Mission Areas


Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 460
Oregon spotted frog partially submerged
Date Published: September 20, 2017
Status: Active

The Adams' Amphibian Research Lab focuses on amphibian conservation issues. We are currently addressing issues such as invasive species, disease, land use change, and long-term monitoring design for amphibians in North America. We use a combination of comparative surveys and manipulative experiments to understand the factors affecting amphibian distribution and abundance.

Grizzly bear in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Date Published: September 19, 2017
Status: Active

NOROCK has substantial expertise in large carnivore research, primarily involving species listed as Threatened or Endangered.  NOROCK’s Large Carnivore Research Program includes scientists from NOROCK’s Headquarters, West Glacier Field Station, and the Southern Appalachian Field Station.  Studies are conducted in a wide variety of landscapes throughout the U.S., as well as international...

Adult and juvenile Piping Plovers (Kaiti Titherington/USFWS)
Date Published: September 5, 2017

Federally-listed as threatened since 1986, the Atlantic Coast Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) population comprises fewer than 2,000 breeding pairs, according to the most recent census data. These breeding pairs are the target of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) species recovery plan.

The Little Missouri River, flood plain
Date Published: August 30, 2017

Aquatic Systems Branch scientists analyze rings of riparian trees relating tree growth and establishment to historical flow. We then use the tree rings to reconstruct the flow in past centuries. Flow reconstructions discover the frequency and magnitude of past droughts and floods—information that is essential for management of rivers and water supplies. We also use downscaled climate...

GLSC - Coast
Date Published: August 14, 2017

Midwest Region scientists are conducting research to help restore the Great Lakes and advance the goals of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). Studies include aquatic invasive species control; restoration of native fish and habitats and coastal wetlands; monitoring phosphorus or other nutrients from watersheds to rivers to the Great Lakes to reduce harmful algal blooms.

Silver Carp - UMESC
Date Published: August 7, 2017

USGS invasive species science in the Midwest Region is focused on early detection, risk assessment and development of new management control tools and strategies to prevent spread of invasives including Asian carp, invasive mussels, and Phragmites (an invasive wetland plant) in areas including Great Lakes and the Mississippi and Missouri River basins.

Apple snail remains after being preyed upon by a raccoon
Date Published: August 1, 2017

The maculata apple snail (Pomacea maculata) has invaded many coastal and some inland areas in south Louisiana. Reports have indicated that the freshwater snails have significantly reduced the amount of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and floating leaved vegetation (FLV) available for waterfowl and other wildlife.

Fig. 1. A flow cytometric histogram of larval Grass Carp cells
Date Published: August 1, 2017

Differentiating diploids from triploids at the earliest life stage possible allows for a more efficient use of resources including production time and rearing space. Thus, a reliable flow cytometric (FCM) method has been developed to discriminate triploids from diploids at the larval stage. In order to help simplify the process of differentiating triploids from diploids, we propose a simple...

Map of Ten Thousand Islands, Florida
Date Published: August 1, 2017

Mangroves have decreased worldwide due to human development, climate change and other forces. In southwest Florida, tremendous growth and development pressure has resulted in appreciable losses in mangrove wetlands.

Reptile specimens
Date Published: July 31, 2017

Scientists and staff of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center stationed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) do research on the systematics and conservation of vertebrate species and curate and manage the North American collections of Amphibian, Reptile, Bird, and Mammal specimens and associated records.

NPS photo of a Black-Crowned Night Heron
Date Published: June 12, 2017

Years after the last inmate departed Alcatraz Island, waterbirds like Black-crowned Night Herons and Snowy Egrets still make the forbidding island their home. The National Park Service has requested the aid of WERC’s Dr. Pete Coates to inform efforts to expand visitor access to the Island, and simultaneously maintain healthy waterbird populations.

Severn River, Annapolis, Maryland, a tributary to Chesapeake Bay, showing high sediment
Date Published: May 12, 2017
Status: Active

The 64,000-square mile watershed that drains to the Chesapeake Bay is highly populated and has diverse land use, including forested, agricultural, and urbanized areas. Increased precipitation in the eastern United States over the last 100 years has affected stream flow and thus the loading of pollutants delivered to the bay. Such pollutants as suspended sediment and dissolved phosphorus and...

