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, informs land and water stewardship, and helps safeguard communities from natural and environmental hazards.

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.

Find out more

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.

Learn More

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: 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.

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.

Scientists with the Ecosystem Mission Area can be found working across the Nation to provide fish, wildlife, and habitat science support to natural resource managers. Our sixteen Ecosystem Science Centers provide unique scientific capabilities to support the management and conservation of our Nation’s biological resources.

  

Check out our Cool Tools for Hot Topics!
Filter Total Items: 633
Date published: September 16, 2018
Status: Active

Long-Term Vegetation Change on the Colorado Plateau

Drylands comprise ~35% of Earth’s terrestrial biomes, with over 1 billion people depending on these landscapes for their livelihoods. In the U.S., drylands comprise ~40% of the landmass and 83% of Department of Interior (DOI)-managed lands (excluding Alaska). Due to their vast extent nationally and globally, changes to these landscapes have the potential to affect global climate regulation. A...

Date published: September 4, 2018
Status: Active

Detection Protocols - Renibacterium salmoninarum

Protocols for the Detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum in salmon

Date published: August 29, 2018
Status: Active

Fish Passage and Behavior

Specially constructed passages that allow fish to go around dams or other barriers are key to migratory fish accessing spawning areas, nurseries and other crucial habitats. USGS helps identify the best location for these passages and is involved in designing and testing these state-of-the-art structures. The research helps key species navigate waterways and complete instinctual migratory...

Date published: August 28, 2018
Status: Active

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 24, 2018
Status: Active

USGS Cool Tools for Hot Topics

The USGS Ecosystems Mission Area hosted an interactive session at the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies 2018 Annual Meeting that featured USGS science-based tools and approaches to address a variety of fish and wildlife management hot topics, including how and when to apply them to specific...

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: August 7, 2018
Status: Active

Relation between Plant Community Structure and Function and the Effectiveness of Wetland Restoration Efforts

High rates of wetland loss continue to occur along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast, and this remains an issue of concern to resource managers.

Date published: August 6, 2018
Status: Active

Sea Turtle Movement and Habitat Use in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) uses trawling to capture and relocate live sea turtles away from dredging locations to minimize the risk of turtle entrainment. These incidental turtle captures provide a unique opportunity to fill critical data gaps for difficult to capture life-stages of marine turtles.

Date published: August 3, 2018
Status: Active

Distribution and Density of Sea Turtles in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM): Gulf of Mexico Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species (GoMMAPPS)

The over-arching goal of GoMMAPPS is to collect broad-scale survey data for seabirds, marine mammals and sea turtles to determine distribution and abundance in the Gulf of Mexico.

Date published: August 2, 2018
Status: Active

Integrating Science and Management for Optimal Prevention and Control of Invasive Nymphoides in Florida

Two invasive species of floating hearts, Nymphoides cristata and N. indica, are actively managed in Florida. A rare native species, N. humboldtiana, has been found in Florida and verified by molecular methods; this species is nearly indistinguishable from N. indica.

Date published: August 1, 2018
Status: Active

Scientific Support of Salmon and Steelhead Reintroductions in Impounded River Basins of the Pacific Northwest

Salmon and steelhead populations in the Pacific Northwest were severely affected by hydropower development that occurred during the first half of the 20th century.  Impassable dams were constructed on many rivers throughout the region which prevented returning adult salmonids from accessing important habitats where spawning and rearing historically occurred.  In the past two decades...

Contacts: Tobias J Kock
Date published: August 1, 2018
Status: Active

Wetland Forest Regeneration Dynamics and Productivity in Southeastern Cypress Swamp Ecosystems

Relict forests (i.e., forests unable to reestablish after disturbance) may develop in the southeastern U.S. in future predicted extreme climates of temperature, flooding, and drought, according to the International Panel on Climate Change.

Date published: July 31, 2018
Status: Active

Computer-Assisted Sperm Motion Analysis in Measuring Reproductive Effects in Bass

The objective of this research is to assess the sensitivity of female and male LMB reproductive capabilities at the time of year when they are physiologically preparing for spawning season (also known as gonad recrudescence).

Filter Total Items: 81
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: 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: May 3, 2018

Land Treatment Planning Tool

The Land Treatment Planning 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. ...

Date published: March 13, 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...

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

Weighted Surveillance for Detection of Chronic Wasting Disease

This application provides an easy-to-use interface for conducting weighted surveillance for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in white-tailed deer populations. The first tool called 'Design' is used for planning weighted surveillance activities. The second tool called 'Estimation' is for use after sampling for CWD detection has occurred and no positive cases were found.

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 2, 2018

Field Manual of Wildlife Diseases

Access field manual resources from the National Wildlife Health Center.

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: 2,476
Year Published: 2018

Mapping the relationships between trail conditions and experiential elements of long-distance hiking

Trail users that experience acceptable social and ecological conditions are more likely to act as trail stewards, exhibit proper trail etiquette, and use low-impact practices. However, the relationships between specific trail conditions and experiential elements of long-distance hiking are not well understood. Therefore, the purpose of this study...

