Mission Areas

Ecosystems

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Ecosystems provides unbiased science, tools, and decision support to our Nation’s natural resource managers, with particular focus on the science needs of the Department of Interior bureaus to conserve species, lands, and priority ecosystems; fulfill treaty obligations; provide water for irrigation and human consumption; and manage mineral and energy resources.

USGS Pollinator Research

USGS Pollinator Research

Do you eat fruits and vegetables? What about nuts? If so, you can thank an insect pollinator, usually a honey bee. Honey bee populations are declining but USGS scientists are becoming honey bee helpers.

Find out more

Leaf to Landscape

Leaf to Landscape

USGS scientists have launched a new program using California's hotter drought as a forecaster for forest vulnerability worldwide.

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Where's our Science?

Where

Find out where Ecosystems Science Centers, Field Stations, and Cooperative Research Units are located.

Browse by Location

News

Date published: July 20, 2018

ClimateEngine.org Helps Assess Effectiveness of Riparian Restoration Projects

Assessments of restoration effectiveness in riparian areas depend on quality monitoring data, which can be both expensive and difficult to collect. 

Date published: July 9, 2018

Inbreeding in Northern Spotted Owls - Insights From Over 30 Years of Monitoring Data

In a study led by the USGS, researchers developed a framework to infer inbreeding rates of Northern Spotted Owls when incomplete parentage information exists.

Date published: July 9, 2018

Environmental Factors Affect Success of Sagebrush Reseeding Efforts

In the western U.S., big sagebrush ecosystems provide habitat for about 350 species of conservation concern, but are sensitive to disturbance and are in decline. Big sagebrush ecosystems have low and variable precipitation, which makes restoration a challenge.

Filter Total Items: 594
Date published: July 10, 2018
Status: Active

Habitat and Landscape Alteration

USGS research on wildlife behavior, abundance, and sources of mortality are improving our understanding of the specific effects of renewable energy on wildlife and habitats. This knowledge is guiding the development of effective strategies to minimize the impact of renewable energy development on wildlife.  USGS is improving and developing software models and statistical tools that can be used...

Contacts: Mona Khalil
Date published: July 10, 2018
Status: Active

Pollinators and Biofuels

USGS scientists are studying how biofuel crops may be affecting pollinators, especially in the Northern Great Plains. Changes in land use from bee-friendly crops to biofuel crops likely impact pollinators.

Date published: July 10, 2018
Status: Active

Biofuels: Agave

USGS is collaborating with the USDA Aridland Agricultural Research Center and the University of Ohio regarding the potential for Agave biofuel production to add to our national bioenergy portfolio in marginal lands. Agave may represent a highly efficient biofuel, even under non-irrigation conditions, but the ecosystem consequences of this development on drylands (including habitat and wildlife...

Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Fire

Accurate and timely scientific information is critical to ensure appropriate management response to wildfires and effective investments in stabilization, rehabilitation, and restoration of landscapes immediately after wildfires occur. Currently, fire management organizations lack adequate scientific information to prioritize burned regions for suppression and restoration activities.

...

Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Grazing

Grazing can have different impacts on an ecosystem including as a fire suppresant. USGS scientists are examining the effects of grazing in different environments to provide land resource managers with data they can use when determining grazing plans and actions.

Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Hurricanes

Hurricanes are large-scale disturbances of such force and size that their influence on landscape pattern and processes of coastal systems is evident, though still poorly understood. The regularity and severity of tropical storms are major factors controlling ecosystem structure and succession for coastal ecosystems. Hurricane landfall rates vary greatly for given coastal stretches of the...

Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Mining

USGS scientists develop techniques for restoration and rehabilitation, provide tools that can be used to restore impaired ecosystems into healthy, resilient landscapes and watersheds that sustain plants and animals, and identify adaptation strategies for managers to plan and implement for ecosystem adaptation to natural and human-caused drivers of ecosystem change.

Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Ecosystem Impacts

USGS science helps Interior land managers predict wildfire risk and behavior by understanding fuel loads and treatments, assess the risk for landslides, air and water quality impacts post-fire, and determine the most cost-effective and/or least impactful land and water management and restoration alternatives.

Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Socio-Economics

Protecting endangered species while managing economically important species is an ongoing natural
resource management challenge. USGS research will provide managers the information they need to manage endangered native species and economically important nonnative species using economically efficient approaches. The USGS biological/economic framework is also applicable to different natural...

Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Sagebrush

The sagebrush ecosystem extends across 11 Western States and two Canadian Provinces and over 60 percent of that landscape is on public lands, half of which are managed by the Interior. This area is dominated by sagebrush, which is priority habitat for over 350 wildlife species, most notably the greater sage grouse. Alterations in the sagebrush ecosystem including changing fire regimes, spread...

Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Active

Everglades

The USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Program provides science to support management and restoration of America’s Everglades. This program supports multi-year monitoring, modeling, and research  projects that span the entire range of scientific disciplines. A recent emphasis has been on climate change effects. Research topics include biogeochemistry, invasive species detection and...

Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Active

San Francisco Bay

USGS scientists have made great strides in refining and extending the capabilities of the Computational Assessments of Scenarios of Change for the Delta Ecosystem (CASCaDE II model systems); a collaboration among the USGS and several academic and international organizations. This paved the way for more reliable and objective evaluations of the ecosystem consequences of management actions and...

Filter Total Items: 69
Date published: May 3, 2018

Land Treatment Planning Tool

The Land Treatment Planning Tool is designed for resource managers to use when planning land treatments. The tool provides useful summaries of environmental characteristics of planned treatment areas and facilitates adaptive management practices by comparing those characteristics to other similar treatments within a specified distance or area of interest. ...

Date published: March 7, 2018

Geospatial Data for Object-Based High-Resolution Classification of Conifers within Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat across Nevada and a Portion of Northeastern California

These products were developed to provide scientific and correspondingly spatially explicit information regarding the distribution and abundance of conifers (namely, singleleaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla), Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma), and western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis)) in Nevada and portions of northeastern California. 

Date published: March 6, 2018

Annotated bibliography of scientific research on Greater Sage-grouse published since January 2015

The Greater Sage-grouse annotated bibliography was developed as a synthesis of scientific information developed since the records of decision were completed for 2015 Bureau of Land Management/U.S. Department of Agriculture plan amendments for Greater Sage-grouse. This site provides an interactive, searchable interface to summaries of the scientific literature.

Date published: March 6, 2018

Land Treatment Digital Library

The Land Treatment Digital Library (LTDL) was created by the U.S. Geological Survey to catalog legacy land treatment information on Bureau of Land Management lands in the western United States. The LTDL currently houses thousands of treatments from BLM lands across 10 states. 

Date published: March 6, 2018

Conservation Efforts Database

The Conservation Efforts Database is a partnership between the USGS and USFWS to collect and analyze ongoing conservation efforts for the Greater Sage-Grouse. Understanding the distribution and type of conservation actions happening across the landscape will allow visualization and quantification of the extent to which threats are being addressed.

Date published: March 1, 2018

NPN Visualization Tool

Phenology map viewer from the National Phenology Network.

Date published: February 12, 2018

Shoreline change rates in salt marsh units in Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey

This dataset displays shoreline change rates at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (EBFNWR), which spans over Great Bay, Little Egg Harbor, and Barnegat Bay in New Jersey, USA

Date published: December 11, 2017

Gulf of Mexico Dashboard

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. 

Date published: December 7, 2017

A Baseline Assessment of Contaminant Concentrations in Sediment and Biota in Proximity to Coal Transport Tracks in the Pacific Northwest (2014)

This dataset provides baseline concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), other aromatic organic compounds, mercury (Hg), and trace metal concentrations in sediment and biota collected from two sites along an existing rail line used for coal transport in the Columbia River Gorge, Washington.

Date published: November 21, 2017

Annual California sea otter stranding data

The California Sea Otter Stranding Network is part of the USGS effort to monitor southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) and provide data to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Since 1985, stranded otters from throughout their California coastal range have been collected and analyzed to inform resource management on recovery and conservation of the species.

Date published: October 31, 2017

Guide to the Plants of Louisiana

This guide to the vascular plants of Louisiana includes a database of plant characters, a search engine and plant images. Photographs include images of leaves, fruit, flower, stem, bark and other key identification features. Information about plants can be accessed by searching plant lists either by scientific name or common name.

