Mission Areas

Ecosystems

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 556
Date published: February 15, 2018
Status: Active

Fish Passage

A major focus of USGS-LSC is the design and evaluation of state-of the-art upstream and downstream fish passage structures for hydropower facilities of different sizes and locations and for different fish species, including endangered sturgeons and Atlantic salmon. Performance, physiology, behavior and energetics of each fish species are tested in-house for each design.

Contacts: Alexander Haro
Date published: February 8, 2018
Status: Active

Louisiana Barrier Island Habitat Mapping and Change Assessment

Barrier islands provide numerous invaluable ecosystem goods and services including storm protection and erosion control for the mainland, habitat for fish and wildlife, salinity regulation in estuaries, carbon sequestration in marshes, recreation, and tourism. These islands are dynamic environments due to their position at the land-sea interface. Storms, wave energy, tides, currents, and...

Date published: February 7, 2018
Status: Active

Relative Sensitivity of Adult Mosquitoes and Butterflies to Adult Mosquito Control Pesticides

Mosquito control on Department of the Interior (DOI) managed lands is a resource management challenge. The pesticides used to control mosquitoes may also affect nontarget organisms whose conservation is one of the primary responsibilities of resource managers.

Date published: February 1, 2018
Status: Active

Bird Banding Laboratory: Recent Accomplishments

The Challenge: Bird banding is indispensable for the study of bird movement, survival and behavior. The US Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) was established in 1920 and expanded into the current operation supporting the activities of approximately 1750 Master banders and more than 5200 sub-permittees. In collaboration with the Canadian Bird Banding Office, it jointly coordinates the North American...

Contacts: Bruce Peterjohn
Date published: January 26, 2018
Status: Active

Remote Sensing

USGS scientists are exploring new uses of remote sensing for monitoring and assessment.

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: January 26, 2018
Status: Active

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are an innovative way to provide data for monitoring resources, especially in large-scale or remote landscapes. 

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: January 25, 2018
Status: Active

Arid and Semi-Arid Lands

The Status and Trends Program provides timely, quality science about arid and semi-arid lands to meet the needs of resource management  bureaus within Interior and other science and resource management organizations.

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: January 25, 2018
Status: Active

Estuaries

In the 21st century, drivers such as sea level rise, extreme weather events, changes in the flow rate of rivers, and human development of coastal habitats will affect coastal landscapes and ecosystems across the region, including estuaries.

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: January 25, 2018
Status: Active

Landscape Conservation

The USGS Status and Trends program develops information and tools used by our partners to assess, conserve, and enhance fish and wildlife habitat.

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: January 25, 2018
Status: Active

Habitat

Information about the status and trends of natural resources is required at a variety of spatial and temporal scales to detect changes that may signal degradation or improvement of natural systems, such as habitat, or to identify new or emerging conditions that signal the need for management action or further investigative research.

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: January 24, 2018
Status: Active

Natural Stressors

The status and trends of organisms, habitats and ecosystems is often controlled by environmental and anthropogenic stressors that have the potential to impact the health and productivity of lands and waters of management concern.

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Date published: January 24, 2018
Status: Active

Wetlands

Wetlands provide goods and services that have been valued at up to $78,500 per acre per year (R. Costanza and others, Global  Environmental Change 2014). In addition to providing fish and wildlife habitat, coastal ecosystems protect coastlines from storms, store carbon in sediments, improve water quality, and maintain productive coastal fisheries. In the 21st century, drivers such as sea level...

Contacts: Jake F Weltzin
Filter Total Items: 2,278
Year Published: 2017

Hawai`i forest bird monitoring database: Database dictionary

Between 1976 and 1981, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (now U.S. Geological Survey – Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center [USGS-PIERC]) conducted systematic surveys of forest birds and plant communities on all the main Hawaiian Islands, except O‘ahu, as part of the Hawai‘i Forest Bird Surveys (HFBS). Results of this monumental effort have...

