactive map of the distribution of zebra mussels in North America. This map is provided by the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species program.

Date published: May 1, 2018

Chronic Wasting Disease Map

Reported distribution of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in North America. 

Date published: April 19, 2018

USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units: 2017 Year In Review

In September 1960, the 86th Congress passed Public Law 86-686 to facilitate cooperation between the Federal government, colleges and universities, the States, and private organizations for Cooperative Unit Programs of research and education relating to fish and wildlife, and for other purposes. The Cooperative Research Units originated in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the mid 1930s

Date published: April 3, 2018

Sea Star Wasting Syndrome Map

The map includes information from Pacific Rocky Intertidal Monitoring surveys as well as information from logs submitted by other researchers, divers, and the general public.

Date published: October 30, 2017

Movement Maps for Suisun Marsh Waterfowl and Waterbird Studies

Suisun Marsh is a critical habitat for wintering and breeding waterbirds in California. USGS is working with the California DWR to examine the trends in bird decline and to assess the habitat factors driving long-term survival of waterfowl, rails, and other birds in this important area.

Date published: July 20, 2017

Map of USGS WERC Locations

WERC headquarters, field stations, and sub-stations strategically located in or near California and Nevada bioregions, form the core of the WERC science program.

Date published: July 20, 2017

Re-establishing Waterbird Breeding Colonies in San Francisco Bay

This U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) story map details how partners are using ​science and management to maintain and establish new ​bird ​nesting colonies in support of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Date published: February 15, 2017

2016 Cooperative Research Unit Story Map

In this Year in Review report, you will find details on staffing, vacancies, research funding, and other pertinent information. You will also see snapshots of Unit projects with information on how results have been or are being applied by cooperators. That is the essence of what we do: science that matter.

 

Date published: September 20, 2016

The Eastern Region Initiative on the Clinch (ERIC)

The Clinch-Powell River Basins Spanning Virginia and Tennessee

Filter Total Items: 2,913
Year Published: 2019

Movement ecology of reintroduced migratory Whooping Cranes

No abstract available.

Teitelbaum, Claire S.; Converse, Sarah J.; Fagan, William F.; Mueller, Thomas
Mueller, T., Teitelbaum, C.S., Fagan, W.F., and Converse, S.J., 2018, Movement Ecology of Reintroduced Migratory Whooping Cranes, in French, J.B., Jr., Converse, S.J., and Austin, J.E., editors, Whooping Cranes: Biology and Conservation: San Diego, CA, Academic Press, Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes, p. 217-238.

Year Published: 2019

Reproduction and reproductive strategies relevant to management of Whooping Cranes ex situ

Due to the small population size (∼400 birds) and continuing threats to wild Whooping Cranes (Grus americana), an ex situ (captive) population is maintained to contribute to the recovery of the species. The goals of the captive breeding program are to provide opportunity for research and birds for reintroduction. However, reproduction...

Songsasen, Nucharin; Converse, Sarah J.; Brown, Megan
Songsasen, N., Converse, S.J., and Brown, M., 2018, Reproduction and Reproductive Strategies Relevant to Management of Whooping Cranes Ex Situ, in French, J.B., Jr., Converse, S.J., and Austin, J.E., editors, Whooping Cranes: Biology and Conservation: San Diego, CA, Academic Press, Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes, p. 373-388.

Year Published: 2019

Population dynamics of reintroduced Whooping Cranes

Because of the small size and restricted range of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo Population, reintroduction is a prominent element of the recovery effort to ensure persistence of Whooping Cranes (Grus americana). A fundamental objective of all Whooping Crane reintroduction efforts is the establishment of a self-sustaining population. Therefore...

Converse, Sarah J.; Servanty, Sabrina; Moore, Clinton T.; Runge, Michael C.
Converse, S.J., Servanty, S., Moore, C.T., and Runge, M.C., 2018, Population Dynamics of Reintroduced Whooping Cranes, in French, J.B., Jr., Converse, S.J., and Austin, J.E., editors, Whooping Cranes: Biology and Conservation: San Diego, CA, Academic Press, Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes, p. 139-160.