Filter Total Items: 60
USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

Across Trophic Level System Simulation for the Freshwater Wetlands of the Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp

Across Trophic Level System Simulation (ATLSS) is a project to develop a set of models for the Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp of South Florida. The models will support studies "to compare the future effects of alternative hydrologic scenarios on the biotic components of the system."

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

North American Bird Monitoring Projects Database - Other (Bird Studies Canada)

The North American Bird Monitoring Projects Database site is dedicated to bird monitoring in North America. It provides easy access to descriptions of all major bird monitoring projects in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

North American Bird Phenology Program — BPP Data Viewer

The North American Bird Phenology Program was a network of volunteer observers who recorded information on first arrival dates, maximum abundance, and departure dates of migratory birds across North America. Active between 1880 and 1970, the program exists now as a historic collection of six million migration card observations.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS)

Find the scientific names of species by their popular names or vice-versa.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

National Gap Analysis Program (GAP)

This site provides data and tools to help answer the question of how well we are protecting common plants and animals (GAP Analysis). Choose a state or the entire United States. Download data for land cover, species, protected areas and more or view online, using the interactive GAP Data Viewers.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

National Plants Database

Provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the United States and its territories.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

Web Soil Survey (WSS)

Provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 4, 2016

National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) — Wetlands Mapper

This tool produces and provides information on the characteristics, extent, and status of the Nation's wetlands and deepwater habitats and other wildlife habitats.

Imperiled snail data map
December 17, 2013

American Fisheries Society List of Freshwater Gastropods (Snails) from Canada and the United States

At this website, one can view lists of native freshwater snails by state or province boundary, and plot distributions of snails by political boundaries. Lists can be downloaded for use in reports or analyses. Data file last updated 12/17/2013.

Imperiled fish data map
April 25, 2013

The 2008 AFS Endangered Species Committee list of imperiled freshwater and diadromous fishes of North America

At this website, one can view lists of imperiled fishes by freshwater ecoregion, by state or province boundary, and plot distributions of imperiled fishes by ecoregions or political boundaries. Data file last updated 4/25/2013.

Imperiled crayfish data map
March 17, 2011

The 2007 AFS Endangered Species Committee list of common and imperiled freshwater crayfishes of the United States and Canada

At this website, one can view lists of crayfishes by freshwater ecoregion, by state or province boundary, and plot distributions of crayfishes by ecoregions or political boundaries. Data file last updated 3/17/2011.

Queen angelfish - Hurricane Hole, Virgin Islands
September 9, 2010

Mangrove Secrets

The Sheltered Corals of Hurricane Hole, US Virgin Islands

Filter Total Items: 563
Year Published: 2016

Resprouting and seeding hypotheses: A test of the gap-dependent model using resprouting and obligate seeding subspecies of Arctostaphylos

Ecological factors favoring either postfire resprouting or postfire obligate seeding in plants have received considerable attention recently. Three ecological models have been proposed to explain patterns of these two life history types. In this study, we test these three models using data from California chaparral. We take an innovative approach...

Keeley, Jon E.; Parker, V. Thomas; Vasey, Michael C.
Keeley, JE, VT Parker, MC Vasey. 2016. Resprouting and seeding hypotheses: a test of the gap-dependent model using resprouting and obligate seeding subspecies of Arctostaphylos. Plant Ecology. doi: 10.1007/s11258-015-0551-z

Year Published: 2016

Characterization of the putatively introduced red alga Acrochaetium secundatum (Acrochaetiales, Rhodophyta) growing epizoically on the pelage of southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis)

Ecological associations between epibionts (organisms that live on the surface of another living organism) and vertebrates have been documented in both marine and terrestrial environments, and may be opportunistic, commensal, or symbiotic (Lewin et al. 1981, Holmes 1985, Allen et al. 1993, Bledsoe et al. 2006, Pfaller et al. 2008, Suutari et al....

Bentall, Gena B.; Rosen, Barry H.; Kunz, Jessica M.; Miller, Melissa A.; Saunders, Gary W.; LaRoche, Nicole L.
Bentall, G.B., Rosen, B.H., Kunz, J.M., Miller, M.A., Saunders, G.W., and LaRoche, N.L., 2015, Characterization of the putatively introduced red alga Acrochaetium secundatum (Acrochaetiales, Rhodophyta) growing epizoically on the pelage of southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis): Marine Mammal Science, Early View, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mms.12275.

