Mission Areas

Ecosystems

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Ecosystems provides unbiased science, tools, and decision support to our Nation’s natural resource managers, with particular focus on the science needs of the Department of Interior bureaus to conserve species, lands, and priority ecosystems; fulfill treaty obligations; provide water for irrigation and human consumption; and manage mineral and energy resources.

USGS Pollinator Research

USGS Pollinator Research

Do you eat fruits and vegetables? What about nuts? If so, you can thank an insect pollinator, usually a honey bee. Honey bee populations are declining but USGS scientists are becoming honey bee helpers.

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Leaf to Landscape

Leaf to Landscape

USGS scientists have launched a new program using California's hotter drought as a forecaster for forest vulnerability worldwide.

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Where's our Science?

Where

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

Browse by Location

News

Date published: May 25, 2018

USGS Fish Passage Research Helps Fish Get to Spawning Grounds

The Blackstone River in Rhode Island is where one of the Nation’s first fish passages was built back in 1714 to help fish navigate past manmade obstructions so they could complete their instinctual migration cycles.

Date published: May 21, 2018

Scientists Collecting Bird Data on Grasslands in Montana this Spring

Now through late July, 2018, U.S. Geological Survey scientists will conduct fieldwork on public lands in Phillips and Valley counties near Malta and Glasgow, Montana, as part of a grassland bird project.

Date published: May 11, 2018

Evaluating a Novel Biopesticide for Controlling Exotic Annual Grasses Following Rangeland Wildfire

Invasions by exotic annual grasses, most notably cheatgrass and medusahead, are unambiguous threats to rangelands in the western United States, diminishing livestock productivity and increasing wildfire activity.

Filter Total Items: 556
Date published: May 24, 2018
Status: Active

Invasive Aquatic Plants

Invasive aquatic species clog waterways and are a concern for water managers. Once established, invasive aquatic species impact local ecosystems, recreation, and impede travel. As part of the USGS effort to empower our partners (Interior, Federal and State agencies), the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database team has botanists ...

Date published: May 24, 2018
Status: Active

Invasive Grasses, Vegetation, and Weeds

Invasive plants (e.g. leafy spurge, cheatgrass, brome, and buffelgrass) have dramatic impacts on Western landscapes through increased fire vulnerability, changes in ecosystem structure and diminished livestock grazing value. USGS researchers are working with DOI land managers, and federal and state partners to find solutions to this growing problem.

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: May 23, 2018
Status: Active

Invasive Fish

Invasive fish cause significant economic losses and diminish opportunities for beneficial
uses of valued aquatic resources. Costly effects include harm to fisheries (e.g., Asian carp, snakeheads, whirling disease, and hemorrhagic septicemia). USGS research is focused on invasive fish spread and distribution, genetic and population impacts of invasives, hybridization between native and non...

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: May 22, 2018
Status: Active

Databases, Models, and Decision Support Tools

Today's natural resource managers must make effective decisions about broad-scale ecosystem processes occurring across the landscape, with complex interactions, numerous competing stakeholder demands, and highly uncertain outcomes. USGS scientists are applying tools from decision science such as structured decision making, adaptive management, and modeling that examines the outcome of a...

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: May 22, 2018
Status: Active

Rapid Response Teams

The USGS Brown Treesnake Rapid Response Team was established to help prevent the spread of invasive Brown Treesnakes through screening, risk assessment, outreach, and training for field response efforts.

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: May 22, 2018
Status: Active

Strategic Planning

The USGS provides science for Department of the Interior bureaus and other decision makers with vital information that they need to fulfill their mission. The diversity of USGS scientific expertise enables the bureau to carry out large-scale, multi-disciplinary investigations and provide impartial scientific information to resource managers and planners. Scientific coordination and...

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: May 21, 2018
Status: Active

Early Detection and Rapid Response Tools

Tracking the establishment and spread of existing and new invasive species is critical to effectively manage invasive species. In addition to standard means of monitoring, the USGS is developing new tools, particularly molecular techniques, to assist in the early detection of invasive species.

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: May 21, 2018
Status: Active

Invasive Insects

Invasive species often pose the primary threat to biodiversity in the Pacific. USGS research focuses on the ecology, reducing impacts, and controlling highly invasive insect species. For example, USGS scientists are assessing novel mosquito control tools (e.g., bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia). Mosquitoes carry diseases that affect people (e.g., West Nile virus, dengue); therefore, the...