Date published: October 30, 2017

Movement Maps for Suisun Marsh Waterfowl and Waterbird Studies

Suisun Marsh is a critical habitat for wintering and breeding waterbirds in California. USGS is working with the California DWR to examine the trends in bird decline and to assess the habitat factors driving long-term survival of waterfowl, rails, and other birds in this important area.

Filter Total Items: 15
Date published: May 21, 2018

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Quagga Mussel Sightings Map

Interactive map of the distribution of quagga mussels in North America. This map is provided by the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species program.

Date published: May 21, 2018

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Zebra Mussel Sightings Map

Interactive map of the distribution of zebra mussels in North America. This map is provided by the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species program.

Date published: April 19, 2018

USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units: 2017 Year In Review

In September 1960, the 86th Congress passed Public Law 86-686 to facilitate cooperation between the Federal government, colleges and universities, the States, and private organizations for Cooperative Unit Programs of research and education relating to fish and wildlife, and for other purposes. The Cooperative Research Units originated in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the mid 1930s

Date published: April 3, 2018

Sea Star Wasting Syndrome Map

The map includes information from Pacific Rocky Intertidal Monitoring surveys as well as information from logs submitted by other researchers, divers, and the general public.

Date published: October 30, 2017

Movement Maps for Suisun Marsh Waterfowl and Waterbird Studies

Suisun Marsh is a critical habitat for wintering and breeding waterbirds in California. USGS is working with the California DWR to examine the trends in bird decline and to assess the habitat factors driving long-term survival of waterfowl, rails, and other birds in this important area.

Date published: July 20, 2017

Map of USGS WERC Locations

WERC headquarters, field stations, and sub-stations strategically located in or near California and Nevada bioregions, form the core of the WERC science program.

Date published: July 20, 2017

Re-establishing Waterbird Breeding Colonies in San Francisco Bay

This U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) story map details how partners are using ​science and management to maintain and establish new ​bird ​nesting colonies in support of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Date published: February 15, 2017

2016 Cooperative Research Unit Story Map

In this Year in Review report, you will find details on staffing, vacancies, research funding, and other pertinent information. You will also see snapshots of Unit projects with information on how results have been or are being applied by cooperators. That is the essence of what we do: science that matter.

 

Date published: September 20, 2016

The Eastern Region Initiative on the Clinch (ERIC)

The Clinch-Powell River Basins Spanning Virginia and Tennessee

Date published: March 7, 2016

Nonindigeneous Aquatic Species (NAS) Database Search

Multiple search functions: State, major drainage area (HUC2), drainage area (HUC6), drainage area (HUC8), Zebra Mussel Collections, and fact sheets.

Date published: February 1, 2016

2015 Cooperative Research Units Story Map

The Cooperative Research Unit mission is our hallmark: meeting the actionable science needs of our cooperators, providing them technical guidance and assistance in interpreting and applying new advances in science, and developing the future workforce through graduate education and mentoring. 

Date published: September 2, 2014

Species On Lands Affected by Renewables (SOLAR)

Multiple large scale solar, wind, and geothermal energy development projects are currently proposed across the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of the southwestern U.S., and these development needs are likely to continue or increase into the future. Agencies tasked with managing biological resources must understand the potential impacts in order to select appropriate sites and to mitigate effects. 

Filter Total Items: 2,311
Year Published: 2018

U.S. Geological Survey response to white-nose syndrome in bats

OverviewSince its discovery in 2007, the fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) has killed more than six million bats. Ten of 47 bat species have been affected by WNS across 32 States and five Canadian Provinces. The cold-growing fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans) that causes WNS infects skin covering the muzzle, ears, and wings of...

Hopkins, M. Camille ; Soileau, Suzanna C.
Attribution: Ecosystems
Hopkins, M.C., and Soileau, S.C., 2018, U.S. Geological Survey response to white-nose syndrome in bats: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2018–3020, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20183020.

Year Published: 2018

Conservation threats and priorities for raptors across Asia

With long coastlines and some of the world’s most important rivers, mountain ranges, high-altitude plateaus, and islands, Asia is the largest and most populous continent in the world (Lyde 1904; Spencer 1954; Population Reference Bureau 2016). Asia supports all major terrestrial ecosystems and all major climatic types (Galloway et al. 1998;...