Year Published: 2016

Assessing models of speciation under different biogeographic scenarios; An empirical study using multi-locus and RNA-seq analyses

Evolutionary biology often seeks to decipher the drivers of speciation, and much debate persists over the relative importance of isolation and gene flow in the formation of new species. Genetic studies of closely related species can assess if gene flow was present during speciation, because signatures of past introgression often persist in the...

Edwards, Taylor; Tollis, Marc; Hsieh, PingHsun; Gutenkunst, Ryan N.; Liu, Zhen; Kusumi, Kenro; Culver, Melanie; Murphy, Robert W.

Year Published: 2016

Toward more realistic projections of soil carbon dynamics by Earth system models

Soil carbon (C) is a critical component of Earth system models (ESMs), and its diverse representations are a major source of the large spread across models in the terrestrial C sink from the third to fifth assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Improving soil C projections is of a high priority for Earth system...

Luo, Y.; Ahlström, Anders; Allison, Steven D.; Batjes, Niels H.; Brovkin, V.; Carvalhais, Nuno; Chappell, Adrian; Ciais, Philippe; Davidson, Eric A.; Finzi, Adien; Georgiou, Katerina; Guenet, Bertrand; Hararuk, Oleksandra; Harden, Jennifer; He, Yujie; Hopkins, Francesca; Jiang, L.; Koven, Charles; Jackson, Robert B.; Jones, Chris D.; Lara, M.; Liang, J.; McGuire, A. David; Parton, William; Peng, Changhui; Randerson, J.; Salazar, Alejandro; Sierra, Carlos A.; Smith, Matthew J.; Tian, Hanqin; Todd-Brown, Katherine E. O; Torn, Margaret S.; van Groenigen, Kees Jan; Wang, Ying; West, Tristram O.; Wei, Yaxing; Wieder, William R.; Xia, Jianyang; Xu, Xia; Xu, Xiaofeng; Zhou, T.

Year Published: 2016

Science framework for the conservation and restoration strategy of DOI secretarial order 3336: Utilizing resilience and resistance concepts to assess threats to sagebrush ecosystems and greater sage-grouse, prioritize conservation and restoration actions, and inform management strategies

The Science Framework for the Conservation and Restoration Strategy of the Department of the Interior, Secretarial Order 3336 (SO 3336), Rangeland Fire Prevention, Management and Restoration, provides a strategic, multiscale approach for prioritizing areas for management and determining effective management strategies across the sagebrush biome....

Chambers, Jeanne C.; Campbell, Steve; Carlson, John; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Clause, Karen J.; Dinkins, Jonathan B.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Espinosa, Shawn; Griffin, Kathleen A.; Christiansen, Thomas J.; Crist, Michele R.; Hanser, Steve; Havlina, Douglas W.; Henke, Kenneth F.; Hennig, Jacob D.; Kurth, Laurie L.; Maestas, Jeremy D.; Mayer, Kenneth E. ; Manning, Mary; Mealor, Brian A.; McCarthy, Clinton; Pellant, Mike; Prentice, Karen L.; Perea, Marco A.; Pyke, David A.; Wiechman , Lief A. ; Wuenschel, Amarina

Year Published: 2016

The effects of habitat, climate, and Barred Owls on long-term demography of Northern Spotted Owls

Estimates of species' vital rates and an understanding of the factors affecting those parameters over time and space can provide crucial information for management and conservation. We used mark–recapture, reproductive output, and territory occupancy data collected during 1985–2013 to evaluate population processes of Northern Spotted...

Dugger, Catherine; Forsman, Eric D.; Franklin, Alan B.; Davis, Raymond J.; White, Gary C.; Schwarz, Carl J.; Burnham, Kenneth P.; Nichols, James D.; Hines, James E.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Doherty, Paul F.; Bailey, Larissa; Clark, Darren A.; Ackers, Steven H.; Andrews, Lawrence S.; Augustine, Benjamin; Biswell, Brian L.; Blakesley, Jennifer; Carlson, Peter C.; Clement, Matthew J.; Diller, Lowell V.; Glenn, Elizabeth M.; Green, Adam; Gremel, Scott A.; Herter, Dale R.; Higley, J. Mark; Hobson, Jeremy; Horn, Rob B.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; McCafferty, Christopher; McDonald, Trent; McDonnell, Kevin; Olson, Gail S.; Reid, Janice A.; Rockweit, Jeremy; Ruiz, Viviana; Saenz, Jessica; Sovern, Stan G.