Peterson, Brian A.; Brownlee, Matthew T.J.; Marion, Jeffrey L.
Peterson, B. A., Brownlee, M. T. J., and Marion, J. L., 2018, Mapping the relationships between trail conditions and experiential elements of long-distance hiking: Landscape and Urban Planning, v. 180, p. 60-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2018.06.010

Year Published: 2018

Mercury and lead exposure in avian scavengers from the Pacific Northwest suggest risks to California condors: Implications for reintroduction and recovery

Mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) are widespread contaminants that pose risks to avian scavengers. In fact, Pb exposure is the primary factor limiting population recovery in the endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) and Hg can impair avian reproduction at environmentally relevant exposures. The Pacific Northwest region of the...

Herring, Garth; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Varland, Daniel E.
Herring, G., Eagles-Smith, C.A., Varland, D.E., 2018, Mercury and lead exposure in avian scavengers from the Pacific Northwest suggest risks to California condors- Implications for reintroduction and recovery: Environmental Pollution, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2018.09.005.

Year Published: 2018

Modelling sound attenuation in heterogeneous environments for improved bioacoustic sampling of wildlife populations

Acoustic sampling methods are becoming increasingly important in biological monitoring. Sound attenuation is one of the most important dynamics affecting the utility of acoustic data as it directly affects the probability of detection of individuals by acoustic sensor arrays and especially the localization of acoustic signals necessary in...

Royle, J. Andrew
Royle, J. A., 2018, Modeling sound attenuation in heterogeneous environments for improved bioacoustic sampling of wildlife populations: Methods in Ecology and Evolution, v. 9, no. 9, p. 1939-1947. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.13040

Year Published: 2018

U.S. Geological Survey energy and wildlife research annual report for 2018

USGS scientists provide scientific information and options that land and resource managers and private industries can use to make decisions regarding the development of energy resources while protecting the health of ecosystems. Studies focus on delivering information to avoid, minimize, or mitigate the impacts of energy infrastructure on fish and...

Khalil, Mona
Khalil, Mona, ed., 2018, U.S. Geological Survey energy and wildlife research annual report for 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1447, 102 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1447.

Year Published: 2018

U.S. Geological Survey sage-grouse and sagebrush ecosystem research annual report for 2018

The sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem extends across a large portion of the Western United States, and the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is one of the iconic species of this ecosystem. Greater sage-grouse populations occur in 11 States and are dependent on relatively large expanses of sagebrush-dominated habitat. Sage-grouse...

Hanser, Steven E.
Attribution: Ecosystems
Hanser, S.E., ed., 2018, U.S. Geological Survey sage-grouse and sagebrush ecosystem research annual report for 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1446, 67 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1446.

Year Published: 2018

Monitoring responses to variation in food supply for a migratory waterfowl: American Black Duck (Anas rubripes) in winter

Wintering Black Ducks (Anas rubripes) concentrate in wetlands along the Atlantic coast where natural and anthropogenic disturbances have increased over the last 50 years, a period in which the population of Black Ducks has declined. We studied the sensitivity of Black Ducks to perturbations in food supply that often result from disturbances by...

Barboza, Perry S.; Jorde, Dennis G.
Barboza, P. S. and Jorde, D. G., 2018, Monitoring responses to variation in food supply for a migratory waterfowl: American Black Duck (Anas rubripes) in winter: Journal of Comparative Physiology B, v. 188, no. 5, p. 831-842. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00360-018-1163-4

Year Published: 2018

Conflicting messages about camping near waterbodies in wilderness: A review of the scientific basis and need for flexibility

The preceding article by C. B. Griffin examines the differences in recommended camping distance from waterbodies from a perspective that there should be consistency between the guidance provided by land management agencies and low impact education and communication programs, such as Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly. We concur that regulatory...

Marion, Jeffrey L.; Wimpey, Jeremy; Lawhorn, Ben
Marion, J., Wimpey, J., and Lawhorn, B., 2018, Conflicting messages about camping near waterbodies in wilderness: A review of the scientific basis and need for flexibility: International Journal of Wilderness, v. 24, no. 2, p. 1-12. https://ijw.org/2018-conflicting-messages-about-camping-near-waterbodies-in-wilderness/

Year Published: 2018

Understanding and mitigating wilderness therapy impacts: The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument case study

Studies demonstrate that wilderness therapy programs can be beneficial for participants; however, little research has explored the ecological impacts of these programs. A prominent wilderness therapy organization utilizes vast tracts of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) for programming. This study examines the specific...

Romo, Amelia; Marion, Jeffrey L.; Wimpey, Jeremy; Taff, Derrick; Schwartz, Forrest
Romo, A., Marion, J., Wimpey, J., Taff, D., and Schwartz, F., 2018, Understanding and Mitigating Wilderness Therapy Impacts: The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Case Study: International Journal of Wilderness, v. 24, no. 2. https://ijw.org/2018-understanding-and-mitigating-wilderness-therapy-impacts/

Year Published: 2018

Exploring the impacts of seagrass on coupled marsh-tidal flat morphodynamics

Intertidal coastal environments are prone to changes induced by sea level rise, increases in storminess, temperature, and anthropogenic disturbances. It is unclear how changes in external drivers may affect the dynamics of low energy coastal environments because their response is non-linear, and characterized by many thresholds and discontinuities...