Conception, Camille B.; Bildstein, Keith L.; Collar, Nigel J.; Katzner, Todd
Conception, C.B., Bildstein, K.L., Collar, N.J., Katzner, T.E., 2018, Conservation threats and priorities for raptors across Asia In Sarasola, J.H., Grande, J.M., Negro, J.J., eds., Birds of Prey: Cham, SpringerLink, p. 395-418, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73745-4_17.

Year Published: 2018

Post-fledging movements and habitat associations of White-tailed Sea Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) in Central Asia

Behavior of young birds can have important consequences for population dynamics. We investigated the autumnal post-fledging movements of 3 White-tailed Sea Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) hatched in Kazakhstan. All 3 eagles traveled south, flying on average 25–108 km/d. Movement was nonrandom, with eagles generally traveling near mosaics of forest,...

Bragin, Evgeny A.; Poessel, Sharon; Lanzone, Michael J.; Katzner, Todd
Bragin, E.A., Poessel, S.A., Lanzone, M.J., Katzner, T.E., 2018, Post-fledging movements and habitat associations of White-tailed Sea Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) in central Asia: The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1676/17-055.1.

Year Published: 2018

Assessing the effectiveness of riparian restoration projects using Landsat and precipitation data from the cloud-computing application ClimateEngine.org

Riparian vegetation along streams provides a suite of ecosystem services in rangelands and thus is the target of restoration when degraded by over-grazing, erosion, incision, or other disturbances. Assessments of restoration effectiveness depend on defensible monitoring data, which can be both expensive and difficult to collect. We present a...

Hausner, Mark B.; Huntington, Justin L.; Nash, Caroline; Morton, Charles; McEvoy, Daniel J.; Pilliod, David S.; Hegewisch, Katherine C.; Daudert, Britta; Abatzoglou, John T.; Grant, Gordon E.
Hausner, M.B., Huntington, J.L., Nash, C., Morton, C., McEvoy, D.J., Pilliod, D.S., Hegewisch, K.C., Daudert, B., Abatzoglou, J.T., Grant, G.E., 2018, Assessing the effectiveness of riparian restoration projects using Landsat and precipitation data from the cloud-computing application ClimateEngine.org: Ecological Engineering, v. 120, no. 2018, p. 432-440, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2018.06.024.

Year Published: 2018

Post-spring migration colony-site prospecting by Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii)

We recorded banded Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii) and unbanded individuals mated to banded individuals in May and the first third of June in 2001 and 2002 to quantify post spring migration prospecting by this species at Falkner Island, Connecticut, USA. In 2001, more than one quarter: 34/125 (27.2%) of those observed by 19 May and 38/150 (25.3...

Spendelow, Jeffrey A.; Eichenwald, Adam J.
Spendelow, J. A. and Eichenwald, A. J., 2018, Post-Spring Migration Colony-site Prospecting by Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii): North American Bird Bander, v. 43, no. 1, p. 1-6.

Year Published: 2018

Bat community response to silvicultural treatments in bottomland hardwood forests managed for wildlife in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

Silvicultural treatments (e.g., selective timber harvests) that are prescribed to promote wildlife habitat are intended to alter the physical structure of forests to achieve conditions deemed beneficial for wildlife. Such treatments have been advocated for management of bottomland hardwood forests on public conservation lands in the Mississippi...

Ketzler, Loraine P.; Comer, Christopher E.; Twedt, Daniel J.
Ketzler, L. P., Comer, C. E., and Twedt, D. J., 2018, Bat community response to silvicultural treatments in bottomland hardwood forests managed for wildlife in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley: Forest Ecology and Management, v. 417, p. 40-48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2018.02.047

Year Published: 2018

On the reliability of N‐mixture models for count data

N‐mixture models describe count data replicated in time and across sites in terms of abundance N and detectability p. They are popular because they allow inference about N while controlling for factors that influence p without the need for marking animals. Using a capture–recapture perspective, we show that the loss of information that results...

Barker, Richard J.; Schofield, Matthew J.; Link, William; Sauer, John
Baker, R. J., Schofield, M. R., Link, W. A., and Sauer, J. R., 2018, On the reliability of N-mixture models for count data: Biometrics, v. 74, no. 1, p. 369-377. https://doi.org/10.1111/biom.12734

Year Published: 2018

Variation in inbreeding rates across the range of Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina): Insights from over 30 years of monitoring data

Inbreeding has been difficult to quantify in wild populations because of incomplete parentage information. We applied and extended a recently developed framework for addressing this problem to infer inbreeding rates in Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) across the Pacific Northwest, USA. Using pedigrees from 14,187 Northern Spotted...