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: May 21, 2018
Status: Active

Invasive Mussels

Invasive zebra and quagga mussels (collectively called dreissenid mussels) are causing significant ecological and economic impacts and the range of these impacts continues to increase as they spread across North America. Dreissenids affect industrial and municipal infrastructure, recreational water users, and they severely alter aquatic ecosystems. USGS has been conducting dreissenid mussel...

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: May 21, 2018
Status: Active

Invasive Mammals

Understanding life history and the environmental requirements, tolerances, and thresholds  of invasive species is critical to developing effective control and management options. The USGS conducts research on the biology of many species including Nutria and feral pigs to provide the information needed by management agencies.

 

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: May 20, 2018
Status: Active

Invasive Reptiles

Invasive species have negatively impacted many ecosystems. Invasive reptiles are an increasing problem across the United States. Tracking the establishment and spread of existing and new invasive species is critical to effectively manage invasive species. USGS scientists are developing new tools, particularly molecular techniques, to assist in the early detection of, and rapid response to, ...

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: May 17, 2018
Status: Active

Asian Carp

The negative effects of invasive Asian carp to the Nation’s waterways are far reaching and have potential to expand and intensify. USGS is delivering data, tools and technologies to partners to keep these invasive fish out of the Great Lakes and other aquatic ecosystems and control them where they occur in the Ohio River and Mississippi River Basins.

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Filter Total Items: 68
Date published: March 7, 2018

Geospatial Data for Object-Based High-Resolution Classification of Conifers within Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat across Nevada and a Portion of Northeastern California

These products were developed to provide scientific and correspondingly spatially explicit information regarding the distribution and abundance of conifers (namely, singleleaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla), Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma), and western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis)) in Nevada and portions of northeastern California. 

Date published: March 6, 2018

Annotated bibliography of scientific research on Greater Sage-grouse published since January 2015

The Greater Sage-grouse annotated bibliography was developed as a synthesis of scientific information developed since the records of decision were completed for 2015 Bureau of Land Management/U.S. Department of Agriculture plan amendments for Greater Sage-grouse. This site provides an interactive, searchable interface to summaries of the scientific literature.

Date published: March 6, 2018

Land Treatment Digital Library

The Land Treatment Digital Library (LTDL) was created by the U.S. Geological Survey to catalog legacy land treatment information on Bureau of Land Management lands in the western United States. The LTDL currently houses thousands of treatments from BLM lands across 10 states. 

Date published: March 6, 2018

Conservation Efforts Database

The Conservation Efforts Database is a partnership between the USGS and USFWS to collect and analyze ongoing conservation efforts for the Greater Sage-Grouse. Understanding the distribution and type of conservation actions happening across the landscape will allow visualization and quantification of the extent to which threats are being addressed.

Date published: March 1, 2018

NPN Visualization Tool

Phenology map viewer from the National Phenology Network.

Date published: February 12, 2018

Shoreline change rates in salt marsh units in Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey

This dataset displays shoreline change rates at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (EBFNWR), which spans over Great Bay, Little Egg Harbor, and Barnegat Bay in New Jersey, USA

Date published: December 11, 2017

Gulf of Mexico Dashboard

The USGS Southeast Regional Office has funded a cross-center collaboration between the Wetland and Aquatic Research Center and the Texas Water Science Center for the development of the Gulf of Mexico Water Dashboard. 

Date published: December 7, 2017

A Baseline Assessment of Contaminant Concentrations in Sediment and Biota in Proximity to Coal Transport Tracks in the Pacific Northwest (2014)

This dataset provides baseline concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), other aromatic organic compounds, mercury (Hg), and trace metal concentrations in sediment and biota collected from two sites along an existing rail line used for coal transport in the Columbia River Gorge, Washington.

Date published: November 21, 2017

Annual California sea otter stranding data

The California Sea Otter Stranding Network is part of the USGS effort to monitor southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) and provide data to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Since 1985, stranded otters from throughout their California coastal range have been collected and analyzed to inform resource management on recovery and conservation of the species.