Year Published: 2019

Whooping Cranes past and present

The Whooping Crane (Grus americana), endemic to North America, is the rarest of all crane species. It is believed that in the early 1800s, the Whooping Crane was widespread in North America, though it was never very abundant. Whooping Crane numbers decreased precipitously as westward migration of Euro-American settlers converted ...

French, John B.; Converse, Sarah J.; Austin, Jane E.
French, J.B., Jr., Converse, S.J., and Austin, J.E., 2018, Whooping Cranes Past and Present, in French, J.B., Jr., Converse, S.J., and Austin, J.E., editors, Whooping Cranes: Biology and Conservation: San Diego, CA, Academic Press, Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes, p. 3-16.

Year Published: 2019

Reproductive failure in the Eastern Migratory Population: The interaction of research and management

The reintroduction of the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes (Grus americana) has shown the most promise of any effort to date toward the establishment of a self-sustaining population. However, reproduction – including both nest success and chick survival – has been a major challenge. Here, we review the research and...

Converse, Sarah J.; Strobel, Bradley N.; Barzen, Jeb A.
Converse, S.J., Strobel, B.N., and Barzen, J.A., 2018, Reproductive Failure in the Eastern Migratory Population: The Interaction of Research and Management, in French, J.B., Jr., Converse, S.J., and Austin, J.E., editors, Whooping Cranes: Biology and Conservation: San Diego, CA, Academic Press, Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes, p. 161-178.

Year Published: 2018

GenEst user guide—Software for a generalized estimator of mortality

GenEst (Generalized Estimator) is a software tool for estimating the total number of individuals arriving in an area during a specific time period when their detection probability is unknown but estimable. Its development was motivated by the need to accurately estimate the total number of bird and bat fatalities occurring at wind and solar energy...

Simonis, Juniper; Dalthorp, Daniel; Huso, Manuela; Mintz, Jeffrey; Madsen, Lisa; Rabie, Paul; Studyvin, Jared
Simonis, J., Dalthorp, D., Huso, M., Mintz, J., Madsen, L., Rabie, P., and Studyvin, J., 2018, GenEst user guide—Software for a generalized estimator of mortality: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 7, chap. C19, 72 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm7C19.

Year Published: 2018

GenEst statistical models—A generalized estimator of mortality

IntroductionGenEst (a generalized estimator of mortality) is a suite of statistical models and software tools for generalized mortality estimation. It was specifically designed for estimating the number of bird and bat fatalities at solar and wind power facilities, but both the software (Dalthorp and others, 2018) and the underlying statistical...

Dalthorp, Daniel; Madsen, Lisa; Huso, Manuela; Rabie, Paul; Wolpert, Robert; Studyvin, Jared; Simonis, Juniper; Mintz, Jeffrey
Dalthorp, D., Madsen, L., Huso, M., Rabie, P., Wolpert, R., Studyvin, J., Simonis, J., and Mintz, J., 2018, GenEst statistical models—A generalized estimator of mortality: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 7, chap. A2, 13 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm7A2.

Year Published: 2018

Batrachochytrium salamandriovrans (Bsal) in Appalachia—Using scenario building to proactively prepare for a wildlife disease outbreak caused by an invasive amphibian chytrid fungus:

Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), a pathogenic chytrid fungus, is nonnative to the United States and poses a disease threat to vulnerable amphibian hosts. The Bsal fungus may lead to increases in threatened, endangered, and sensitive status listings at State, Tribal, and Federal levels, resulting in financial costs associated with...

Hopkins, M.C.; Adams, M.J.; Super, P.E.; Olson, D.H.; Hickman, C.R.; English, P.; Sprague, L.; Maska, I.B. ; Pennaz, A.B.; Ludwig, K.A.
Attribution: Ecosystems
Hopkins, M.C., Adams, M.J., Super, P.E., Olson, D.H., Hickman, C.R., English, P., Sprague, L., Maska, I.B., Pennaz, A.B., and Ludwig, K.A., 2018, Batrachochytrium salamandriovrans (Bsal) in Appalachia—Using scenario building to proactively prepare for a wildlife disease outbreak caused by an invasive amphibian chytrid fungus: U.S. Geological Survey Report 2018–1150, 31 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181150.

