Status and Trends Program
Programs L2 Landing Page
To protect, conserve, and restore the living resources—plants, animals, habitats, ecosystems—entrusted to their care, land and resource managers must understand the condition, or status (e.g., abundance, distribution, productivity, health), of those resources as well as their trends (i.e., how these variables change over time).
Mountain ecosystems are expected to change with continued reductions in annual snowpack that have been observed worldwide over the past half-century. Recent snow droughts in North America have been attributed to unusually warm temperatures that cause winter precipitation to fall as rain, rather than snow. Many species of alpine wildlife depend on snowpack for insulation from extreme cold and...
The USGS Status and Trends program assesses ecological patterns and processes within important ecological systems to understand complex environmental controls over species and ecosystems, and their vulnerability to internal and external stressors and drivers.
Health status can often affect the size and distribution of plant and animals population across landscapes.
Coastal ecosystems greatly influence the livelihood and resilience of coastal communities and cities to external stressors such as storms or sea level change.
Successful restoration or rehabilitation of degraded species, habitats and ecosystems requires assessments of the status and trends of the impacted system before, during and after restoration. In addition, an ecological understanding is required to inform changes in resource management activities to support restoration, as well as to assess the relative success of the restoration and to adjust...
Decision frameworks bring science and stakeholders needs together to determine the best way to manage natural resources.
Biological collections provide critical data to assess the history of the status, population trends, and abundance of the plants and animals around us.
Citizen science — scientific work undertaken by members of the general public, usually in collaboration with scientific institutions — is a grassroots approach to natural science. It educates and engages the public by encouraging ordinary citizens to use their interests and their talents in tackling a wide range of real-world problems.
Ecosystem services are the benefits that ecosystems provide that are valued by human users such as food, fresh water, and cultural services. Ecosystems also provide marketable goods like seafood and timber.
The Status and Trends program is using adaptive assessments to understand the current condition of plants, animals, and habitats then structuring management decisions around the information learned.
The Status and Trends program provides research, technological tools, and decision support to meet the science needs of the Nation's resource managers to conserve and protect aquatic species, communities, and habitats.
The Challenge: Bird banding is one of the most indispensable techniques for studying the movement, survival and behavior of birds. The North American Bird Banding Program was established in 1920 and has evolved into the complex operation that supports the activities of approximately 2,092 Master banders and more than 9,423 subpermittees.
NPN Visualization Tool
Phenology map viewer from the National Phenology Network.
The North American Breeding Bird Survey, Results and Analysis 1966 - 2015
This website presents population change information for more than 400 species of North American birds, as estimated from the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Estimates of trend (interval-specific estimates of population change), annual indices of abundance, and maps of abundance and population change for these species are presented for a variety of regions.
The National Phenology Database
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.
Integrating Breeding Bird Survey and demographic data to estimate Wood Duck population size in the Atlantic Flyway
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) uses data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) to assist in monitoring and management of some migratory birds. However, BBS analyses provide indices of population change rather than estimates of population size, precluding their use in developing abundance-based objectives and limiting...Zimmerman, Guthrie S.; Sauer, John; Boomer, G. Scott; Devers, Patrick K.; Garrettson, Pamela R.
Identifying key climate and environmental factors affecting rates of post-fire big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) recovery in the northern Columbia Basin, USA
Sagebrush steppe of North America is considered highly imperilled, in part owing to increased fire frequency. Sagebrush ecosystems support numerous species, and it is important to understand those factors that affect rates of post-fire sagebrush recovery. We explored recovery of Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp.wyomingensis)...Shinneman, Douglas; McIlroy, Susan
American woodcock migratory connectivity as indicated by hydrogen isotopes
To identify factors contributing to the long-term decline of American woodcock, a holistic understanding of range-wide population connectivity throughout the annual cycle is needed. We used band recovery data and isotopic composition of primary (P1) and secondary (S13) feathers to estimate population sources and connectivity among natal, early...Sullins, Daniel S.; Conway, Warren C.; Haukos, David A.; Hobson, Keith A.; Wassenaar, Leonard I; Comer, Christopher E.; Hung, I-Kuai
A replacement name for Asthenes wyatti perijanus Phelps 1977
A recent near-complete phylogeny of the avian family Furnariidae (Derryberry et al. 2011) found a number of discrepancies between the phylogeny and the then-current taxonomy of the group, and several changes were proposed to reconcile the taxonomy of the family with the phylogeny. Among these was the merging of the genus Schizoeaca Cabanis 1873...Chesser, R. Terry
Flexible risk metrics for identifying and monitoring conservation-priority species
Region-specific conservation programs should have objective, reliable metrics for species prioritization and progress evaluation that are customizable to the goals of a program, easy to comprehend and communicate, and standardized across time. Regional programs may have vastly different goals, spatial coverage, or management agendas, and one-size-...Stanton, Jessica C.; Semmens, Brice X.; McKann, Patrick C.; Will, Tom; Thogmartin, Wayne E.