Year Published: 2016

A simple web-based tool to compare freshwater fish data collected using AFS standard methods

The American Fisheries Society (AFS) recently published Standard Methods for Sampling North American Freshwater Fishes. Enlisting the expertise of 284 scientists from 107 organizations throughout Canada, Mexico, and the United States, this text was developed to facilitate comparisons of fish data across regions or time. Here we describe...

Bonar, Scott A.; Mercado-Silva, Norman; Rahr, Matt; Torrey, Yuta T.; Cate, Averill

Year Published: 2016

Restored agricultural wetlands in Central Iowa: habitat quality and amphibian response

Amphibians are declining throughout the United States and worldwide due, partly, to habitat loss. Conservation practices on the landscape restore wetlands to denitrify tile drainage effluent and restore ecosystem services. Understanding how water quality, hydroperiod, predation, and disease affect amphibians in restored wetlands is central to...

Reeves, Rebecca A.; Pierce, Clay; Smalling, Kelly L. ; Klaver, Robert W.; Vandever, Mark W.; Battaglin, William A.; Muths, Erin L.
Reeves, R. A., C. L. Pierce, E. Muths., K. L. Smalling, R. W. Klaver, M. W. Vandever and W. A. Battaglin. 2015. Restored agricultural wetlands in central Iowa: habitat quality and amphibian response. Wetlands. DOI: 10.1007/s13157-015-0720-9

Year Published: 2016

Flexible risk metrics for identifying and monitoring conservation-priority species

Region-specific conservation programs should have objective, reliable metrics for species prioritization and progress evaluation that are customizable to the goals of a program, easy to comprehend and communicate, and standardized across time. Regional programs may have vastly different goals, spatial coverage, or management agendas, and one-size-...

Stanton, Jessica C.; Semmens, Brice X.; McKann, Patrick C.; Will, Tom; Thogmartin, Wayne E.
Stanton, J.C., Semmens, B.X., McKann, P.C., Will, T., Thogmartin, W.E. 2015. Flexible risk metrics for identifying and monitoring conservation-priority species. Ecological Indicators. DOI:10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.10.020.

Year Published: 2016

Diagnostic and model dependent uncertainty of simulated Tibetan permafrost area

 We perform a land-surface model intercomparison to investigate how the simulation of permafrost area on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) varies among six modern stand-alone land-surface models (CLM4.5, CoLM, ISBA, JULES, LPJ-GUESS, UVic). We also examine the variability in simulated permafrost area and distribution introduced by five different...

Wang, A.; Moore, J.C.; Cui, Xingquan; Ji, D.; Li, Q.; Zhang, N.; Wang, C.; Zhang, S.; Lawrence, D.M.; McGuire, A.D.; Zhang, W.; Delire, C.; Koven, C.; Saito, K.; MacDougall, A.; Burke, E.; Decharme, B.

Year Published: 2016

Effects of wind-energy facilities on grassland bird distributions

The contribution of renewable energy to meet worldwide demand continues to grow. Wind energy is one of the fastest growing renewable sectors, but new wind facilities are often placed in prime wildlife habitat. Long-term studies that incorporate a rigorous statistical design to evaluate the effects of wind facilities on wildlife are rare. We...

Shaffer, Jill A.; Buhl, Deb
Shaffer, J. A., and D. A. Buhl. 2015. Effects of wind-energy facilities on grassland bird distributions. Conservation Biology. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12569 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cobi.12569/abstract

Year Published: 2016

The influence of a severe reservoir drawdown on springtime zooplankton and larval fish assemblages in Red Willow Reservoir, Nebraska

Reservoirs can be dynamic systems, often prone to unpredictable and extreme water-level fluctuations, and can be environments where survival is difficult for zooplankton and larval fish. Although numerous studies have examined the effects of extreme reservoir drawdown on water quality, few have examined extreme drawdown on both abiotic and biotic...

DeBoer, Jason A.; Webber, Christa M.; Dixon, Taylor A.; Pope, Kevin L.