Camp, Richard J.; Genz, Ayesha
Camp, R. J., and A. S. Genz. 2017. Hawai‘i Forest Bird Monitoring Database: database dictionary. Hawai`i Cooperative Studies Unit Technical Report HCSU-TR039, University of Hawai'i at Hilo, Hilo, Hawai‘i. Available: http://hdl.handle.net/10790/3311.

Year Published: 2017

Lessons from the Tōhoku tsunami: A model for island avifauna conservation prioritization

Earthquake-generated tsunamis threaten coastal areas and low-lying islands with sudden flooding. Although human hazards and infrastructure damage have been well documented for tsunamis in recent decades, the effects on wildlife communities rarely have been quantified. We describe a tsunami that hit the world's largest remaining tropical seabird...

Reynolds, Michelle H.; Berkowitz, Paul; Klavitter, John; Courtot, Karen
Reynolds, M. H., P. Berkowitz, J. L. Klavitter, and K. N. Courtot. 2017. Lessons from the Tōhoku tsunami: A model for island avifauna conservation prioritization. Ecology and Evolution 7:5873–5890. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3092

Year Published: 2017

Long-term dynamics and characteristics of snags created for wildlife habitat

Snags provide essential habitat for numerous organisms and are therefore critical to the long-term maintenance of forest biodiversity. Resource managers often use snag creation to mitigate the purposeful removal of snags at the time of harvest, but information regarding how created snags change over long timescales (>20 y) is absent from...

Barry, Amy M.; Hagar, Joan; Rivers, James W.
Barry, A.M., Hagar, J.C., Rivers, J.W., 2017, Long-term dynamics and characteristics of snags created for wildlife habitat: Forest Ecology and Management, v. 403, p. 145-151, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2017.07.049.

Year Published: 2017

Biological and ecological science for Florida—The Sunshine State

Florida is rich in sunshine and other natural resources essential to the State's economy. More than 100 million tourists visit Florida's beaches, wetlands, forests, oceans, lakes, and streams where they generate billions of dollars and sustain more than a million jobs. Florida also provides habitat for several thousand freshwater and marine fish,...

Attribution: Ecosystems
U.S. Geological Survey, 2017, Biological and ecological science for Florida—The Sunshine State: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017-3066, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173066.

Year Published: 2017

Satellite-tagged osprey nearly sets longevity record and productivity response to initial captures

We equipped adult Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) from 24 nests in Oregon/Washington with satellite-tracked battery-powered radios, known as platform transmitter terminals (PTTs), in 1996–1999. These Ospreys from the lower Columbia River (river miles 76–286), and the Willamette Valley in western Oregon were part of a larger study of Osprey fall...

Henny, Charles J.; Martell, Mark S.
Henny, C.J., Martell, M., 2017, Satellite-tagged osprey nearly sets longevity record and productivity response to initial captures: Journal of Raptor Research, v. 51, no. 2, p. 180-183, https://doi.org/10.3356/JRR-16-71.1.

Year Published: 2017

Centennial-scale reductions in nitrogen availability in temperate forests of the United States

Forests cover 30% of the terrestrial Earth surface and are a major component of the global carbon (C) cycle. Humans have doubled the amount of global reactive nitrogen (N), increasing deposition of N onto forests worldwide. However, other global changes—especially climate change and elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations—are increasing...

McLauchlan, Kendra K.; Gerhart, Laci M.; Battles, John J.; Craine, Joseph M.; Elmore, Andrew J.; Higuera, Phil E.; Mack, Michelle M; McNeil, Brendan E.; Nelson, David M.; Pederson, Neil; Perakis, Steven
McLauchlan, K.K., Gerhart, L.M., Battles, J., Craine, J.M., Elmore, A.J., Higuera, P.E., Mack, M.M., McNeil, B., Nelson, D.M., Pederson, N., Perakis, S.S., 2017, Centennial-scale reductions in nitrogen availability in temperate forests of the United States: Scientific Reports, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-08170-z.

Year Published: 2017

Genetic differentiation and inferred dynamics of a hybrid zone between Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) and California Spotted Owls (S. o. occidentalis) in northern California

Genetic differentiation among Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis) subspecies has been established in prior studies. These investigations also provided evidence for introgression and hybridization among taxa but were limited by a lack of samples from geographic regions where subspecies came into close contact. We analyzed new sets of samples from...

