Mission Areas

Ecosystems

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Filter Total Items: 496
Image: Bats and Wind Energy
Date Published: December 27, 2017
Status: Active

We are exploring models that relate measures of bat activity to environmental conditions, such as weather, moon phase, and day of year.

Contacts: Manuela M Huso
Thermal image of bat flying behind wind turbine
Date Published: December 27, 2017
Status: Active

We are conducting daily fatality searches for bat carcasses in order to relate fatality pattern to measures of bat activity, as well as to daily environmental conditions - such as weather, moon phase, and day of year.

Contacts: Manuela M Huso
Image: Wind Turbine and Forest
Date Published: December 22, 2017
Status: Active

We are developing the theoretical statistical framework that would allow inference from known search effort and detectability parameters regarding estimated fatality when there are no or few observed carcasses. In addition, we are developing software that resource managers as well as developers can use to design fatality monitoring protocols optimized for different objectives.

Image: Wind Turbines
Date Published: December 22, 2017
Status: Active

We are investigating ways to accurately estimate this fraction in order to improve the accuracy of estimates and the efficiency of searching.

Wind Farm
Date Published: December 22, 2017
Status: Active

We are creating an estimator that allows a more general parameterization of carcass arrival and persistence times, while accommodating the different assumptions regarding the likelihood that a carcass is observed.

Contacts: Manuela M Huso, David Dail
wind turbines
Date Published: December 22, 2017
Status: Active

We are developing publicly available open-source software that uses data provided by the user to estimate the probability that a searcher will miss a carcass and the probability that a carcass will be removed before a searcher has the opportunity to observe it. The estimates are combined with the observed casualties and an estimate of the fraction of the population of killed animals expected...

Contacts: Manuela M Huso, Nick Som, Lew Ladd
Female grizzly with cubs
Date Published: December 13, 2017
Status: Active

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) is an interdisciplinary group of scientists and biologists responsible for long-term monitoring and research efforts on grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). The team was formed by the Department of the Interior (DOI) in 1973 as a direct result of controversy...

Moss-draped oak in the Columbia Bottomlands
Date Published: December 11, 2017
Status: Active

Three federal wildlife refuge complexes on the upper Texas coast include portions of the Columbia Bottomlands and other forests that are important for migratory birds and possibly bats: Texas Mid-Coast, Trinity River, and Chenier Plain.

Northern Parula. Photo by Michael Gray
Date Published: December 11, 2017
Status: Active

Knowing where migratory birds consistently stop to rest and forage is critical for conservation planning, particularly along the northern and western Gulf where there is increased interest in energy development.

Gulf of Mexico Dashboard USGS Obsservation Stations
Date Published: December 5, 2017
Status: Active

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. The objective of this effort is to expand the Texas Water Dashboard platform to include the coastal regions of the five Gulf states: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and...

wind turbine next to a dilapidated barn
Date Published: November 28, 2017
Status: Active

The Team's research is organized into two major themes: 1) applied statistical methods and tools, which includes fatality estimation software; and 2) effects of wind energy development on wildlife, particularly bats.

Click on the Related Science tab for more information.

The team is affiliated with the FRESC Snake River Research Station, but work out of the FRESC Corvallis office...

Contacts: Manuela M Huso
Views from Siuslaw National Forest
Date Published: November 28, 2017
Status: Active

Research in our laboratory centers on the ecology and biogeochemistry of forest ecosystems, as well as grassland and riparian systems. We examine how factors such as natural and human disturbances, climate and climate change, succession, and soil fertility shape ecosystem biogeochemistry - and the reciprocal effect of biogeochemical cycles on these and other factors.

Filter Total Items: 62
USGS Dam Removal Information Portal (DRIP) Screenshot
October 31, 2016

USGS Dam Removal Information Portal (DRIP)

The Dam Removal Information Portal is a Web site that serves information about the scientific studies associated with dam-removal projects. It is a visualization tool, including a map and interactive charts, of a dam-removal literature review designed and developed by a working group at the USGS John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis (Bellmore and others, 2015).