Filter Total Items: 458
Scientist holding a laptop and equipment, standing in a green field.
2017 (approx.)
Vegetation assessments are part of an effort to produce seamless, consistent, and high resolution landcover data for the northern portion of the western gulf coastal plain. This geography was once dominated by tallgrass prairie and has undergone dramatic change with less than 1% of this natural habitat in existence. Tallgrass prairie provides a suite of ecosystem services including enhancing...
Female scientist looking through microscope.
2017 (approx.)
Biological science aid, Marlee Malmborg, examines and records the viability of pallid sturgeon eggs at the Columbia Environmental Research Center.
2017 (approx.)
Scientists from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) are conducting a "social attraction" study for seabirds in the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Historically, this region offered wetland habitats to local wildlife. With the introduction of industrial salt ponds and human development, however, much of this habitat was lost. Now, former salt ponds are being...
March 30, 2017
Brown Bears, Sea Otters, and Seals, Oh My! Unexpected interactions on the Katmai Coast by Grant Hilderbrand, Chief of the Marine Ecosystems Office, USGS Alaska Science Center Highlights of ongoing research on brown bears on the coast of the Katmai National Park Observations from video collars deployed on brown bears Implications for population health and species adaptability
Pike killifish found in Big Cypress
March 23, 2017
The pike killifish, native to Mexico and Central America, was one of 13 nonnative fish species that biologists discovered during the two-day Fish Slam in Big Cypress National Preserve, March 22 and 23, 2017.
Three sailfin catfish found in the Big Cypress National Preserve
March 23, 2017
The sailfin catfish is one of 13 species of nonnative fish that biologists discovered during the Fish Slam in Big Cypress National Preserve, March 23, 2017.
In UV light an alga from the desmid family looks like a snowflake chain
2017 (approx.)
The desmid family of single-celled green algae are never found in abundance, says USGS biologist Barry Rosen. They inhabit the soft, slightly acidic water of wetlands that depend on rainwater, like Florida’s Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. They don’t “bloom” en masse, but their presence is an indicator of good water quality. Rosen’s research is likely to facilitate...
Brown bear (Ursus arctos) and Chum Salmon (Oncorhynchus keta)
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.
American Alligator
2016 (approx.)
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. South...
Chinese fire belly newt
2016 (approx.)
A Chinese firebelly newt ( Cynops orientalis ), the salamander species recently found to be infected with the spring viraemia of carp virus, or SVCV.
Yosemite Toad
2016 (approx.)
Amphibians’ permeable skin makes them incredibly sensitive to changes in their environment. Scientists and conservationists alike are using them as “sentinel species” that could provide early warnings of ecosystem change and stress affecting them and other organisms. Next time you are out, stop and listen. Do you hear them?
Golden Eagle
2016 (approx.)
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...
Filter Total Items: 289
Image: Monarch Male Close-Up
April 27, 2017

As many as 1.8 billion additional stems of milkweed plants may be needed in North America to return imperiled monarch butterflies to a sustainable population size, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study.

Jumping Silver Carp
April 26, 2017

If invasive bighead carp and silver carp spread into Lake Michigan, there would be enough food available for these particular species of Asian carp to survive, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Image shows a male white-tailed deer facing to the left of the image.
April 18, 2017

A new tool, which predicted the recent, rapid growth and continued spread of chronic wasting disease in deer, can help forecast and manage other costly biological threats to humans, animals and the environment, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study.

A Manatee swimming in Florida waters.
April 11, 2017

Florida’s iconic manatee population is highly likely to endure for the next 100 years, so long as wildlife managers continue to protect the marine mammals and their habitat, a new study by the US Geological Survey and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute has found.

Man holding red bird.
April 11, 2017

Long distance flights in search of flowering trees threatens the Hawaiian Iiwi as climate change increases the distribution of avian diseases

April 11, 2017

We appreciate your interest in USGS' Sirenia Project. To help inform members of the media and public, we have provided relevant publications, reports, and websites. 

April 6, 2017

Understanding the Effects of Temperature on Diseases in Fish

Close-up of non-hybridized westslope cutthroat trout in Montana
April 4, 2017

Hybridization, or the interbreeding of species, is increasing between native and invasive trout across the northern Rocky Mountains, according to a study released Tuesday by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners.

April 4, 2017

Early Detection Monitoring May Not Be Sufficient for Invasive Mussels in the Columbia River Basin

Three non-native fish found in the Big Cypress
March 29, 2017

The Fish Slam event discovered two nonnative fish species never seen before in Big Cypress National Preserve.



Sea Lamprey Hammond Bay Biological Station
March 28, 2017

Unlike most animals, sea lampreys, an invasive, parasitic species of fish damaging the Great Lakes, could become male or female depending on how quickly they grow, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study published today.