Date published: October 31, 2017

Guide to the Plants of Louisiana

This guide to the vascular plants of Louisiana includes a database of plant characters, a search engine and plant images. Photographs include images of leaves, fruit, flower, stem, bark and other key identification features. Information about plants can be accessed by searching plant lists either by scientific name or common name.

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: October 17, 2017

Shapefiles and Historical Aerial Photographs, Little Missouri River, 1939-2003

The data archive contains the aerial photographs and channel delineations used in our analysis. The images have been geo-referenced to the 1995 digital orthophoto quarter quadrangles as described by Miller and Friedman (2009). The channel delineations for all photo years (including 2003) and the delineation of the outer flood-plain boundary are stored as shapefiles.

Filter Total Items: 14
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: 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

Date published: March 7, 2016

Nonindigeneous Aquatic Species (NAS) Database Search

Multiple search functions: State, major drainage area (HUC2), drainage area (HUC6), drainage area (HUC8), Zebra Mussel Collections, and fact sheets.

Date published: February 1, 2016

2015 Cooperative Research Units Story Map

The Cooperative Research Unit mission is our hallmark: meeting the actionable science needs of our cooperators, providing them technical guidance and assistance in interpreting and applying new advances in science, and developing the future workforce through graduate education and mentoring. 

Date published: September 2, 2014

Species On Lands Affected by Renewables (SOLAR)

Multiple large scale solar, wind, and geothermal energy development projects are currently proposed across the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of the southwestern U.S., and these development needs are likely to continue or increase into the future. Agencies tasked with managing biological resources must understand the potential impacts in order to select appropriate sites and to mitigate effects. 

Date published: April 22, 2012

Extinct Taxa in States/Provinces of North America (2012)

Extinct Taxa in States/Provinces of North America (2012)

Filter Total Items: 2,279
Year Published: 2018

Use of created snags by cavity‐nesting birds across 25 years

Snags are important habitat features for many forest‐dwelling species, so reductions in the number of snags can lead to the loss of biodiversity in forest ecosystems. Intentional snag creation is often used in managed forests to mitigate the long‐term declines of naturally created snags, yet information regarding the use of snags by wildlife...

Barry, Amy M.; Hagar, Joan; Rivers, James W.
Barry, A.M., Hagar, J.C., Rivers, J.W., 2018, Use of created snags by cavity-nesting birds across 25 Years: Journal of Wildlife Management, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1002/jwmg.21489.

Year Published: 2018

Effects of experimental removal of Barred Owls on population demography of Northern Spotted Owls in Washington and Oregon—2017 progress report

Populations of Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina; hereinafter referred to as Spotted Owl) are declining throughout this subspecies’ geographic range. Evidence indicates that competition with invading populations of Barred Owls (S. varia) has contributed significantly to those declines. A pilot study in California showed that...

Wiens, J. David; Dugger, Katie M.; Lesmeister, Damon B.; Dilione, Krista E.; Simon, David C.
Wiens, J.D., Dugger, K.M., Lesmeister, D.B., Dilione, K.E., and Simon, D.C., 2018, Effects of experimental removal of Barred Owls on population demography of Northern Spotted Owls in Washington and Oregon—2017 progress report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1086, 23 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181086.

Year Published: 2018

Ecosystems science: Genes to landscapes

Bountiful fisheries, healthy and resilient wildlife, flourishing forests and vibrant grasslands are coveted resources that benefit all Americans. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) science supports the conservation and management of the Nation’s fish and wildlife, and the landscapes they inhabit. Our biological resources—ecosystems and the wild things...

Attribution: Ecosystems
U.S. Geological Survey, 2018, Ecosystems science--Genes to landscapes: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2018-3030, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20183030.

Year Published: 2018

Rivers are social–ecological systems: Time to integrate human dimensions into riverscape ecology and management

Incorporation of concepts from landscape ecology into understanding and managing riverine ecosystems has become widely known as riverscape ecology. Riverscape ecology emphasizes interactions among processes at different scales and their consequences for valued ecosystem components, such as riverine fishes. Past studies have focused strongly on...

Dunham, Jason B.; Angermeier, Paul L.; Crausbay, Shelley D.; Cravens, Amanda; Gosnell, Hannah; McEvoy, Jamie; Moritz, Max A.; Raheem, Nejem; Sanford, Todd
Dunham, J.B., Angermeier, P.L., Crausbay, S., Cravens, A., Gosnell, H., McEvoy, J., Moritz, M., Raheem, N., Sanford, T., 2018, Rivers are social–ecological systems- Time to integrate human dimensions into riverscape ecology and management: WIREs Water, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1291.