Miller, Mark P.; Haig, Susan M.; Forsman, Eric D.; Anthony, Robert G.; Diller, Lowell; Dugger, Katie M.; Franklin, Alan B.; Fleming, Tracy L.; Gremel, Scott; Lesmeister, Damon B.; Higley, Mark; Herter, Dale R.; Sovern, Stan G
Miller, M.P., Haig, S.M., Forsman, E.D., Anthony, R.G., Diller, L., Dugger, K.M., Franklin, A.B., Gremel, S.A., Lesmeister, D.B., Higley, M., Herter, D.R., Sovern, S.G., 2018, Variation in inbreeding rates across the range of Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina)- insights from over 30 years of monitoring data: The Auk: Ornithological Advances, v. 135, no. 4, p. 821-833, https://doi.org/10.1642/AUK-18-1.1.

Year Published: 2018

Decision making for mitigating wildlife diseases: From theory to practice for an emerging fungal pathogen of amphibians

Conservation science can be most effective in its decision‐support role when seeking answers to clearly formulated questions of direct management relevance. Emerging wildlife diseases, a driver of global biodiversity loss, illustrate the challenges of performing this role: in spite of considerable research, successful disease mitigation is...

Canessa, Stefano; Bozzutto, Claudio; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Cruickshank, Sam S.; Fisher, Matthew C.; Koella, Jacob C.; Lotters, Stefan; Martel, An; Pasmans, Frank; Scheele, Ben C.; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Steinfartz, Sebastian; Schmidt, Benedikt R.
Canessa, S., Bozzuto, C., Grant, E. H. C., Cruickshank, S. S., Fisher, M. C., Koella, J. C., Lötters, S., Martel, A., Pasmans, F., Scheele, B. C., Spitzen-van der Sluijs, A., Steinfartz, S., and Schmidt, B. R., 2018, Decision making for mitigating wildlife diseases: from theory to practice for an emerging fungal pathogen of amphibians: Journal of Applied Ecology, v. 55, no. 4, p. 1987-1996. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13089

Year Published: 2018

Two-species occupancy modeling accounting for species misidentification and nondetection

In occupancy studies, species misidentification can lead to false‐positive detections, which can cause severe estimator biases. Currently, all models that account for false‐positive errors only consider omnibus sources of false detections and are limited to single‐species occupancy.However, false detections for a given species often occur because...

Chambert, Thierry; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Miller, David A. W.; Nichols, James; Mulder, Kevin P.; Brand, Adrianne B,
Chambert, T., Grant, E. H. C., Miller, D. A. W., Nichols, J. D., Mulder, K. P., and Brand, A. B., 2018, Two-species occupancy modeling accounting for species misidentification and nondetection: Methods in Ecology and Evolution, v. 9, no. 6, p. 1468-1477. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.12985

Year Published: 2018

Research and management priorities for Hawaiian forest birds

Hawai‘i's forest birds face a number of conservation challenges that, if unaddressed, will likely lead to the extinction of multiple species in the coming decades. Threats include habitat loss, invasive plants, non-native predators, and introduced diseases. Climate change is predicted to increase the geographic extent and intensity of these...

Paxton, Eben H.; Laut, Megan; Vetter, John P.; Kendall, Steve J.
Paxton, E. H., M. Laut, J. P. Vetter, and S. J. Kendall. 2018. Research and management priorities for Hawaiian forest birds. Condor 120:557–565.

Year Published: 2018

Rapid departure of Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii) following large-scale nest failure

Nest failure of most pairs of Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii) at Falkner Island, Connecticut, in 2002-2003 (due mainly to predation by Black-crowned Night-herons [Nycticorax nycticorax]) was followed by the rapid departure of many of the failed individuals in both years. Nine failed pairs (16.7%) stayed while 40 (74.1%) of 54 unsuccessful pairs...