Year Published: 2018

Multi-state occupancy models of foraging habitat use by the Hawaiian hoary bat Lasiurus cinereus semotus

Multi-state occupancy modeling can often improve assessments of habitat use and site quality when animal activity or behavior data are available. We examine the use of the approach for evaluating foraging habitat suitability of the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus) from classifications of site occupancy based on flight...

Gorresen, Paulo Marcos; Brinck, Kevin W.; DeLisle, Megan A; Montoya-Aiona, Kristina; Pinzari, Corinna A; Bonaccorso, Frank
Gorresen, P. M., K. W. Brinck, M. A. DeLisle, K. Montoya-Aiona, C. A. Pinzari, and F. J. Bonaccorso. 2018. Multi-state occupancy models of foraging habitat use by the Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus). PLoS ONE 13:e0205150.

Year Published: 2018

Resiliency of biological soil crusts and vascular plants varies among morphogroups with disturbance intensity

Background and aimsDisturbance affects the ability of organisms to persist on a site, and disturbance history acts as a filter of community composition. This is true for vascular plants and morphological groups of biocrusts, which respond differently to disturbance. Although functioning arid ecosystems include both groups, filtering of...

Condon, Lea A.; Pyke, David A.
Condon, L.A., Pyke, D.A., 2018, Resiliency of biological soil crusts and vascular plants varies among morphogroups with disturbance intensity: Plant and Soil, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-018-3838-8.

Year Published: 2018

Evidence for geographic variation in life-cycle processes affecting phenology of the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in the United States

The seasonal activity pattern of immature Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae) varies geographically in the United States, which may affect the efficiency of transmission cycles of pathogens transmitted by this species. To study the factors that determine seasonality, a multiyear study at seven sites across the geographic range of...

Ogden, Nicholas H.; Pang, Genevieve; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Hickling, Graham J.; Burke, Russell L.; Beati, Lorenza; Tsao, Jean I.
Ogden, N. H., Pang, G., Ginsberg, H. S., Hickling, G. J., Burke, R. L., Beati, L., and Tsao, J. I., 2018, Evidence for geographic variation in life-cycle processes affecting phenology of the lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in the United States: Journal of Medical Entomology, v. 55, no. 6, p. 1386-1401. https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjy104

Year Published: 2018

A test of sex specific genetic markers in the Hawaiian hoary bat and relevance to population studies

We tested the utility of a protocol using genetic markers that previously proved successful to identify the sex of Vespertilionid bats on tissues collected from live bats and carcasses of varying age from the Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus). This molecular method is based on genes unique to X and Y chromosomes in mammals and...

Pinzari, Corinna A; Bonaccorso, Frank

Filter Total Items: 10
Date published: October 19, 2018

GenEst - A Generalized Estimator of Mortality

GenEst, a generalized estimator of wildlife mortality at renewable energy facilities.

Date published: November 14, 2017

fatalityCMR

Capture-recapture software to correct raw counts of wildlife fatalities using trial experiments for carcass detecition probability and persistence time.

Date published: July 6, 2017

Evidence of Absence (EoA) Software and User's Guide

Software to Estimate Bird and Bat Fatality at Wind Farms

Date published: May 2, 2016

Wildlife Software and Models

A suite of software tools and models developed by Colorado State University and the USGS Colorado Cooperative Fish And Wildlife Research Unit.

Date published: May 2, 2016

monitoR: Acoustic template detection in R

Tools for automated acoustic monitoring of nature.

Date published: May 2, 2016

Fishery Information and Technology Software

Software from the American Fisheries Society

Date published: May 2, 2016

R for Fisheries and Wildlife Applications

FW599: An introduction to data management and R for Fisheries and Wildlife applications--- a lighthearted look

Date published: May 2, 2016

InVEST: 18 different models for ecosystem services

The InVEST tool allows researchers to evaluate relationships between land management actions and wild bee populations.