Miller, Mark P.; Mullins, Tom; Forsman, Eric D.; Haig, Susan M.
Miller, M.P., Mullins, T.D., Forsman, E.D., Haig, S.M., 2017, Genetic differentiation and inferred dynamics of a hybrid zone between Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) and California Spotted Owls (S. o. occidentalis) In Northern California: Ecology and Evolution, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3260.

Year Published: 2017

Dam removal: Listening in

Dam removal is widely used as an approach for river restoration in the United States. The increase in dam removals—particularly large dams—and associated dam-removal studies over the last few decades motivated a working group at the USGS John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis to review and synthesize available studies of dam removals...

Foley, Melissa M.; Bellmore, James; O'Connor, James E.; Duda, Jeff; East, Amy E.; Grant, Gordon G.; Anderson, Chauncey; Bountry, Jennifer A.; Collins, Mathias J.; Connolly, Patrick J.; Craig, Laura S.; Evans, James E.; Greene, Samantha; Magilligan, Francis J.; Magirl, Christopher S.; Major, Jon J.; Pess, George R.; Randle, Timothy J.; Shafroth, Patrick B.; Torgersen, Christian E.; Tullos, Desiree D.; Wilcox, Andrew C.
Foley, M.M., Bellmore, J.R., O'Connor, J.E., Duda, J.J., East, A.E., Grant, G.E., Anderson, C.W., Bountry, J.A., Collins, M.J., Connolly, P.J., Craig, L.S., Evans, J.E., Greene, S.L., Magilligan, F.J., Magirl, C.S., Major, J.J., Pess, G.R., Randle, T.J., Shafroth, P.B., Torgersen, C.E., Tullos, D., Wilcox, A.C. and Powell Center Dam Removal Working Group, available online 2017, Dam removal—listening in: Water Resources Research, doi:10.1002/2017WR020457

Year Published: 2017

Hierarchical population monitoring of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Nevada and California—Identifying populations for management at the appropriate spatial scale

Population ecologists have long recognized the importance of ecological scale in understanding processes that guide observed demographic patterns for wildlife species. However, directly incorporating spatial and temporal scale into monitoring strategies that detect whether trajectories are driven by local or regional factors is challenging and...

Coates, Peter S.; Prochazka, Brian G.; Ricca, Mark A.; Wann, Gregory T.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Hanser, Steven E.; Doherty, Kevin E.; O'Donnell, Michael S.; Edmunds, David R.; Espinosa, Shawn P.
Coates, P.S., Prochazka, B.G., Ricca, M.A., Wann, G.T., Aldridge, C.L., Hanser, S.E., Doherty, K.E., O’Donnell, M.S., Edmunds, D.R., and, Espinosa, S.P., 2017, Hierarchical population monitoring of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Nevada and California—Identifying populations for management at the appropriate spatial scale: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017-1089, 49 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171089.

Year Published: 2017

Vegetation map for the Hakalau Forest Unit of the Big Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex on the island of Hawai‘i

This vegetation map was produced to serve as an updated habitat base for management of natural resources of the Hakalau Forest Unit (HFU) of the Big Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Refuge) on the island of Hawai‘i. The map is based on a vegetation map originally produced as part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Hawai‘i Forest Bird...

Jacobi, James D.
Jacobi, J. D. 2017. Vegetation map for the Hakalau Forest Unit of the Big Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex on the island of Hawai‘i. Hawai`i Cooperative Studies Unit Technical Report HCSU-TR042, University of Hawai'i at Hilo, Hilo, Hawai‘i. Available: http://hdl.handle.net/10790/3300.

Year Published: 2017

Altitudinal migration and the future of an iconic Hawaiian honeycreeper in response to climate change and management

Altitudinal movement by tropical birds to track seasonally variable resources can move them from protected areas to areas of increased vulnerability. In Hawaiʻi, historical reports suggest that many Hawaiian honeycreepers such as the ‘I‘iwi (Drepanis coccinea) once undertook seasonal migrations, but the existence of such movements today is unclear...