ScienceBase Thumbnail
October 1, 2016

Approved Data Releases

This public folder contains approved data release products produced by the USGS Western Ecologial Research Center. This folder also includes metadata that will be harvested and displayed by the USGS Science Data Catalog ( http://data.usgs.gov/datacatalog) to improve access and discovery. 

Terrapin nest distrabution on the Chesapeake Bay
July 14, 2016

Diamondback Terrapins in Chesapeake Bay, 2002 Beach Survey

The survey was conducted in summer 2002 to assess the presence of terrapins in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay. Results are spatial locations of evidence related to nesting.

Albany wind farm
May 2, 2016

Evidence of Absence Webinar

This video describes a statistical software package called "Evidence of Absence" that can be used to provide evidence of compliance with incidental take permits. It will be useful to wildlife managers and wind energy operators to estimate, with reasonable certainty, that a certain number of birds or bats have been killed at wind energy facilities, even when no carcasses are found.

South Florida Information Access logo
April 27, 2016

South Florida Information Access (SOFIA)

South Florida Information Access (SOFIA) was established to provide coherent information access in support of research, decision-making, and resource management for the South Florida ecosystem restoration effort.

SLR graphic
April 21, 2016

Sea-Level Rise Visualization for Alabama and Mississippi

The interactive sea-level rise visualization tool results from a collaborative effort between NOAA's Coastal Services Center, USGS WARC, and USGS Mississippi Water Science Center. The tool illustrates the scale of potential flooding, but not the exact location, and does not account for erosion, subsidence, sediment accretion, or future construction. 

AL-SHU graphic
April 21, 2016

Alabama Strategic Habitat Units Applications

WARC's Advanced Applications Team develops and maintains databases and applications to help the Alabama Department of Transportation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ensure new road construction and existing road maintenance at waterway crossings don't adversely affect threatened and endangered species dependent on those waterways. 

Sandy Science logo
April 21, 2016

Hurricane Sandy Ecosystems Application Development

This showcases the data and analytical products from studies related to habitat change, storm surge and ecological modeling, migratory bird impacts, and other studies conducted at WARC and funded by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. WARC's Advanced Applications Team also supports the efforts of scientists conducting research in Hurricane Sandy-impacted areas. 

CRMS Wetlands logo
April 21, 2016

Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS)

CRMS is the largest of all Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPRRA) funded projects and has established a network of ~400 biological monitoring stations across coastal Louisiana spanning all coastal habitat types and generating tremendous volumes of data. 

MsCIP logo
April 21, 2016

Mississippi Coastal Improvements Program (MsCIP) Barrier Island Restoration

MsCIP was developed in 2009 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, in conjunction with other Federal and State agencies, to help reduce future storm damage along the Mississippi Gulf coast. In 2014, in cooperation with the USACE Mobile District, WARC's Advanced Applications Team began development on the MsCIP Data Viewer, an interactive web-mapping environment. 

CWPPRA logo
April 20, 2016

Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA)

CWPPRA is the oldest and largest coastal restoration effort operating across coastal Louisiana and has constructed 105 restoration projects since its establishment over 20 years ago. WARC's Advanced Applications Team has proudly worked with the CWPPRA Task Force over the years to ensure timely and accurate project-specific information is publicly available. 

JEM logo
April 20, 2016

Joint Ecosystem Modeling (JEM) Support

The JEM community of practice is focused on ecological modeling and monitoring across the Greater Everglades, with particular interest in habitats, how various factors affect habitat change, and how the organisms dependent on those habitats respond today and into the future.

Filter Total Items: 566
Year Published: 2016

Impacts of climate change and renewable energy development on habitat of an endemic squirrel, Xerospermophilus mohavensis, in the Mojave Desert, USA

Predicting changes in species distributions under a changing climate is becoming widespread with the use of species distribution models (SDMs). The resulting predictions of future potential habitat can be cast in light of planned land use changes, such as urban expansion and energy development to identify areas with potential conflict. However,...