Date published: December 11, 2012

Fatality Estimator Software

Tool to Evaluate Wildlife Fatalities at Wind-Power Facilities

Date published: January 1, 1999

CloseTest

CloseTest is a Windows program for testing capture-recapture data

Filter Total Items: 680
Juvenile salt marsh harvest mouse
December 31, 2018

Juvenile Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris)

USGS wildlife biologists holding a juvenile salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris). The species is listed as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Flathead catfish seen underwater from front
December 31, 2018

Flathead catfish could be spread by Florence floodwaters

The flathead catfish, which is native to the Mississippi Basin, has been sighted in the Carolinas and could be spread by Hurricane Florence's floodwaters. It could affect the abundance of popular native fish like bass. Credit: Eric Engbretson, USFWS, public domain.

USGS
December 31, 2018

Cuban treefrog - Osteopilus septentrionalis

Can you hear the difference between the non-native Cuban treefrog and two common Louisiana native treefrogs? Cuban treefrogs’ call is distinctive. Biologist Paul Moler of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recorded them in South Florida. Credit: Paul Moler, used with permission.

USGS
December 31, 2018

Green treefrog - Hyla cinerea

Green treefrogs call from their favorite habitat, rivers and lakes. They’re native to Louisiana and Florida, where these were recorded. Credit: Paul Moler, used with permission.

Map of AK showing probability of change occurrence
December 31, 2018

Map of AK showing probability of change occurrence

Map of Alaska showing probability (%) of change occurrence. Insets show fire boundaries from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Large Fire Database and Landsat 8 imagery (bottom right; 2016) north of Fairbanks, Alaska.

USGS
December 31, 2018

Squirrel treefrog - Hyla squirella (Marion)

Squirrel treefrogs are also native to Florida and Louisiana. Hear them calling from ditches, puddles and other ephemeral pools of water. Credit: Paul Moler, used with permission.
 

Four pits filled with water.
November 5, 2018

RestoreNet treatments

RestoreNet locations are testing commonly used restoration techniques, including pitting, mulching, and above-ground micro sites. Here, pits have filled with water, illustrating how this technique increases soil moisture by capturing rainwater. The project will illustrate which techniques work to establish plants depending on local conditions (like soil type) and climate

...
Wire crosses, called ConMods installed at a RestoreNet site.
November 5, 2018

RestoreNet treatments

RestoreNet locations are testing commonly used restoration techniques, including pitting, mulching, and above-ground micro sites. Here, metal crosses create an above-ground microsite that can increase soil moisture by providing shade and collecting debris under some conditions. The project will illustrate which techniques work to establish plants depending on local

...
Mulch treatment
November 5, 2018

RestoreNet treatments

RestoreNet locations are testing commonly used restoration techniques, including pitting, mulching, and above-ground micro sites. This photo shows the mulching treatment, which can increase soil moisture and lead to higher plant survival under some conditions. The project will illustrate which techniques work to establish plants depending on local conditions (like soil

...
Pacific fisher on a tree looking into a bait box
October 24, 2018

Pacific fisher trying to grab a chicken dinner from the bait box

USGS scientists are documenting the distribution of three mid-sized mammalian carnivores – or mesocarnivores –in the Klamath Network Parks using remote cameras and hair snares. Little is known about the status of Pacific fishers, Pacific martens, and Sierra Nevada red foxes living in the Klamath Network, which include Crater Lake National Park, Lassen Volcanic National

...
graphic of N and S deposition and annual temp and precipitation from Horn, et al. (2018)
October 18, 2018

Figure 1, Horn, et al. (2018)

Gradients of N deposition, S deposition, mean annual temperature, and mean annual precipitation across the conterminous U.S. Panels are the a) mean total N deposition from 2000–2012, b) mean total S deposition from 2000–2012, c) mean annual temperature from 2000–2014, and d) mean annual precipitation form 2000–2014. Deposition data are from the TDEP product [23] and

...
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. 
 

