Mission Areas

Ecosystems

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 421
Mallard (Anarhynchos platus)
February 2, 2017

The Challenge: In December of 2014, a novel strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) caused an outbreak in poultry on the West coast of the United States. From there, the virus progressed steadily eastward, causing $3.3 billion in economic losses in addition to 50 million chickens or turkeys dying or being depopulated. While the primary mode of spread appears...

Male Ruddy duck
February 2, 2017

The Challenge: The susceptibility and pathogenesis of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAI) has not been characterized in numerous duck species, especially diving ducks (genera Melanitta, Aythya, and Oxyura), some of which migrate across the continental US. The few studies available (on Tufted duck, Aythya fuligula) suggest that they may shed high amounts of virus, but it is unclear...

Poplar Island Environmental Restoration Project
February 2, 2017

The Challenge: For several decades, the US Army Corps of Engineers, along with numerous state and federal partners, have been creating and restoring islands with dredged materials from navigation channels in the Bay. Natural resources management goals have guided restoration plans for these islands since the mid 1990’s. The USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center...

Research Team Banding chicks on Poplar Island
February 2, 2017

The Challenge: Concern has been raised over productivity of two important tern species that have colonized Poplar Island Environmental Restoration Project (PIERP): the Maryland state-listed Least Tern (Sternula antillarum) and Common Tern (Sterna hirundo). Over the 14 year monitoring period at PIERP (beginning 2002), hatching and fledging success of these species has been variable, believed to...

A hardened shoreline (rip-rap revetment)
February 2, 2017

The Challenge: Climate change and sea level rise are expected to affect many miles of shoreline in the Chesapeake Bay and elsewhere along the Atlantic Coast in the coming years. In this scenario, federal and state agencies need to make more detailed assessments of how different watersheds and shoreline types might influence an array of ecosystem functions and components. Recently, most states...

American black duck
February 2, 2017

The Challenge: Disease risk modeling can be an important tool for identifying areas of high transmission risk within and between animal populations, allowing for strategic allocation of limited resources for disease surveillance and prevention. Acquiring a spatial understanding of the distributions of high risk populations is a critical first step in developing...

Tracking migratory movements with satellite telemetry.
February 2, 2017

The Challenge: Following outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Eurasia, many researchers have attempted to determine how this virus spreads across the landscape. Unfortunately, prior to this work, most studies on HPAI movements were based on virology data alone, and no information on host ecology. Beginning in 2007, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (PWRC) and...

Mallard
February 2, 2017

The Challenge: Changes in aquatic ecosystems related to climate change phenomena or other anthropogenically based environmental stressors have significant impact on the dynamics of the host-pathogen-environment relationship, often with surprising results. Therefore, biosurveillance of the aquatic environment for pathogens of significance to aquatic and terrestrial wildlife...

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Drone)
February 1, 2017

The Challenge: Threats such as habitat loss, increased severity of storm events, and emerging diseases are affecting wildlife populations, with particular concern for threatened and migratory species. Surveys for measuring populations and breeding productivity for various species have been utilized for many years; however, they can be intrusive leading to aggressive...

Salt marsh nekton monitoring
January 30, 2017

The Challenge: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) needs tools to inform decisions regarding the management and restoration of salt marsh ecosystems on northeastern National Wildlife Refuges. Previously, we developed a structured decision making (SDM) framework for optimizing refuge management decisions. This SDM framework served as the foundation for FWS to implement a consistent...

Teaching Eelgrass Restoration Techniques
January 30, 2017

The Challenge: Eelgrass provides essential functions to the ecology and economy of Maine’s coastal zone. When over half the eelgrass in Casco Bay, Maine, disappeared between 2012 and 2013, USGS experimental evidence identified disturbance from invasive European green crabs as the leading cause. Loss of vegetation is expected to precipitate a range of impacts, including reduced fish...