Guillaumet, Alban; Kuntz, Wendy A.; Samuel, Michael D.; Paxton, Eben H.
Guillaumet, A., W. A. Kuntz, M. D. Samuel, and E. H. Paxton. 2017. Altitudinal migration and the future of an iconic Hawaiian honeycreeper in response to climate change and management. Ecological Monographs 87:410–428. Available: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ecm.1253/full

Year Published: 2017

Correlates of immune defenses in golden eagle nestlings

An individual's investment in constitutive immune defenses depends on both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. We examined how Leucocytozoon parasite presence, body condition (scaled mass), heterophil-to-lymphocyte (H:L) ratio, sex, and age affected immune defenses in golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) nestlings from three regions:...

MacColl, Elisabeth; Vanesky, Kris; Buck, Jeremy A.; Dudek, Benjamin; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Heath, Julie A.; Herring, Garth; Vennum, Chris; Downs, Cynthia J.
MacColl E, Vanesky K, Buck JA, et al. Correlates of immune defenses in golden eagle nestlings. J. Exp. Zool. 2017;00:1–11. https://doi.org/10.1002/jez.2081

Filter Total Items: 531
Chinese fire belly newt
December 31, 2016

Chinese Firebelly Newt

A Chinese firebelly newt (Cynops orientalis), the salamander species recently found to be infected with the spring viraemia of carp virus, or SVCV.

Testing for Bsal
December 31, 2016

Testing for Bsal

Scientists sample a rough-skinned newt for the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, or Bsal, at a pond near Portland, Oregon. Bsal is decimating wild salamander populations in Europe and could emerge in the U.S. through the captive amphibian trade.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Sampling for Bsal
December 31, 2016

Sampling for Bsal

Scientists sample a rough-skinned newt for the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, or Bsal, at a pond near Portland, Oregon. Bsal is decimating wild salamander populations in Europe and could emerge in the U.S. through the captive amphibian trade.

Attribution: Ecosystems
American Alligator
December 31, 2016

American Alligator

USGS and other scientists have studied in-depth alligator populations in Florida and Louisiana, but basic ecological knowledge is lacking for populations at the northern edge of their range. For example, differences in climate and habitat between the southern and northern portions of the range limit the applicability of findings from other studies to South Carolina alligator management....

American Alligator
December 31, 2016

Largest American Alligator Satellite Telemetry-Tracking Study

South Carolina alligators occupy a patchwork of diverse habitats, including rivers, lakes, wooded swamps, tidal marshes, and impounded freshwater wetlands. As a mobile, opportunistic predator, alligators seasonally adjust their habitat use for feeding. For example, some Florida alligators venture into brackish water habitats to feed on nutrient-rich blue crabs during the wet season because...

Dissected bat guano pellet showing antennae, eyes, and body fragments of midges.
December 31, 2016

Dissected bat guano pellet showing antennae, eyes, and body parts

Dissected guano pellet showing antennae, eyes, and body fragments of midges. 

December 31, 2016

Polar Bears Film Their Own Sea Ice World

This video showcases the latest polar bear point-of-view footage to date along with an interview of the research scientist who is responsible for the project. Released in conjunction with a new scientific study led by the USGS. 
 

Golden Eagle
December 31, 2016

Golden eagle fitted with Global Positioning System (GPS) backpack

Reports of golden eagle mortality linked to wind energy facilities are cause for concern especially when coupled with the knowledge that golden eagles move great distances between breeding and wintering areas. Mortalities at a particular wind energy facility can consequently affect breeding populations of golden eagles at local and continent-wide scales. Information is needed to understand the...

WorldCat holdings, OCLC, USGS Pubs Warehouse, Public Domain, Biodiversity Heritage Library
December 6, 2016

A student volunteer scans historic USGS library material

Student volunteers are trained to scan historic library materials. The materials can be complex, consisting of multiple parts.

