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Browse more than 160,000 publications authored by our scientists over the past 100+ year history of the USGS.  Publications available are: USGS-authored journal articles, series reports, book chapters, other government publications, and more.

Filter Total Items: 69689

Using near–surface temperature data to vicariously calibrate high-resolution thermal infrared imagery and estimate physical surface properties

Thermal response of the surface to solar insolation is a function of the topography and the thermal physical characteristics of the landscape, which include bulk density, heat capacity, thermal conductivity and surface albedo and emissivity. Thermal imaging is routinely used to constrain thermal physical properties by characterizing or modeling changes in the diurnal temperature profiles. Images n

Elevating human dimensions of amphibian and reptile conservation, a USA perspective

Increasing threats to amphibian and reptile species raise the urgency of their conservation. However, relative to other vertebrate groups at risk, amphibians and reptiles have low and more variable social capital; they are not generally high-priority natural goods and services valued by people. Consequently, relative to other groups such as birds, mammals, and economically important fish, they gar

To catch a (marsh) predator: Modified trapping methods for breeding and wintering Northern Harriers (Circus hudsonius)

Although there are a variety of methods available for trapping raptors, some species, such as Northern Harriers (Circus hudsonius), are not easily captured with standard methods. We tested several existing trapping methods and modified two of them based on Northern Harrier ecology and behavior across seasons in a study population in California. No previously successful methods described in the lit

In situ recording of Mars soundscape

Prior to the Perseverance rover landing, the acoustic environment of Mars was unknown. Models predicted that: (i) atmospheric turbulence changes at centimeter scales or smaller at the point where molecular viscosity converts kinetic energy into heat1, (ii) the speed of sound varies at the surface with frequency2,3, and (iii) high frequency waves are strongly attenuated with distance in CO22–4. How

Quantifying the relationship between prey density, livestock and illegal killing of leopards

Many large mammalian carnivores are facing population declines due to illegal killing (e.g., shooting) and habitat modification (e.g., livestock farming). Illegal killing occurs cryptically and hence is difficult to detect. However, reducing illegal killing requires a solid understanding of its magnitude and underlying drivers, while accounting for the imperfect detection of illegal killing events

Flexible movement model for partially migrating species

We propose a flexible model for a partially migrating species, which we demonstrate using yearly paths for golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos). Our model relies on a smoothly time-varying potential surface defined by a number of attractors. We compare our proposed approach using varying coefficients to a latent-state model, which we define differently for migrating, dispersing, and local individuals

Pesticide exposure of wild bees and honey bees foraging from field border flowers in intensively managed agriculture areas

Bees are critical for food crop pollination, yet their populations are declining as agricultural practices intensify. Pollinator-attractive field border plantings (e.g. hedgerows and forb strips) can increase bee diversity and abundance in agricultural areas, however recent studies suggest these plants may contain pesticides. Pesticide exposure for wild bees in agricultural areas remains largely u

Evaluation of MPA designs that protect highly mobile megafauna now and under climate change scenarios

Marine protected area (MPA) designs, including large-scale MPAs (LSMPAs; >150,000 km2), mobile MPAs (fluid spatiotemporal boundaries), and MPA networks, may offer different benefits to species and could enhance protection by encompassing spatiotemporal scales of animal movement. We sought to understand how well LSMPAs could benefit nine highly-mobile marine species in the tropics now and into the

Looking ahead, guided by the past: The role of U.S. national parks in amphibian research and conservation

Protected areas like national parks are essential elements of conservation because they limit human influence on the landscape, which protects biodiversity and ecosystem function. The role of national parks in conservation, however, often goes far beyond limiting human influence. The U.S. National Park Service and its system of land units contribute substantively to conservation by providing prote

Vulnerability of avian populations to renewable energy production

Renewable energy production can kill individual birds, but little is known about how it affects avian populations. We assessed the vulnerability of populations for 23 priority bird species killed at wind and solar facilities in California, USA. Bayesian hierarchical models suggested that 48% of these species were vulnerable to population-level effects from added fatalities caused by renewables and

A biological condition gradient for coral reefs in the US Caribbean Territories: Part I. Coral narrative rules

As coral reef condition and sustainability continue to decline worldwide, losses of critical habitat and their ecosystem services have generated an urgency to understand and communicate reef response to management actions, environmental contamination, and natural disasters. Increasingly, coral reef protection and restoration programs emphasize the need for robust assessment tools for protecting hi