Field work sampling for disease
January 25, 2017

The Challenge: Disease in amphibian populations can have a range of effects, from devastating declines following introduction of a novel pathogen to recurring breakout events on a landscape. Elucidating mechanisms underlying the effects of diseases on amphibian populations is crucial to help managers make appropriate decisions to achieve management goals for amphibians.

Filter Total Items: 56
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.

EverVIEW logo
April 20, 2016

Everglades Eco-Modeling Data Visualization and Tool Development

Working with the Joint Ecosystem Modeling (JEM) community of practice, the WARC Advanced Applications Team developed and maintains the EverVIEW Data Viewer desktop visualization platform, which allows users to easily visualize and inspect standards-compliant NetCDF modeling data and has experienced tremendous feature growth driven by user feedback. 

EverVIEW logo
April 20, 2016

EverVIEW Lite

Recently, the Team has developed and released EverVIEW Lite, an online web mapping framework based on the core features available in the desktop viewer.

CIMS logo
April 20, 2016

Coastal Information Management System (CIMS)

WARC's Advanced Applications Team is responsible for data management and application development to support the biological monitoring components of coastal restoration projects in the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority portfolio. 

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database and Website (NAS)
April 12, 2016

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Program Database Queries

Welcome to the Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) information resource for the United States Geological Survey. Located at Gainesville, Florida, this site has been established as a central repository for spatially referenced biogeographic accounts of introduced aquatic species.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database (NAS)

The NAS provides spatially referenced biogeographic accounts of aquatic species introduced into the United States. The NAS allows for real-time queries, has regional contact information, species accounts and general information. Sign up for species-specific email alerts. Special maps available for zebra and quagga mussels, Asian carp and lionfish.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

National Vegetation Classification Standard (NVCS)

The central organizing framework for documentation, inventory, monitoring, and study of vegetation in the United States from broad scale formations like forests to fine-scale plant communities. The Classification allows users to produce uniform statistics about vegetation resources across the nation at local, regional, or national levels.

Filter Total Items: 551
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.

Year Published: 2016

Reconstruction of late Holocene climate based on tree growth and mechanistic hierarchical models

Reconstruction of pre-instrumental, late Holocene climate is important for understanding how climate has changed in the past and how climate might change in the future. Statistical prediction of paleoclimate from tree ring widths is challenging because tree ring widths are a one-dimensional summary of annual growth that represents a multi-...

Tipton, John; Hooten, Mevin B.; Pederson, Neil; Tingley, Martin; Bishop, Daniel

Year Published: 2016

Population connectivity and genetic structure of burbot (Lota lota) populations in the Wind River Basin, Wyoming

Burbot (Lota lota) occur in the Wind River Basin in central Wyoming, USA, at the southwestern extreme of the species’ native range in North America. The most stable and successful of these populations occur in six glacially carved mountain lakes on three different tributary streams and one large main stem impoundment (Boysen Reservoir)...

Underwood, Zachary E.; Mandeville, Elizabeth G.; Walters, Annika W.

Year Published: 2016

Body size and condition influence migration timing of juvenile Arctic grayling

Freshwater fishes utilising seasonally available habitats within annual migratory circuits time movements out of such habitats with changing hydrology, although individual attributes of fish may also mediate the behavioural response to environmental conditions. We tagged juvenile Arctic grayling in a seasonally flowing stream on the Arctic Coastal...

Heim, Kurt C.; Wipfli, Mark S.; Whitman, Matthew S.; Seitz, Andrew C.

Year Published: 2016

Stable isotope evaluation of population- and individual-level diet variability in a large, oligotrophic lake with non-native lake trout

Non-native piscivores can alter food web dynamics; therefore, evaluating interspecific relationships is vital for conservation and management of ecosystems with introduced fishes. Priest Lake, Idaho, supports a number of introduced species, including lake troutSalvelinus namaycush, brook trout S. fontinalis and opossum shrimp ...