Tufted Puffin, the species most affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK
November 23, 2016

Tufted Puffin, near Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska

Tufted Puffin, the species most affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK. Near Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska

November 17, 2016

2016 November Evening Public Lecture — Ecological Stressors

Ecological Stressors: It's a Lot of 'WERC'
"There's is no place like California" by A. Keith Miles, Center Director, USGS Western Ecological Research Center

Highlights of the science of the USGS Western Ecological Research Center: 

  • Wildlife, drought, sea level rise
  • Endangered species, species of concern
  • Alternate energy, urbanization, species
  • ...
Invasive black and white tegu lizards (Salvator merianae).
October 26, 2016

Invasive black and white tegu lizards (Salvator merianae).

Invasive black and white tegu lizards (Salvator merianae). USGS is working on development of tools for the detection and capture of invasive reptiles in Florida.

Filter Total Items: 310
Date published: March 15, 2017

Wild Birds an Unlikely Source of Costly Poultry Disease

Wild ducks and shorebirds do not appear to carry Newcastle disease viruses that sicken or kill poultry, according to a new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: March 13, 2017

Increase of Alaskan Snow Geese OK for Other Species

A new report by the USGS finds that although snow geese are increasing rapidly in northern Alaska, they are not having a negative effect on black brant. Brant are a goose species that shares its nesting habitat with snow geese.

Date published: March 7, 2017

Caribou Appear to Keep up with Warming Arctic

Despite recent changes to the growing season for plants in the Arctic, Alaska, caribou appear to have remained in sync with these changes over the last 30 years. 

Date published: March 2, 2017

Increasing Shrubs Mean Changes for Some but Not All Arctic Birds

Scientists can now predict which avian species are most sensitive to the increasingly dominant shrub habitat spreading across Alaska, a capability that will be useful for natural resource agencies in Alaska charged with managing these resources.

Date published: March 1, 2017

Western Fisheries Science News, February 2017 | Issue 5.2

In Memoriam — William Toshio Yasutake, 1922–2016

Date published: February 23, 2017

Just HOW EARLY is spring arriving in your neighborhood? Find out . . .

Get your flip-flops and shorts out because spring is arriving very early this year . . . at least 2-3 weeks early across almost the entire Southeast, from San Antonio to Atlanta to Washington, D.C.  This unusually early spring is likely to keep rolling north, bringing relatively early ‘signs of spring’ to portions of the central Midwest and northeastern states.

Date published: February 23, 2017

Just HOW EARLY is spring arriving in your neighborhood? Find out . . .

Get your flip-flops and shorts out because spring is arriving very early this year . . . at least 2-3 weeks early across almost the entire Southeast, from San Antonio to Atlanta to Washington, D.C.  This unusually early spring is likely to keep rolling north, already bringing surprising signs of spring to portions of the central Midwest and northeastern states.

Date published: February 14, 2017

Handbook for sagebrush steppe restoration techniques can help sustain wildlife and western ecosystems

The sagebrush ecosystem in the western U.S is one of the largest ecosystems in North America, but it is also threatened from wildfire and invasive plants. “Restoration of these unique ecosystems will help sustain wildlife and livelihoods throughout the West," said David Pyke, the USGS ecologist and lead author of the final installment of a three-part sagebrush restoration handbook. 

Date published: February 13, 2017

Western Fisheries Science News, January 2017 | Issue 5.1

Olfactory Cues Provide Insight into Lamprey Behavior and Physiology

Date published: February 8, 2017

Bigger May Not Be Better When It Comes to Mississippi River Diversions

New research shows how river diversions may change water quality in estuaries. 

Date published: February 2, 2017

A Century of Habitat Loss Affects Genetics of Endangered Bird

A new study analyzes the genetic diversity and population structure of the California Ridgway’s rail, Rallus obsoletus, a state and federally-listed endangered bird. The results demonstrate that the so-called “rails” are experiencing negative genetic effects following more than a century of salt marsh habitat loss from agriculture, commercial salt production and urban development.

Date published: February 1, 2017

Christian Zimmerman to Lead Studies as New Director of the Alaska Science Center

The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Christian Zimmerman as the new director of their Alaska Science Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Zimmerman succeeds Dr. Mark Shasby who held the position for the past six years.