Filter Total Items: 322
Date published: October 19, 2018

Honey Bee Helpers: It Takes a Village to Conserve a Colony

Do you eat fruits and vegetables? What about nuts? If so, you can thank an insect pollinator, usually a honey bee. These small insects play a major role in pollinating the world’s plants, including those we eat regularly. They also increase our nation’s crop values each year by more than 15 billion dollars.

Date published: October 18, 2018

Where Have All the Turtles Gone, and Why Should We Care?

A recently published paper on the global status of turtles and their ecological roles generated quite a bit of media interest.

Date published: September 14, 2018

Identifying Potential Contaminant Exposure to California Condors in the Pacific Northwest

Potential reintroduction of the endangered California Condor to parts of its historic range in the Pacific Northwest would benefit from information on possible threats that could challenge recovery efforts. Exposure to environmental contaminants is a key limiting factor for condor recovery in its southern range.

Date published: September 10, 2018

Cool Tools & Ready Resources for Hot Science

With labs that rival those of your favorite crime scene investigator and tech that would make even the most resourceful problem-solving secret agent jealous, the USGS is developing and using tools that help answer some of the most pressing questions being asked by wildlife, natural resource, and land managers. Here are just a few:

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: August 28, 2018

Toad Crossing Ahead: New Study Tests Elevated Roads as Underpasses for Rare Toad

Many amphibians are either too small or too slow to avoid an oncoming car. For some populations of the Federally threatened Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus canorus), this has meant increased mortality from vehicle strikes in addition to other threats from disease, drought, and habitat loss.

Date published: August 21, 2018

Genetic Analysis of Florida's Invasive Pythons Reveals A Tangled Family Tree

A new genetic analysis of invasive pythons captured across South Florida finds the big constrictors are closely related to one another. In fact, most of them are genetically related as first or second cousins, according to a study by wildlife genetics experts at the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: August 6, 2018

USGS Scientist Dr. Craig D. Allen Named Ecological Society of America Fellow

The U.S. Geological Survey is celebrating the achievements of Dr. Craig D. Allen, who was recently named an Ecological Society of America (ESA) fellow for making exceptional contributions to a broad array of ecology. Dr. Allen, a research ecologist with the USGS Fort Collins Science Center, joins 27 other newly-initiated ESA fellows from academia, public and private sectors. Fellows are elected for life.

Date published: July 2, 2018

Born in a Los Angeles zoo, released into the San Gabriels, a rare frog bounces back (The LA Times)

SAN GABRIEL MOUNTAINS, CA — Last week, biologists from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) and partnering agencies released hundreds of endangered, mountain yellow-legged frog tadpoles back to their historic habitat in southern California.

Date published: June 19, 2018

New Approach May Detect Chronic Wasting Disease Earlier, at Less Cost

A new statistical approach to disease surveillance may improve scientists’ and managers’ ability to detect chronic wasting disease earlier in white-tailed deer by targeting higher-risk animals. This approach can also provide financial and personnel savings for agencies that are required to monitor for wildlife diseases, including the National Park Service, or NPS. 

Date published: June 18, 2018

It’s National Pollinator Week! Get the buzz on USGS pollinator research

Bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles provide vital but often invisible pollination services that support terrestrial wildlife and plant communities, and healthy watersheds.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: May 31, 2018

USGS Hurricane Response Met Challenges in 2017, Prepares for 2018

No one has a crystal ball to foresee what will happen during the 2018 hurricane season that begins June 1, but NOAA forecasters say there’s a 75 percent chance this hurricane season will be at least as busy as a normal year, or busier.

Ecosystems provides scientific information and decision support to meet Interior’s shared responsibility to manage land and species, fulfill treaty obligations, develop energy and mineral resources on Interior lands, and supply water for irrigation and other human needs. Our main Interior Department partners are listed below. Additional partners are listed throughout our web pages.

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