Inman, Richard D.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Leitner, Philip; Matocq, Marjorie D.; Weisberg, Peter J.; Dilts, Thomas E.
Inman, RD, TC Esque, KE Nussear, P Leitner, MD Matocq, PJ Weisberg, TE Dilts. 2016. Impacts of climate change and renewable energy development on habitat of an endemic squirrel, Xerospermophilus mohavensis, in the Mojave Desert, USA. Biological Conservation 200: 112-121. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2016.05.033

Year Published: 2016

Mortality monitoring design for utility-scale solar power facilities

IntroductionSolar power represents an important and rapidly expanding component of the renewable energy portfolio of the United States (Lovich and Ennen, 2011; Hernandez and others, 2014). Understanding the impacts of renewable energy development on wildlife is a priority for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in compliance with Department...

Huso, Manuela; Dietsch, Thomas; Nicolai, Chris
Huso, Manuela, Dietsch, Thomas, and Nicolai, Chris, 2016, Mortality monitoring design for utility-scale solar power facilities: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016-1087, 44 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161087.

Year Published: 2016

Wetlands postcard

Wetlands Postcard Research conducted by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey provides reliable scientific information for the management of wetlands ranging from small freshwater alpine lakes in the Western United States to coastal wetlands of the Great Lakes and salt marshes along the Southeastern coast. Learn more about USGS wetlands...

Ball, Lianne C.
Attribution: Ecosystems
Ball, L.C., 2016, Wetlands postcard: U.S. Geological Survey General Information Product 163, 2 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/gip163.

Year Published: 2016

Multi-scale connectivity and graph theory highlight critical areas for conservation under climate change

Conservation planning and biodiversity management require information on landscape connectivity across a range of spatial scales from individual home ranges to large regions. Reduction in landscape connectivity due changes in land-use or development is expected to act synergistically with alterations to habitat mosaic configuration arising from...

Dilts, Thomas E.; Weisberg, Peter J.; Leitner, Phillip; Matocq, Marjorie D.; Inman, Richard D.; Nussear, Ken E.; Esque, Todd C.
Dilts, TE, PJ Weisberg, P Leitner, MD Matocq, RD Inman, KE Nussear, TC Esque. 2016. Multi-scale connectivity and graph theory highlight critical areas for conservation under climate change. Ecological Applications. doi: 10.1890/15-0925

Year Published: 2016

High-resolution records detect human-caused changes to the boreal forest wildfire regime in interior Alaska

Stand-replacing wildfires are a keystone disturbance in the boreal forest, and they are becoming more common as the climate warms. Paleo-fire archives from the wildland–urban interface can quantify the prehistoric fire regime and assess how both human land-use and climate change impact ecosystem dynamics. Here, we use a combination of a...

Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Mann, Daniel H.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Wooller, Matthew J.; Finney, Bruce P.

Year Published: 2016

The North American model and captive cervid facilities—What is the threat?

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation represents the key principles that in combination resulted in a distinct form of wildlife conservation in the United States and Canada. How and to what extent captive cervid facilities comport with or conflict with these principles has implications for wildlife conservation. Greatest threats appear...

Organ, John F.; Decker, Thomas A.; Lama, Tanya M.
Organ, J.F., T.A. Decker, and T.M. Lama. 2016. The North American model and captive cervid facilities - what is the threat? Wildlife Society Bulletin 40(1):10-13

Year Published: 2016

Evaluation of Caspian tern (Hydroprogne caspia) and snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) nesting on modified islands at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, California—2015 Annual Report

Executive Summary In order to address the 2008/10 NOAA Fisheries Biological Opinion for operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) have developed and begun implementation of Caspian tern (Hydroprogne caspia) management plans. This implementation...

Hartman, C. Alex; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark P.; Strong, Cheryl; Trachtenbarg, David; Sawyer, Kimberley A.; Shore, Crystal A.
Hartman, C.A., Ackerman, J.T., Herzog, M.P., Strong, C., Trachtenbarg, D., Sawyer, K.A., and Shore, C.A., 2016, Evaluation of Caspian tern (Hydroprogne caspia) and snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) nesting on modified islands at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, California—2015 Annual Report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016-1049, 36 p., http//dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161049.

Year Published: 2016

Passage of downstream migrant American eels through an airlift-assisted deep bypass

Traditional downstream guidance and bypass facilities for anadromous fishes (i.e., surface bypasses, surface guidance structures, and behavioral barriers) have frequently been ineffective for anguillid eels. Because eels typically spend the majority of their time near the bottom in the vicinity of intake structures, deep bypass structures with...