Year Published: 2018

Spatial, road geometric, and biotic factors associated with Barn Owl mortality along an interstate highway

Highway programs typically focus on reducing vehicle collisions with large mammals because of economic or safety reasons while overlooking the millions of birds that die annually from traffic. We studied wildlife‐vehicle collisions along an interstate highway in southern Idaho, USA, with among the highest reported rates of American Barn Owl ...

Arnold, Erin M.; Hanser, Steven E.; Regan, Tempe; Thompson, Jeremy; Lowe, Melinda; Kociolek, Angela; Belthoff, James R.
Attribution: Ecosystems
Arnold, E.M., Hanser, S.E., Regan, T., Thompson, J., Lowe, M., Kociolek, A. and Belthoff, J.R., Spatial, road geometric, and biotic factors associated with Barn Owl mortality along an interstate highway. Ibis.

Year Published: 2018

Monitoring stream temperatures—A guide for non-specialists

Executive SummaryWater temperature influences most physical and biological processes in streams, and along with streamflows is a major driver of ecosystem processes. Collecting data to measure water temperature is therefore imperative, and relatively straightforward. Several protocols exist for collecting stream temperature data, but these are...

Heck, Michael P.; Schultz, Luke D.; Hockman-Wert, David; Dinger, Eric C.; Dunham, Jason B.
Heck, M.P., Schultz, L.D., Hockman-Wert, D., Dinger, E.C., and Dunham, J.B., 2018, Monitoring stream temperatures—A guide for non-specialists: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 3, chap. A25, 76 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm3A25.

Year Published: 2018

Evaluating autonomous acoustic surveying techniques for rails in tidal marshes

There is a growing interest toward the use of autonomous recording units (ARUs) for acoustic surveying of secretive marsh bird populations. However, there is little information on how ARUs compare to human surveyors or how best to use ARU data that can be collected continuously throughout the day. We used ARUs to conduct 2 acoustic surveys for...

Stiffler, Lydia L.; Anderson, James T.; Katzner, Todd
Stiffler, L.L., Anderson, J.T., Katzner, T.E., 2018, Evaluating autonomous acoustic surveying techniques for rails in tidal marshes: Wildlife Society Bulletin, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1002/wsb.860.

Year Published: 2018

Flight response to spatial and temporal correlates informs risk from wind turbines to the California Condor

Wind power is a fast-growing energy resource, but wind turbines can kill volant wildlife, and the flight behavior of obligate soaring birds can place them at risk of collision with these structures. We analyzed altitudinal data from GPS telemetry of critically endangered California Condors (Gymnogyps californianus) to assess the circumstances...

Poessel, Sharon; Brandt, Joseph; Mendenhall, Laura C.; Braham, Melissa A.; Lanzone, Michael J.; McGann, Andrew J.; Katzner, Todd
Poessel, S.A., Brandt, J., Mendenhall, L., Braham, M.A., Lanzone, M.J., McGann, A.J., Katzner, T.E., 2018, Flight response to spatial and temporal correlates informs risk from wind turbines to the California Condor: The Condor, v. 120, p. 330-342, https://doi.org/10.1650/CONDOR-17-100.1.

Year Published: 2018

New insights into the phylogenetics and population structure of the prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus)

BackgroundManagement requires a robust understanding of between- and within-species genetic variability, however such data are still lacking in many species. For example, although multiple population genetics studies of the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) have been conducted, no similar studies have been done of the closely-related prairie...

Doyle, Jacqueline M.; Bell, Douglas A.; Bloom, Peter H.; Emmons, Gavin; Fesnock, Amy; Katzner, Todd; LePre, Larry; Leonard, Kolbe; SanMiguel, Phillip; Westerman, Rick; DeWoody, J. Andrew
Doyle, J.M., Bell, D.A., Bloom, P.H., Emmons, G., Fesnock, A., Katzner, T.E., Lapre, L., Leonard, K., SanMiguel, P., Westerman, R., DeWoody, J.A., 2018, New insights into the phylogenetics and population structure of the prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus): BMC Genomics, v. 19, p. 233, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-018-4615-z.