Spendelow, Jeffrey A.; Eichenwald, Adam J.
Spendelow, J. A. and Eichenwald, A. J., 2018, Rapid departure of Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii) following large-scale nest failure: Wilson Journal of Ornithology, v. 130, no. 2, p. 485-492. https://doi.org/10.1676/17-017.1

Filter Total Items: 10
Date published: July 2, 2018

PRESENCE

Estimates patch occupancy rates and related parameters.

Date published: November 14, 2017

fatalityCMR

Capture-recapture software to correct raw counts of wildlife fatalities using trial experiments for carcass detecition probability and persistence time.

Date published: July 6, 2017

Evidence of Absence (EoA) Software and User's Guide

Software to Estimate Bird and Bat Fatality at Wind Farms

Date published: May 2, 2016

Wildlife Software and Models

A suite of software tools and models developed by Colorado State University and the USGS Colorado Cooperative Fish And Wildlife Research Unit.

Date published: May 2, 2016

monitoR: Acoustic template detection in R

Tools for automated acoustic monitoring of nature.

Date published: May 2, 2016

Fishery Information and Technology Software

Software from the American Fisheries Society

Date published: May 2, 2016

R for Fisheries and Wildlife Applications

FW599: An introduction to data management and R for Fisheries and Wildlife applications--- a lighthearted look

Date published: May 2, 2016

InVEST: 18 different models for ecosystem services

The InVEST tool allows researchers to evaluate relationships between land management actions and wild bee populations.

Date published: December 11, 2012

Fatality Estimator Software

Tool to Evaluate Wildlife Fatalities at Wind-Power Facilities

Date published: January 1, 1999

CloseTest

CloseTest is a Windows program for testing capture-recapture data

Filter Total Items: 545
Map of AK showing probability of change occurrence
December 31, 2018

Map of AK showing probability of change occurrence

Map of Alaska showing probability (%) of change occurrence. Insets show fire boundaries from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Large Fire Database and Landsat 8 imagery (bottom right; 2016) north of Fairbanks, Alaska.

USGS
December 31, 2018

Cuban treefrog - Osteopilus septentrionalis

Can you hear the difference between the non-native Cuban treefrog and two common Louisiana native treefrogs? Cuban treefrogs’ call is distinctive. Biologist Paul Moler of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recorded them in South Florida. Credit: Paul Moler, used with permission.

USGS
December 31, 2018

Green treefrog - Hyla cinerea

Green treefrogs call from their favorite habitat, rivers and lakes. They’re native to Louisiana and Florida, where these were recorded. Credit: Paul Moler, used with permission.

USGS
December 31, 2018

Squirrel treefrog - Hyla squirella (Marion)

Squirrel treefrogs are also native to Florida and Louisiana. Hear them calling from ditches, puddles and other ephemeral pools of water. Credit: Paul Moler, used with permission.
 

July 11, 2018

Four Examples of Nest Predation by Rats - Hawaii Volcanoes National

Black rats were unintentionally introduced to Hawai’i in the late 1800s, most likely as hitchhikers on trading vessels. Since their introduction, they have disrupted native ecosystems by destroying native plants, eating native arthropods, and depredating bird nests. Black rats have contributed to population declines and species extinctions of Hawaiian forest birds, and

...
July 11, 2018

Four Examples of Nest Predation by Rats (Short)

Black rats were unintentionally introduced to Hawai’i in the late 1800s, most likely as hitchhikers on trading vessels. Since their introduction, they have disrupted native ecosystems by destroying native plants, eating native arthropods, and depredating bird nests. Black rats have contributed to population declines and species extinctions of Hawaiian forest birds, and

...
Aerial photographs with study area delineations
July 5, 2018

Figure 2 from Hausner, et al, 2018

Delineated riparian study areas. (a) Upper (left) and Lower (right) reaches of Camp Creek. (b) Flat Creek (larger polygon) and Jack Andy Creek (smaller polygon).

Canada lynx
June 21, 2018

Canada Lynx

– Scientists at the USGS Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and
Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in
collaboration with The Rockefeller University’s Vertebrate Genome Laboratory,
New York, are releasing to a public repository at the vertebrate lab, for use by
geneticists, conservationists and other researchers around the

...
Coring a ponderosa pine
June 16, 2018

WERC's Dr. Phil van Mantgem Cores Ponderosa Pine in Lassen NP

Dr. Phillip van Mantgem cores a ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) in Lassen National Park, CA.