Haro, Alexander J.; Watten, Barnaby J.; Noreika, John
Haro, A., B. Watten, and J. Noreika. 2016. Passage of downstream migrant American eels through an airlift deep bypass system. Ecological Engineering 91(2016):545-552. http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2016.02.028

Year Published: 2016

Seasonal response of ghrelin, growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factor I in the free-ranging Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

Seasonal changes in light, temperature, and food availability stimulate a physiological response in an animal. Seasonal adaptations are well studied in Arctic, Sub-Arctic, and hibernating mammals; however, limited studies have been conducted in sub-tropical species. The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), a sub-tropical marine...

Tighe, Rachel L; Bonde, Robert K.; Avery, Julie P.

Year Published: 2016

Habitat selection by juvenile Mojave Desert tortoises

Growing pressure to develop public lands for renewable energy production places several protected species at increased risk of habitat loss. One example is the Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), a species often at the center of conflicts over public land development. For this species and others on public lands, a better understanding of...

Todd, Brian D; Halstead, Brian J.; Chiquoine, Lindsay P.; Peaden, J. Mark; Buhlmann, Kurt A.; Tuberville, Tracey D.; Nafus, Melia G.
Todd, BD, BJ Halstead, LP Chiquoine, JM Peaden, KA Buhlmann, TD Tuberville, MG Nafus. 2016. Habitat selection by juvenile Mojave Desert tortoises. The Journal of Wildlife Management. doi: 10.1002/jwmg.1054

Year Published: 2016

Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program—2015 Year In Review

Summary The Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (CRU) Program had its 80th anniversary in 2015. We did not have a party, but those of us who work directly for the Unit program on a daily basis celebrate the privilege we feel in being part of one of the greatest conservation institutions in history. Our mission is our hallmark: meeting the...

Organ, John F.; Thompson, John; Dennerline, Don E.; Childs, Dawn
Organ, J.F.; Thompson, J.D.; Dennerline, Don; and Childs, D.E., 2016, Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units—2015 year in review: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1420, 36 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/circ1420.

Year Published: 2016

Desert tortoise annotated bibliography, 1991-2015

Introduction Agassiz’s desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii, was considered a single species for 150 years after its discovery by James Cooper (1861), with a geographic range extending from southeastern California, southern Nevada, and southwestern Utah southward into northern Sinaloa, Mexico (Murphy and others, 2011). What was once G....

Berry, Kristin H.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Mack, Jeremy S.; Brand, L. Arriana; Wood, Dustin A.
Berry, K.H., Lyren, L.M., Mack, J.S., Brand, L.A., and Wood, D.A., 2016, Desert tortoise annotated bibliography, 1991–2015: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016-1023, 312 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161023.