Year Published: 2018

Potential impacts of projected climate change on vegetation management in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park

Climate change will likely alter the seasonal and annual patterns of rainfall and temperature in Hawai`i. This is a major concern for resource managers at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park where intensely managed Special Ecological Areas (SEAs), focal sites for managing rare and endangered plants, may no longer provide suitable habitat under future...

Camp, Richard J.; Loh, Rhonda; Berkowitz, S. Paul; Brinck, Kevin W.; Jacobi, James D.; Price, Jonathan; McDaniel, Sierra; Fortini, Lucas B.
Camp, R. J., R. Loh, P. Berkowitz, K. W. Brinck, J. D. Jacobi, J. Price, S. McDaniel, and L. B. Fortini. 2018. Potential impacts of projected climate change on vegetation management in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Park Science 34:22–31. Available: https://www.nps.gov/articles/parkscience34-1_22-31_camp_et_al_3875.htm

Year Published: 2018

Movements and landscape use of Eastern Imperial Eagles Aquila heliaca in Central Asia

Capsule: We describe ecological factors associated with movements of a globally declining raptor species, the Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca.Aims: To describe the movements, habitat associations and resource selection of Eastern Imperial Eagles marked in Central Asia.Methods: We used global positioning system (GPS) data...

Poessel, Sharon; Bragin, Evgeny A.; Sharpe, Peter B.; Garcelon, David K.; Bartoszuk, Kordian; Katzner, Todd E.

Year Published: 2018

Biological and ecological science for Michigan—The Great Lakes State

Michigan is rich in lakes, rivers, dune and rocky shorelines, forests, fish and wildlife, and has the longest freshwater coastline in the United States, 3,224 miles. Many enterprises critical to Michigan’s economy and cultural heritage are based on natural resources including commercial and sport fishing, hunting, and other outdoor recreation....

Attribution: Ecosystems
U.S. Geological Survey, 2018, Biological and ecological science for Michigan—The Great Lakes State: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2018-3012, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20183012.

Filter Total Items: 10
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: January 23, 2017

PRESENCE

Estimates patch occupancy rates and related parameters.

Date published: July 14, 2016

fatalityCMR

fatalityCMR - capture-recapture software to correct raw counts of wildlife fatalities using trial experiments for carcass detecition probability and persistence time. Version 3.0

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: 531
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.

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.
 

1985-2018 Lion fish invasion. Ecosystems Mission Area. Wetlands and Aquatic Research Center
May 16, 2018

1985-2018 Lionfish Invasion

Lionfish invasion (1985-2018). Lionfish invaded US Atlantic coastal waters, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico with unprecedented, alarming speed. Though reports of sightings date back to the 1980s, it is only recently that the species has exploded in numbers and range. In fact, the lionfish invasion is the ...

April 26, 2018

PubTalk 4/2018 - Coral Reefs

Title: The Role of U.S. Coral Reefs in Coastal Protection - Rigorously valuing flood reduction benefits to inform coastal zone management decisions

  • Coral reefs are a first line of coastal defense
  • We can account for the physical defense that reefs provide
  • We can provide value-based information to guide restoration efforts at management-relevant scales (10s of
  • ...
February 28, 2018

Bee Laboratory (Instagram Story)

Instagram story showing the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab clearing invasive species from a field.

Asian carp removal in Missouri
February 23, 2018

Asian Carp Removal in Missouri

In 2018, USGS and partners completed an incredible feat against a harmful aquatic invasive species when over 240,000 pounds of invasive Silver Carp and Bighead Carp were removed from Creve Coeur Lake in Maryland Heights, Missouri.

Picture of field water-level monitoring gage EDEN 13
January 31, 2018

Field water-level monitoring gage EDEN 13

Field water-level monitoring gage EDEN 13. Photograph by Michael Oliver, U.S. Geological Survey.
U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3069
Version 1.1, January 2018

Blue SPV bait
December 31, 2017

Blue SPV bait

This image shows the blue version of sylvatic plague vaccine bait for prairie dogs. 

Prairie dogs in the wild are less likely to succumb to a deadly disease called sylvatic plague after they ingest peanut-butter-flavored bait that contains a vaccine against the disease.

