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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.
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Based on field research conducted during 2002-2009, the bobwhite population on the Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Southwest Florida is incapable of supporting desired levels of sport harvest.
Habitat alteration and climate, when combined, are serious threats to amphibians and other wildlife. Habitat suitability models are being used to predict the responses of an amphibian community to hydrological and habitat restoration in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem.
The South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SALCC) has proposed natural resource indicators and associated targets for the marine ecosystem.
Scientists research the importance of abiotic versus biotic (food supply) habitat features as drivers of delta smelt abundance and distribution.
Coping with Invasive Alien Species and Environmental Stressors: Linking Behavioral Studies with Management for Anuran Amphibians
Climate change and invasive species are two key drivers of biodiversity loss. Knowing how amphibians respond to climate change and invasive species can greatly improve predictions of species' persistence in the face of these factors and can help guide resource managers and conservation biologists in developing strategies to manage for these encroaching disturbances.
Fire is a major driving force in determining the structure and composition of subtropical vegetation. Prescribed fire constitutes one of the most pervasive management actions influencing the restoration and maintenance of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem.
The southeastern United States is home to a variety of freshwater snails, mussels, crayfish, and fishes. USGS scientists are conducting systematic studies to better document the region's biodiversity.
Florida's springs are a source of cultural, recreational, and ecological importance. But land-use changes and increased demands for groundwater due to the state's growing population have led to widespread impairment of these unique ecosystems.
The decline of freshwater animals has resulted in an increase in the number of imperiled species and extinctions. USGS scientists use genetics to determine if these species truly are gone forever.
Aerial-broadcast application of diphacinone bait for rodent control in Hawai`i: Efficacy and non-target species risk assessment
Introduced rats (Rattus rattus, R. exulans, and R. norvegicus) have been implicated in the decline or extinction of numerous species of plants and animals in Hawai‘i. This study investigated the efficacy of aerial-broadcast application of Ramik® Green baits containing 50 ppm (0.005%) diphacinone in reducing rat and mouse populations and...Foote, David; Spurr, Eric B.; Lindsey, Gerald D.; Forbes Perry, Charlotte
Health and condition of endangered juvenile Lost River and shortnose suckers relative to water quality and fish assemblages in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, and Clear Lake Reservoir, California
Executive Summary Most mortality of endangered Lost River (Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose (Chasmistes brevirostris) suckers in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, appears to occur within the first year of life. However, juvenile suckers in Clear Lake Reservoir, California, appear to survive longer and may even recruit to the spawning populations. Our...Burdick, Summer M.; Elliott, Diane G.; Ostberg, Carl O.; Conway, Carla M.; Dolan-Caret, Amari; Hoy, Marshal S.; Feltz, Kevin P.; Echols, Kathy R.
Biofilm formation of Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis
Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis (Fno) is an emergent fish pathogen in both marine and fresh water environments. The bacterium is suspected to persist in the environment even without the presence of a suitable fish host. In the present study, the influence of different abiotic factors such as salinity and temperature were...Soto, Esteban; Halliday-Wimmonds, Iona; Francis , Stewart; Kearney, Michael T.; Hansen, John D.
Piscine reovirus: Genomic and molecular phylogenetic analysis from farmed and wild salmonids collected on the Canada/US Pacific Coast
Piscine reovirus (PRV) is a double stranded non-enveloped RNA virus detected in farmed and wild salmonids. This study examined the phylogenetic relationships among different PRV sequence types present in samples from salmonids in Western Canada and the US, including Alaska (US), British Columbia (Canada) and Washington State (US). Tissues testing...Siah, Ahmed; Morrison, Diane B.; Fringuelli, Elena; Savage, Paul S.; Richmond, Zina; Purcell, Maureen K.; Johns, Robert; Johnson, Stewart C.; Sakasida, Sonja M.
Genetic variation underlying resistance to infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus in a steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) population
Understanding the mechanisms of host resistance to pathogens will allow insights into the response of wild populations to the emergence of new pathogens. Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) is endemic to the Pacific Northwest and infectious to Pacific salmon and trout (Oncorhynchus spp.). Emergence of the M genogroup of IHNV in...Brieuc, Marine S. O.; Purcell, Maureen K.; Palmer, Alexander D.; Naish, Kerry A.