Filter Total Items: 500
Commercial poultry
2017 (approx.)
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.
Monarch on hairy puccoon
2017 (approx.)
A monarch butterfly on a hairy puccoon plant.
Sea turtle
2017 (approx.)
Green sea turtles are listed as threatened or endangered throughout their range. (Credit: Thierry Work, USGS)
Sea Lamprey Larvae on White Background
2017 (approx.)
This image shows a sea lamprey in its larvae phase. Slower sea lamprey growth rates during the larval phase of development may increase the odds of sea lampreys becoming male, according to a USGS study. S ea lamprey s are an invasive, parasitic species of fish damaging the Great Lakes.
Clustered southeastern bats
2017 (approx.)
This photo shows clustered southeastern bats, or Myotis austroriparius. As of June 2017, the species joins eight other hibernating bat species in North America that are afflicted with the deadly bat fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome.
Brown bears (Ursus arctos) and Chum Salmon (Oncorhynchus)
2017 (approx.)
Bear predation on salmon can be high in many Alaskan rivers. Brown bears Ursus arctos and Chum Salmon Oncorhynchus keta are managed concurrently in McNeil River State Game Sanctuary by Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game to benefit the salmon, bears, commercial fishers, and provide unparalleled close-up bear viewing and photography opportunities for the public.
November 30, 2017
Sea otters are perhaps the best-known example of a "keystone predator". Sea otter behavior -- in particular diet specialization and limited mobility -- can mediate their effects on ecosystem dynamics. Other predators, especially large sea stars, can complement and reinforce the keystone role of sea otters: this became apparent with the loss of all sea stars from wasting disease.
November 24, 2017
A USGS video about manatees reveals that while the animals may act like the cows of the sea, they also have more than a bit of the magical siren or mermaid about them. Go for a serene swim.
2017 (approx.)
Out with the old, in with the new! A state-of-the-art aquatic science laboratory is being built on the shores of Lake Huron at the USGS Hammond Bay Biological Station (HBBS), one of seven field stations of the USGS Great Lakes Science Center, operated in partnership with the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. To make way for the new laboratory, four old buildings on the HBBS property needed to be...
Man holding red bird.
2017 (approx.)
Iiwi with small radio transmitter attached to help track the bird's movement through the forest
Photomicrograph of a green desmid alga resembling a holiday ornament
2017 (approx.)
This single-celled freshwater algae wasa collected as part of the first-ever study of the green algae family called desmids in Florida’s Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, in the northern Everglades. USGS biologist Barry H. Rosen, an expert on freshwater algae who leads the study, used a technique called differential interference microscopy to highlight the relief of the image. The bright...
Man measuring a little red bird.
2017 (approx.)
Measuring the wing length of a banded Iiwi
Filter Total Items: 292
Greater White-fronted Goose on the North Slope of Alaska
July 17, 2017

Direct encounters with humans can increase the likelihood that nesting geese will lose their eggs to predators, according to a recent study released Monday, July 17.

An American pika collects grass and flowers to stockpile its winter food supplies.
July 12, 2017

A new study by the U.S. Geological Survey and its partners has identified situations and conditions where some animals display behavioral flexibility – the ability to rapidly change behavior in response to short – or long-term environmental changes such as climate variability. 

Image: 'Akiapōlā'au
July 10, 2017

Forest birds on the island of Hawaii are responding positively to being restored in one of the largest, ongoing reforestation projects at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, according to a new study released July 10 in the journal Restoration Ecology.

A mother grizzly bear and her cub in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
July 5, 2017

From the journals of Lewis & Clark, April 13, 1805 (in the vicinity of Pouch Point Recreation Area - 16 miles south of New Town, North Dakota):

Hibernating little brown bat
July 5, 2017

Hot new imagery from temperature-sensing cameras suggests that bats who warm up from hibernation together throughout the winter may be better at surviving white nose syndrome, a disease caused by a cold-loving fungus ravaging insect-eating bat populations in the United States and Canada.

Close up of Monarch
June 29, 2017

Adding milkweeds and other native flowering plants into midwestern agricultural lands is key to restoring monarch butterflies, with milkweed sowers from all sectors of society being critically needed for success. 

Sea turtle
June 26, 2017

Scientists recently reconstructed the skin of endangered green turtles, marking the first time that skin of a non-mammal was successfully engineered in a laboratory, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study. In turn, the scientists were able to grow a tumor-associated virus to better understand certain tumor diseases.

Commercial lake fishing
June 26, 2017

Harvests from freshwater fisheries such as the Great Lakes could total more than 12 million tons a year globally and contribute more to global food supplies and economies than previous estimates indicate, according to a study published today by Michigan State University and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Prairie dog and SPV bait
June 22, 2017

Prairie dogs in the wild are less likely to succumb to plague after they ingest peanut-butter-flavored bait that contains a vaccine against the disease, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study published today in the journal EcoHealth.  

A Laysan Albatross chick in its nest near the coastline at Midway Atoll, Hawaii
June 22, 2017

Sudden flooding hit islands of global importance for Pacific birds highlighting threats and opportunities for conservation planning

A juvenile Broad-banded Watersnake that tested positive for snake fungal disease (SFD) exhibiting ulceration of the skin.
June 19, 2017

Europe’s wild snakes could face a growing threat from a fungal skin disease that has contributed to wild snake deaths in North America, according to an international collaborative study, led by conservation charity Zoological Society of London alongside partners including the U.S. Geological Survey. The new study is published in the journal Scientific Reports.