Can We Make Wind Power Compatible with Wildlife?
This story is a case study on wind energy and bats in Hawaii that communicates the impact and value of USGS science to people and the environment.See the story
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There is a growing consensus among resource managers to use native plant materials for ecological restoration of degraded drylands. Some plant species may be suitable for re-introduction across broad environmental gradients. Other species may fail under narrower conditions, or their re-introduction may have genetic consequences for local ecotypes, particularly when adapting to future climate...
Dr. Amy Vandergast and team develop genetic approaches for species detection, individual mark recapture, and studying ecological associations (such as predator/prey relationships). These techniques often increase monitoring effectiveness and efficiency when replacing or combining with standard field methodologies.
WERC's Dr. Tim Tinker colloborates with other research scientists to conduct annual population surveys of the southern sea otter -- a federally listed threatened species. In coordination with the California Department of Fish and Game and other institutions, ongoing surveys and research continues to inform the southern sea otter recovery plan for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and...
Dr. Tim Tinker and his team of researchers are developing and utilizing a variety of methodological and analytical tools to understand the causes of biological and ecological trends in sea otter populations, and to predict the ecological consequences of management practices on these populations and their ecosystems.
The Suisun Marsh and Central Valley in California are recognized as some of the world’s most important wetland habitat because it provides critical breeding and wintering habitat for many waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway. Mike Casazza and USGS WERC biologists are providing necessary scientific information to support and evaluate waterfowl populations and habitat management in North America....
USGS WERC's Dr. Phil van Mantgem and his collaborators are using plot-based methods to describe change and vulnerability to drought in the forests of the western United States. A focus of this work is the installation and maintenance of large (1 ha) monitoring plots. Many other vegetation monitoring strategies are based on small (0.1 ha) plots, which may not be sufficient to detect changes in...
How will increased drought affect forest fire severity? WERC’s Dr. Phil van Mantgem is testing the idea increased drought stress may affect forest fire severity independent of fire intensity. Drought stress prior to fire can affect tree health, potentially resulting in a higher sensitivity to fire-induced damage. Thus, with drought there may be ongoing increases in fire severity (the number of...
This project uses new and existing field data to assess forest restoration treatment effects across broad spatial and temporal scales. WERC's Dr. Phil van Mantgem and project partners are considering the effects of restoration treatments in terms of forest structure, forest stand development, subsequent tree mortality patterns mortality, and how climate influences the success or failure of...
The San Francisco Bay is designated as a site of hemispheric importance to shorebirds and annually supports over one million waterbirds. Within the USGS WERC waterbird breeding ecology program, Dr. Josh Ackerman and partners are studying habitat selection, movements, and factors influencing waterbird nest success and chick growth and survival.
With sea level rise, how will the coastal habitats of the San Francisco Bay Estuary change over the next 100 years? Mapping and modeling studies by Dr. Karen Thorne, WERC scientists, and partners have produced scenarios for this important coastal ecosystem.
The Ridgway’s rail is a federal and state listed endangered species that occurs in wetlands along the Pacific Coast and from the Lower Colorado River drainage to southern Baja California. Three subspecies of Ridgway’s rail are found within the United States: the California Ridgway’s Rail, Yuma Ridgway’s rail, and Light-footed Ridgway’s rail. All three subspecies have declined since 1900 as a...
Fuel conditions and fire regimes in western forests and deserts have been altered due to past land management, biological invasions, and recent extreme weather events and climate shifts. These changes have created extreme fire risk to local and regional communities, threatening their economic health related to wildland recreation, forest production, livestock operations, and other uses of...
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
Recently, the Team has developed and released EverVIEW Lite, an online web mapping framework based on the core features available in the desktop viewer.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 J.; Smith, Christian; Forstchen, Ann; Hare, Darragh; Pomeranz, Emily; Doyle-Capitman, Catherine; Schuler, Krysten; Organ, John F.
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.
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.
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 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.
Sudden flooding hit islands of global importance for Pacific birds highlighting threats and opportunities for conservation planning
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.
Exploring the Role of Non-Native American Shad in the Columbia River Basin
Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey, Taronga Conservation Society Australia, The National Trust of Fiji and NatureFiji-MareqetiViti have discovered a new species of banded iguana.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.