Toward a mechanistic understanding of human-induced rapid environmental change: A case study linking energy development, avian nest predation, and predators
Demographic consequences of human-induced rapid environmental change (HIREC) have been widely documented for many populations. The mechanisms underlying such patterns, however, are rarely investigated and yet are critical to understand for effective conservation and management. We investigated the mechanisms underlying reduced avian nest survival...Hethcoat, Matthew G.; Chalfoun, Anna D.
First satellite tracks of the Endangered black-capped petrel
The black-capped petrel Pterodroma hasitata is an endangered seabird with fewer than 2000 breeding pairs restricted to a few breeding sites in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. To date, use areas at sea have been determined entirely from vessel-based surveys and opportunistic sightings and, as such, spatial and temporal gaps in our...Jodice, Patrick G.R.; Ronconi, Robert A.; Rupp, Ernst; Wallace, George E.; Satgé, Yvan
Will a warmer and wetter future cause extinction of native Hawaiian forest birds?
Isolation of the Hawaiian archipelago produced a highly endemic and unique avifauna. Avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum), an introduced mosquito-borne pathogen, is a primary cause of extinctions and declines of these endemic honeycreepers. Our research assesses how global climate change will affect future malaria risk and native bird populations....Liao, Wei; Timm, Oliver Elison; Zhang, Chunxi; Atkinson, Carter T.; LaPointe, Dennis; Samuel, Michael D.
Seasonally-dynamic presence-only species distribution models for a cryptic migratory bat impacted by wind energy development
Understanding seasonal distribution and movement patterns of animals that migrate long distances is an essential part of monitoring and conserving their populations. Compared to migratory birds and other more conspicuous migrants, we know very little about the movement patterns of many migratory bats. Hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus), a cryptic,...Hayes, Mark A.; Cryan, Paul M.; Wunder, Michael B.
Estimating the short-term recovery potential of little brown bats in the eastern United States in the face of White-nose syndrome
White-nose syndrome (WNS) was first detected in North American bats in New York in 2006. Since that time WNS has spread throughout the northeastern United States, southeastern Canada, and southwest across Pennsylvania and as far west as Missouri. Suspect WNS cases have been identified in Minnesota and Iowa, and the causative agent of WNS (...Russell, Robin E.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Erickson, Richard A.; Szymanski, Jennifer A.; Tinsley, Karl
Two tickets to paradise: multiple dispersal events in the founding of hoary bat populations in Hawai'i
The Hawaiian islands are an extremely isolated oceanic archipelago, and their fauna has long served as models of dispersal in island biogeography. While molecular data have recently been applied to investigate the timing and origin of dispersal events for several animal groups including birds, insects, and snails, these questions have been largely...Russell, Amy L.; Pinzari, Corinna A.; Vonhof, Maarten J.; Olival, Kevin J.; Bonaccorso, Frank
Forecasting and evaluating patterns of energy development in southwestern Wyoming
The effects of future oil and natural gas development in southwestern Wyoming on wildlife populations are topical to conservation of the sagebrush steppe ecosystem. To aid in understanding these potential effects, the U.S. Geological Survey developed an Energy Footprint simulation model that forecasts the amount and pattern of energy development...Garman, Steven L.
Instagram story showing the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab clearing invasive species from a field.
American pika in the Northern Cascades. American pikas occupy talus slopes in mountain ecosystems throughout western North America.
USGS - NOROCK field team in the Northern Cascades studying Hoary marmots and American pika and snowpack dynamics.
A scientist is working to collect alpine insects by picking through moss below tiny, cold, alpine streams. This spot was below a small seep on a slope above a tributary to the Dry Fork, North of the Two Medicine area in Glacier National Park.
Looking out the mouth of Reynolds Glacier in Glacier National Park. Glacier National Park is iconic of the combined impacts of climate change and snow and ice loss – over 80 percent of the park’s glaciers have been lost since the mid-19th century.
Scientists sample for alpine insects in streams like this near Blackfoot Glacier in Glacier National Park. Alpine streams environments in the northern Rocky Mountains are especially vulnerable to climate change due to rapid warming resulting in loss of glaciers and snowpack. Glacier National Park is iconic of the combined impacts of climate change and snow and ice loss – over 80 percent of the...
A glacier stonefly (Zapada glacier) on a snowy backdrop in Glacier National Park. The species is threatened by climate warming induced glacier and snow loss and has been petitioned for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act due to climate-change-induced habitat loss.
A meltwater stonefly larva (Lednia tumana) sits on a cobbled snow fed stream in Glacier National Park. The species is threatened by climate warming induced glacier and snow loss and has been petitioned for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act due to climate-change-induced habitat loss.
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.
With the White House’s launch of CitizenScience.gov and the inaugural Citizen Science Day this Saturday April 16, 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey invites you to look into a landscape of opportunities to participate in science!
Nesting loggerhead sea turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico feed among areas that were oiled by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill and where human activities occur, several of which are known to pose threats to sea turtles, a new U.S Geological study showed.