In an effort to increase populations of endangered black-footed ferrets and conserve the prairie dogs they rely...

Corallimorph infestation on coral reef 2
December 31, 2017

Corallimorph infestation on coral reef 2

Coral reefs are prone to phase shifts where they quickly transition from coral-dominated to a uniformity of other organisms, typically algae. The Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Central Pacific is a unique case where a transition from corals to corallimorphs occurred. Corallimorphs are a type of invasive anemone that...

USGS
December 31, 2017

Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) Call

Bats produce a variety of vocalizations that are used for navigation, feeding, and social communication. Most vocalizations are pitched well above the range of human hearing and are referred to as ultrasonic. These calls are often known as echolocation calls since bats use the echoes produced when a sound bounces off a bug or a building to determine what is in the area. 
 

Commercial poultry
December 31, 2017

Commercial poultry

Some avian influenza, or bird flu, viruses that are able to enter North America from other continents through migrating birds can be deadly to poultry and can infect waterfowl populations.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Filter Total Items: 311
Date published: May 25, 2018

USGS Fish Passage Research Helps Fish Get to Spawning Grounds

The Blackstone River in Rhode Island is where one of the Nation’s first fish passages was built back in 1714 to help fish navigate past manmade obstructions so they could complete their instinctual migration cycles.

Date published: May 21, 2018

Scientists Collecting Bird Data on Grasslands in Montana this Spring

Now through late July, 2018, U.S. Geological Survey scientists will conduct fieldwork on public lands in Phillips and Valley counties near Malta and Glasgow, Montana, as part of a grassland bird project.

Date published: May 11, 2018

Evaluating a Novel Biopesticide for Controlling Exotic Annual Grasses Following Rangeland Wildfire

Invasions by exotic annual grasses, most notably cheatgrass and medusahead, are unambiguous threats to rangelands in the western United States, diminishing livestock productivity and increasing wildfire activity.

Date published: May 11, 2018

Integrating Human Dimensions into Riverscape Ecology and Management

Incorporation of concepts from landscape ecology into understanding and managing riverine ecosystems has become widely known as riverscape ecology.

Date published: May 11, 2018

Modeling Habitat and Assessing Threats for Lizards and Snakes in Sagebrush Ecosystems

Little is known about how lizards and snakes may respond to changes in habitat from climate, invasive species, fire, roads, and natural resource management.

Date published: May 11, 2018

New Powell Center-funded Project: Global Terrestrial Synthesis of Biological Nitrogen Fixation

Biological nitrogen fixation is the largest source of the essential nutrient nitrogen that feeds terrestrial ecosystems worldwide.

Date published: April 25, 2018

Invasive Cuban Treefrogs Leap Out of Florida, Establish First Known Population in Louisiana

A population of exotic invasive Cuban treefrogs has been discovered in New Orleans, more than 430 miles (700 kilometers) from the nearest known population in Florida, making this the first known breeding population in the mainland United States outside that state, reports a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. 

Scroll down to hear and download calls of Cuban treefrogs and two native treefrogs.

Date published: April 11, 2018

NOROCK Scientist Receives USGS Award for Lifetime Achievement in Science Communications

Research Ecologist Dan Fagre is the recipient of the 2017 Eugene M. Shoemaker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Communications

Date published: March 29, 2018

New Control Methods Can Help Protect Coral Reefs from Invasive Species

Honolulu, Hawaii – Control efforts such as the removal of shipwrecks and application of chlorine may help mitigate the damaging effects of corallimorph, which is a type of invasive anemone, on valuable coral reefs in the Central Pacific Ocean, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

Date published: March 23, 2018

Plant Functional Groups Affect Ecological Drought in Semiarid Grasslands

Plant functional groups have contrasting effects on soil water availability by affecting interception, uptake, and transpiration.

Date published: March 23, 2018

Potential Variability in Population-Level Response of Ponderosa Pine to Climate Change

Models of future species distributions are regularly fit at the species level, yet a species’ response to environmental change is not always uniform across its distribution.

Date published: March 20, 2018

Altering Sagebrush Landscapes with Fuel Breaks to Save Them from Wildfire

Linear fuel breaks have long been used to help suppress fire in the Great Basin, and thousands of miles of new fuel breaks may be constructed in coming years to protect sagebrush ecosystems, including greater sage-grouse habitat.

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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