Ng, Elizabeth L.; Fredericks, Jim P.; Quist, Michael C.

Year Published: 2016

Governance principles for wildlife conservation in the 21st century

Wildlife conservation is losing ground in the U.S. for many reasons. The net effect is declines in species and habitat. To address this trend, the wildlife conservation institution (i.e., all customs, practices, organizations and agencies, policies, and laws with respect to wildlife) must adapt to contemporary social–ecological conditions....

Decker, Daniel; Smith, Christian; Forstchen, Ann; Hare, Darragh; Pomeranz, Emily; Doyle-Capitman, Catherine; Schuler, Krysten; Organ, John F.

Year Published: 2016

Innate and adaptive immune responses in migrating spring-run adult chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

Adult Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) migrate from salt water to freshwater streams to spawn. Immune responses in migrating adult salmon are thought to diminish in the run up to spawning, though the exact mechanisms for diminished immune responses remain unknown. Here we examine both adaptive and innate immune responses as well as...

Dolan, Brian P.; Fisher, Kathleen M.; Colvin, Michael E.; Benda, Susan E.; Peterson, James T.; Kent, Michael L.; Schreck, Carl B.

Year Published: 2016

Extensive dispersal of Roanoke logperch (Percina rex) inferred from genetic marker data

The dispersal ecology of most stream fishes is poorly characterised, complicating conservation efforts for these species. We used microsatellite DNA marker data to characterise dispersal patterns and effective population size (Ne) for a population of Roanoke logperchPercina rex, an endangered darter (Percidae). Juveniles and candidate parents were...

Roberts, James H.; Angermeier, Paul; Hallerman, Eric M.

Year Published: 2016

American woodcock migratory connectivity as indicated by hydrogen isotopes

To identify factors contributing to the long-term decline of American woodcock, a holistic understanding of range-wide population connectivity throughout the annual cycle is needed. We used band recovery data and isotopic composition of primary (P1) and secondary (S13) feathers to estimate population sources and connectivity among natal, early...

Sullins, Daniel S.; Conway, Warren C.; Haukos, David A.; Hobson, Keith A.; Wassenaar, Leonard I; Comer, Christopher E.; Hung, I-Kuai

Year Published: 2016

An empirical assessment of which inland floods can be managed

Riverine flooding is a significant global issue. Although it is well documented that the influence of landscape structure on floods decreases as flood size increases, studies that define a threshold flood-return period, above which landscape features such as topography, land cover and impoundments can curtail floods, are lacking. Further, the...