Bee pollinating a flowering coastal prairie plant
June 15, 2018

Bee pollinating a flowering coastal prairie plant - WARC

Bee pollinating a flowering coastal prairie plant

USGS scientist using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
May 30, 2018

USGS scientist using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

USGS scientist Todd Preston using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).  USGS is actively exploring the use of small unmanned aerial system (aka drones) for scientific data collection and testing whether or not they are useful in monitoring wildlife. These systems have proven their utility in military reconnaissance missions and are now finding a second life in scientific

...
Fog on Yukon River
May 29, 2018

Fog on Yukon River

Fog along the Yukon River showing a Black Spruce dominated forest in the foreground, which is prone to wildfire.  Photo by Bruce Wylie, USGS

Filter Total Items: 332
Date published: July 20, 2018

ClimateEngine.org Helps Assess Effectiveness of Riparian Restoration Projects

Assessments of restoration effectiveness in riparian areas depend on quality monitoring data, which can be both expensive and difficult to collect. 

Date published: July 9, 2018

Inbreeding in Northern Spotted Owls - Insights From Over 30 Years of Monitoring Data

In a study led by the USGS, researchers developed a framework to infer inbreeding rates of Northern Spotted Owls when incomplete parentage information exists.

Date published: July 9, 2018

Environmental Factors Affect Success of Sagebrush Reseeding Efforts

In the western U.S., big sagebrush ecosystems provide habitat for about 350 species of conservation concern, but are sensitive to disturbance and are in decline. Big sagebrush ecosystems have low and variable precipitation, which makes restoration a challenge.

Date published: July 2, 2018

Born in a Los Angeles zoo, released into the San Gabriels, a rare frog bounces back (The LA Times)

SAN GABRIEL MOUNTAINS, CA — Last week, biologists from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) and partnering agencies released hundreds of endangered, mountain yellow-legged frog tadpoles back to their historic habitat in southern California.

Date published: June 25, 2018

Sampling Strategies for Monitoring Post-Disturbance Treatments on Rangelands

Methodological guidelines are needed to rapidly determine vegetation responses to wildfire and post-disturbance treatments, such as seeding and herbicide applications.

Date published: June 25, 2018

Thresholds and Hotspots for Shrub Restoration Following a Heterogeneous Megafire

Reestablishing perennial native shrubs is essential to short-term rehabilitation and long-term restoration of plant communities in the sagebrush ecosystem following wildfire.

Date published: June 19, 2018

New Approach May Detect Chronic Wasting Disease Earlier, at Less Cost

A new statistical approach to disease surveillance may improve scientists’ and managers’ ability to detect chronic wasting disease earlier in white-tailed deer by targeting higher-risk animals. This approach can also provide financial and personnel savings for agencies that are required to monitor for wildlife diseases, including the National Park Service, or NPS. 

Date published: June 18, 2018

It’s National Pollinator Week! Get the buzz on USGS pollinator research

Bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles provide vital but often invisible pollination services that support terrestrial wildlife and plant communities, and healthy watersheds.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: May 31, 2018

USGS Hurricane Response Met Challenges in 2017, Prepares for 2018

No one has a crystal ball to foresee what will happen during the 2018 hurricane season that begins June 1, but NOAA forecasters say there’s a 75 percent chance this hurricane season will be at least as busy as a normal year, or busier.

Date published: May 25, 2018

USGS Fish Passage Research Helps Fish Get to Spawning Grounds

The Blackstone River in Rhode Island is where one of the Nation’s first fish passages was built back in 1714 to help fish navigate past manmade obstructions so they could complete their instinctual migration cycles.

Date published: May 21, 2018

Scientists Collecting Bird Data on Grasslands in Montana this Spring

Now through late July, 2018, U.S. Geological Survey scientists will conduct fieldwork on public lands in Phillips and Valley counties near Malta and Glasgow, Montana, as part of a grassland bird project.

Ecosystems provides scientific information and decision support to meet Interior’s shared responsibility to manage land and species, fulfill treaty obligations, develop energy and mineral resources on Interior lands, and supply water for irrigation and other human needs. Our main Interior Department partners are listed below. Additional partners are listed throughout our web pages.

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