Behavior, passage, and downstream migration of juvenile Chinook salmon from Detroit Reservoir to Portland, Oregon, 2014–15
An evaluation was conducted to estimate dam passage survival of juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) at Detroit Dam during a period of spill. To estimate dam passage survival, we used a paired-release recapture study design and released groups of tagged fish upstream (997 fish) and downstream (625 fish) of Detroit Dam. A total of 43...Kock, Tobias J.; Beeman, John W.; Hansen, Amy C.; Hansel, Hal C.; Hansen, Gabriel S.; Hatton, Tyson W.; Kofoot, Eric E.; Sholtis, Matthew D.; Sprando, Jamie M.
Dim ultraviolet light as a means of deterring activity by the Hawaiian hoary bat Lasiurus cinereus semotus
Widespread bat fatalities at industrial wind turbines are a conservation issue with the potential to inhibit efficient use of an abundant source of energy. Bat fatalities can be reduced by altering turbine operations, but such curtailment decreases turbine efficiency. If additional ways of reducing bat fatalities at wind turbines were available...Gorresen, P. Marcos; Cryan, Paul M.; Dalton, David C.; Wolf, Sandy; Johnson, Jessica A.; Todd, Christopher M.; Bonaccorso, Frank J.
Hybridization between Yellowstone cutthroat trout and rainbow trout alters the expression of muscle growth-related genes and their relationships with growth patterns
Hybridization creates novel gene combinations that may generate important evolutionary novelty, but may also reduce existing adaptation by interrupting inherent biological processes, such as genotype-environment interactions. Hybridization often causes substantial change in patterns of gene expression, which, in turn, may cause phenotypic change....Ostberg, Carl O.; Chase, Dorothy M.; Hauser, Lorenz
Shaping species with ephemeral boundaries: The distribution and genetic structure of desert tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) in the Sonoran Desert region
Aim We examine the role biogeographical features played in the evolution of Morafka's desert tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) and test the hypothesis that G. morafkai maintains genetically distinct lineages associated with different Sonoran Desert biomes. Increased knowledge of the past and present distribution of the Sonoran Desert...Edwards, Taylor; Vaughn, Mercy; Rosen, Philip C.; Torres, Ma. Cristina Melendez; Karl, Alice E.; Culver, Melanie; Murphy, Robert W.
Incorporating future change into current conservation planning: Evaluating tidal saline wetland migration along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast under alternative sea-level rise and urbanization scenarios
In this study, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, quantified the potential for landward migration of tidal saline wetlands along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast under alternative future sea-level rise and urbanization scenarios. Our analyses focused exclusively on tidal saline wetlands (that is,...Enwright, Nicholas M.; Griffith, Kereen T.; Osland, Michael J.
Dreissenid mussel research priorities workshop
Currently, dreissenid mussels have yet to be detected in the northwestern part of the United States and western Canada. Infestation of one of the jurisdictions within the mussel-free Pacific Northwest would likely have significant economic, societal and environmental implications for the entire region. Understanding the biology and environmental...Sytsma, Mark; Phillips, Stephen; Counihan, Timothy D.
Fire activity as a function of fire–weather seasonal severity and antecedent climate across spatial scales in southern Europe and Pacific western USA
Climate has a strong influence on fire activity, varying across time and space. We analyzed the relationships between fire–weather conditions during the main fire season and antecedent water-balance conditions and fires in two Mediterranean-type regions with contrasted management histories: five southern countries of the European Union (...Urbieta, Itziar R.; Zavala, Gonzalo; Bedia, Joaquin; Gutierrez, Jose M.; San Miguel-Ayanz, Jesus; Camia, Andrea; Keeley, Jon E.; Moreno, Jose M.
The California condor is the largest bird in North America.
Conducing Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri) surveys in sagebrush habitat, Owyhee Moutains, SW Idaho.
Top view of Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri) nest in sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), Owyhee Mountains, SW Idaho.
Unhatched eggs in Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri) nest.
The Varied Thrush is a year-round native of Pacific Northwest forests. Its diet consists of mostly insects in the summer and berries and wild fruit in the winter.
Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri) held by field technician.
John Warzybok records data whille Caroline Poli secures a Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri) for assessment, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri) being measured, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.