Mogollon, Beatriz; Frimpong, Emmanuel A.; Hoegh, Andrew B.; Angermeier, Paul

Filter Total Items: 433
Mallard Duckling
July 26, 2017
This mallard duckling was captured in Suisun Marsh. USGS scientists are weighing, measuring and banding waterfowl to understand how they are using the marsh and for capture-recapture data.
Retrieving waterfowl
July 24, 2017
Two WERC technicians walk back from a placed trap with hands full.
Photo of seeding experiment to improve restoration outcomes in the Southwest.
July 17, 2017
USGS ecologists Molly McCormick (left) and Katie Laushman (right) conducting a seeding experiment that is a part of RAMPS , a new USGS-led initiative to improve restoration outcomes in the Southwest. Seedings such as these are common land treatments on BLM lands. An examination of long-term data for lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management finds that land treatments in the southwestern...
Map shows early wetland losses in red, recent losses in purple
July 10, 2017
This map shows the historic trend in wetland losses, with early losses in red and the most recent ones in purple.
Satellite images of the same marsh in 2008 and 2016
2017 (approx.)
Satellite images of the same wetland taken in 2008 and 2016 show a wetland restoration project has produced some gains in marsh area.
July 6, 2017
Mountain lions, desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, and a variety of other wildlife live on and pass through the Nevada National Security Site each day. It’s a highly restricted area that is free of hunting and has surprisingly pristine areas.This 22-minute program highlights an extraordinary study on how mountain lions interact with their prey. It shows how the scientists use helicopters and...
Woman leaning over collecting sturgeon free embryos outside
2017 (approx.)
A biological science technician collects pallid sturgeon free embryos from the sampling nets in the experimental streams at the Columbia Environmental Research Center.
A female scientists overlooks swimming chambers for pallid sturgeon
2017 (approx.)
A biological science technician prepares the swim chambers to assess the swimming abilities of young pallid sturgeon.
Phragmites under stress in Pass A Loutre, Louisiana
2017 (approx.)
Brown patches and brown stems show stress in this phagmites (roseau cane) stand in Pass A Loutre Wildlife Management Area, a tract of state-owned land in Louisiana's bird foot delta, where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico. An ongoing phragmites was first discovered in spring 2017 and blamed on an invasive scale insect from Asia. But a new USGS report, based on satellite imaging and...
Varied Chesapeake Bay landscapes
May 24, 2017
A montage of four Chesapeake Bay aerial photos. L-R: A waterfront residential community; row crops bordered by forest; Baltimore Harbor; piers and crab pots in a waterfront fishing community.
An extremely rare Mojave River western pond turtle was recently observed in the Mojave Desert.
May 4, 2017
An extremely rare Mojave River western pond turtle was recently observed by USGS scientists and staff from The Living Desert Zoo and Garden s in the Mojave Desert. Turtles of this population have rarely been seen since the late 1990s.
Filter Total Items: 255
A polar bear walks across rubble ice in the Alaska portion of the southern Beaufort Sea
June 6, 2017

A new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wyoming found that increased westward ice drift in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas requires polar bears to expend more energy walking eastward on a faster moving “treadmill” of sea ice.  

The Bathythermograph
June 6, 2017

On June 6, 1944, thousands of men rained down from the skies onto the battlegrounds of Normandy. After five grueling years of war that shook the globe, D-Day’s victory swept the Allied nations into a wave of celebration.

Image: Vegetation Drought
June 5, 2017

The U. S. Geological Survey is poised to bring a dynamic array of science and tools to help decision-makers manage and offset effects of increased drought across the United States, according to a drought plan report released today.

Southeastern myotis with Pd - thumb
June 1, 2017

Biologists have confirmed white-nose syndrome in the southeastern bat, or Myotis austroriparius, for the first time. The species joins eight other hibernating bat species in North America that are afflicted with the deadly bat fungal disease.

Microscope image of Dolichospermum circinale, a cyanobacteria found in last year's Florida harmful algal bloom.
May 31, 2017

A new U.S. Geological Survey study that looked at the extensive harmful algal bloom that plagued Florida last year found far more types of cyanobacteria present than previously known.

Chesapeake Bay 2014 Landsat imagery
May 25, 2017

USGS’ pixel-by-pixel land use forecasts offer essential road maps for restoration. 

This image shows the perimeter of Sperry Glacier in Glacier National Park in 1966,1998, 2005, and 2015.
May 10, 2017

The warming climate has dramatically reduced the size of 39 glaciers in Montana since 1966, some by as much as 85 percent, according to data released by the U.S. Geological Survey and Portland State University.

A radio-tracked adult desert tortoise basks in the sun among the wind turbines at a wind energy facility
May 3, 2017

How a wind energy facility is designed can influence the behavior of animal predators and their prey, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Wildlife Management by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Image: A Mule Deer Released After Being Radio-Collared
May 3, 2017

Migratory mule deer in Wyoming closely time their movements to track the spring green-up, providing evidence of an underappreciated foraging benefit of migration, according to a study by University of Wyoming and U.S. Geological Survey scientists at the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

Sea otter in kelp.
May 2, 2017

Thanks to a quarter-century of research and monitoring, scientists now know how different wildlife species were injured by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and how long it took for populations to recover.