Carr, Joel; Mariotti, Giulio; Fahgerazzi, Sergio; McGlathery, Karen; Wiberg, Patricia
Carr, J. A., Mariotti, G., Fagherazzi, S., McGlathery, K., and Wiberg, P., 2018, Exploring the impacts of seagrass on coupled marsh-tidal flat morphodynamics: Frontiers in Environment Science, v. 6, no. Article 92, p. 1-16 https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2018.00092

Year Published: 2018

Evidence that climate sets the lower elevation range limit in a high‐elevation endemic salamander

A frequent assumption in ecology is that biotic interactions are more important than abiotic factors in determining lower elevational range limits (i.e., the “warm edge” of a species distribution). However, for species with narrow environmental tolerances, theory suggests the presence of a strong environmental gradient can lead to persistence,...

Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Brand, Adrianne B,; De Wekker, Stephan F. J.; Lee, Temple R.; Wofford, John E.B.
Grant, E. H. C., Brand, A. B., De Wekker, S. F. J, Lee, T. R., and Wofford, J. E., 2018, Evidence that climate sets the lower elevation range limit in a high-elevation endemic salamander: Ecology and Evolution, v. 8, no. 15, p. 7553-7562. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4198

Year Published: 2018

The risk of rodent introductions from shipwrecks to seabirds on Aleutian and Bering Sea islands

Accidental introductions of rodents present one of the greatest threats to indigenous island biota, especially seabirds. On uninhabited remote islands, such introductions are likely to come from shipwrecks. Here we use a comprehensive database of shipwrecks in Western Alaska to model the frequency of shipwrecks per Aleutian and Bering Sea island,...

Renner, Martin; Nelson, Eric; Watson, Jordan; Haynie, Alan; Poe, Aaron; Robards, Martin D.; Hess, Steve C.
Renner, M., E. Nelson, J. Watson, A. Haynie, A. Poe, M. Robards, and S. C. Hess. 2018. The risk of rodent introductions from shipwrecks to seabirds on Aleutian and Bering Sea islands. Biological Invasions 20:2679–2690.

Year Published: 2018

Molecular systematics of swifts of the genus Chaetura (Aves: Apodiformes: Apodidae)

Phylogenetic relationships among swifts of the morphologically conservative genus Chaetura were studied using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences. Taxon sampling included all species and 21 of 30 taxa (species and subspecies) within Chaetura. Our results indicate that Chaetura is monophyletic and...

Chesser, Terry; Vaseghi, Haley; Hosner, Peter A.; Bergner, Laura M.; Cortes-Rodriguez, M. Nandadevi; Welch, Andreanna J.; Collins, Charles T.
Chesser, R. T., Vaseghi, H., Hosner, P. A., Bergner, L. M., Cortez-Rodriquez, M. N., Welch, A. J., and Collins, C. T., 2018, Molecular systematics of swifts of the genus Chaetura (Aves: Apodiformes: Apodidae): Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, v. 128, p. 162-171. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2018.07.006

Filter Total Items: 9
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: 621
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.

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.
 

Array of photovoltaic cells and a wind energy facility
August 28, 2018

Array of photovoltaic cells and a wind energy facility

Photovoltaic, or solar, cells array at the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility in the Mojave Desert and a wind energy facility in the Northeastern United States.

A restoration field trial site on red soils, adjacent to buttes.
August 16, 2018

Overview of restoration field trial location

A completed restoration field trial site just after installation. Half of the site is seeded, and the other half had plants and weed cloth (white fabric) installed. RAMPS will be collecting data on this site for

...
A group of field workers installs an experimental garden.
August 16, 2018

Installing a restoration field trial site

These workers are planting seedlings as part of the restoration field trial network. Each garden in the network is examining seedlings and seeds in conjunction with restoration treatments to better understand how

...
Bare ground with 2x2 meter square plots of various restoration treatments.
August 16, 2018

Seeding treatment experiment

View of a recently installed Restoration Field Trial Network site in the rangelands of Northern Arizona. This part of the site contains the seeding treatments: mulch, ConMods (metal crosses), pits, and two

...
Image of scientist setting up a radar system in Colorado to test its efficacy in detecting birds and bats flying towards turbine
August 1, 2018

Setting up radar system near a wind energy field in Colorado.

Image of scientist setting up a radar system in Colorado to test its efficacy in detecting birds and bats flying towards spinning wind turbines.

Salt marsh harvest mouse
July 13, 2018

Endangered Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris)

A Federally endangered salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) climbs a branch.

Female northern harrier
July 13, 2018

Adult Female Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)

An adult, female northern harrier (Circus cyaneus) flies overhead in Suisun Marsh, CA. Before habitat loss drove declines in the bird's populations, Suisun Marsh hosted the state's largest population of northern harriers.

Filter Total Items: 321
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.

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.

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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