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Browse publications authored by our scientists.  Publications available are: USGS-authored journal articles, series reports, book chapters, other government publications, and more. **Disclaimer: The views expressed in Non-USGS publications are those of the author and do not represent the views of the USGS, Department of the Interior, or the U.S. Government.

Filter Total Items: 3984

Lifetime reproductive characteristics of gray wolves

Female and male cooperative breeders can use different strategies to maximize reproduction and fitness over their lifetimes. Answering questions about fitness in cooperative breeders requires long-term studies as well as complete data on group composition and size which can be exceedingly difficult to obtain. Using a long-term genetic data set of complete group pedigrees, I asked how lifetime repr
David Edward Ausband

Marine heatwaves affect breeding, diet and population size but not body condition of a range-edge little penguin colony

Significant marine heatwaves (MHWs) developed along the Western Australian coast in 1999 and 2011. Despite ecosystem losses and the southwards occurrence of many tropical fish species during and after the extreme MHW in 2011, there have been few studies on the effects of this MHW on seabirds, and no biological impacts related to the 1999 MHW have been reported. Using data from 1986-2019, we invest
B.L. Cannell, William L. Kendall, J.A. Tyne, M. Bunce, Y. Hetzel, D. Murray, B. Radford

Evaluating satellite-transmitter backpack-harness effects on greater sage-grouse survival and device retention in the Great Basin

Wildlife tracking studies have become ubiquitous in ecology and now provide previously unobtainable data regarding individual movement, vital rates, and population demographics. However, tracking devices can potentially reduce survival of study subjects, generating biases in the vital rates they seek to measure. Previous studies have found that greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) fitte
Carl G. Lundblad, Christopher R. Anthony, Tyler Dungannon, Kimberly A. Haab, Elizabeth M. Schuyler, Chelsea E. Sink, Katie Dugger, Christian A. Hagen

Prion seeding activity in plant tissues detected by RT-QuIC

Prion diseases such as scrapie, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and chronic wasting disease (CWD) affect domesticated and wild herbivorous mammals. Animals afflicted with CWD, the transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of cervids (deer, elk, and moose), shed prions into the environment, where they may persist and remain infectious for years. These environmental prions may remain in soil,
Kate Burgener, Stuart Siegfried Lichtenberg, Daniel P. Walsh, Heather Inzalaco, Aaron Lomax, Joel Pedersen

Behavioral trade-offs and multitasking by elk in relation to predation risk from Mexican gray wolves

Predator non-consumptive effects (NCE) can alter prey foraging time and habitat use, potentially reducing fitness. Prey can mitigate NCEs by increasing vigilance, chewing-vigilance synchronization, and spatiotemporal avoidance of predators. We quantified the relationship between Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) predation risk and elk (Cervus canadensis) behavior. We conducted behavioral observat
Zachary J. Farley, Cara J. Thompson, Scott T. Boyle, Nicole M. Tatman, James W. Cain

Evaluating the effectiveness of joint species distribution modeling for fresh water fish communities within large watersheds

Accurately predicting species’ distributions is critical for the management and conservation of fish and wildlife populations. Joint Species Distribution Models (JSDMs) account for dependencies between species often ignored by traditional species distribution models. We evaluated how a JSDM approach could improve predictive strength for stream fish communities within large watersheds (the Chesapea
Paul McLaughlin, Kevin Krause, Kelly O. Maloney, Taylor E Woods, Tyler Wagner

Development and validation of a GT-seq panel for genetic monitoring in a threatened species using minimally invasive sampling

Minimally invasive samples are often the best option for collecting genetic material from species of conservation concern, but they perform poorly in many genomic sequencing methods due to their tendency to yield low DNA quality and quantity. Genotyping-in-thousands by sequencing (GT-seq) is a powerful amplicon sequencing method that can genotype large numbers of variable-quality samples at a stan
Molly J. Garrett, Stacey A. Nerkowski, Shannon Kieran, Nathan R. Campbell, Soraia Barbosa, Courtney J. Conway, Paul A. Hohenlohe, Lisette P. Waits

Prototyping structured decision making for water resource management in the San Francisco Bay-Delta

A structured decision making (SDM) approach can help evaluate tradeoffs between conservation and human-benefit objectives by fostering communication and knowledge transfer among stakeholders, decision makers, and the public. However, the process is iterative and completing the full process may take years. It can be difficult to initiate an SDM effort when problems seem insurmountable. Occasionally
James Peterson, Erin McCreless, Adam Duarte, Patti Wohner, Scott Hamilton, Josue Medellín-Azuara, Alvar Escriva-Boue

Survival and growth of larval Pallid Sturgeon are improved by a live diet

ObjectiveConservation propagation facilities in the upper basin of the Missouri River are currently experiencing inconsistent survival of first-feeding larval Pallid Sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus among genetic families (i.e., distinct male–female pairings). The inconsistent survival can have unintended negative consequences for genetic representation of Pallid Sturgeon that are returned to the Mis
Hilary B. Treanor, Christopher S. Guy, Jason E. Ilgen, Wendy M. Sealey, Addison T. Dove, Molly A. H. Webb

Unique diet and Philonema sp. infections in reservoir-rearing juvenile Chinook Salmon

ObjectiveDams and reservoirs can alter juvenile growth and survival of migratory salmonids through several physical and biological mechanisms. Juvenile Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha that are produced upstream of large hydropower dams may have associated passage mortality, but the reservoirs created by these dams can support rapid growth. Characterizing the biotic drivers of growth and mo
Marina S. Larson, Anindo Choudhury, Ethan N. Gardner, Peter Konstantinidis, Christina Amy Murphy, Michael L. Kent, James Peterson, Claire E. Couch

Treat yourself: Pilot testing a new method to treat mange in wild carnivores

Mange is a skin disease caused by mites that parasitize an animal's skin, often yielding inflamed immune responses and hair loss. At a population level, mange may reduce survival and cause population declines. Many forms of mange can be treated quite effectively when an animal is in hand; however, this is not often feasible for many free-ranging wildlife populations. Some animals, particularly ter
David Edward Ausband, Peter F. Rebholz, Joanne G. Moriarty, Seth P. D. Riley

Habitat use of anadromous and amphidromous sturgeons in North America: A systematic review

Sturgeons are among the most endangered fishes in the world. Identifying habitat use characteristics to inform restoration projects is crucial for recovery. However, small sample sizes, inadequate replication of studies, and limited spatial extents complicate our ability to effectively apply the findings of single studies to endangered species conservation across the larger riverscape. We synthesi
Erin K. Gilligan-Lunda, Adam Duarte, James Peterson