Prior to his retirement in 2022, Wylie Barrow built a research program focusing on aspects of landscape ecology and disturbance ecology that influences the persistence of bird populations and communities, and has solved research problems throughout the Gulf coast and Texas-Mexico borderlands.
Barrow's research program used an integrated team approach by collaborating with colleagues at universities, joint ventures, other agencies, and other scientists at WARC. Current research that Barrow has designed identify factors and processes that affect the suitability of habitat for migratory birds and provides science support for the USGS Hurricane Sandy Assessment, Gulf Coast Joint Venture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and USFWS R4 Divisions of Refuges and Forestry.
Wylie C. Barrow, Jr. spent his early years roaming hardwood swamps and coastal marshes, instilling in him a lifelong love of birds and their habitats. At Louisiana State University he obtained a B.S. in Forestry. It was at Highlands Biological Research Station of western North Carolina that Barrow developed a strong background in plant ecology and an interest in aspects of old-growth forest conditions. At West Virginia University he began his first intensive study of forest birds; he received his M.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology. He returned to LSU where he spent seven years studying with some of the preeminent scientists in wildlife management, ornithology, and tropical ecology. It was at LSU that Barrow became intensely interested in migratory birds throughout their annual cycle. His dissertation was on the foraging behavior of forest birds on their wintering (Mexico) and breeding grounds (Mississippi Valley). In 1989, he accepted a position with Patuxent Wildlife Research Center at a field station in Luquillo, Puerto Rico. Following the completion of a study on non-breeding Puerto Rican Parrots, Barrow accepted a position at a field station in Corpus Christi, TX operated by the National Wetlands Research Center. Five years later, he moved to Lafayette, Louisiana, to work for the then National Wetlands Research Center (now Wetland and Aquatic Research Center).
Education and Certifications
Ph.D., Louisiana State University
M.S., Wildlife Ecology, West Virginia University
B.S., Forestry, Louisiana State University
Science and Products
Shorebird habitat availability assessment of agricultural fields using a digital aerial video system
Linking animals aloft with the terrestrial landscape
Erratum: Understanding interaction effects of climate change and fire management on bird distributions through combined process and habitat models
Vanishing before our eyes
Songbirds are resilient to hurricane disturbed habitats during spring migration
How do en route events around the Gulf of Mexico influence landbird populations
Assessment of bird response to the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative using weather-surveillance radar
Endozoochory of seeds and invertebrates by migratory waterbirds in Oklahoma, USA
Application of ground-truth for classification and quantification of bird movements on migratory bird habitat initiative sites in southwest Louisiana: final report
Wintering waterfowl respond to Wetlands Reserve Program lands in the Central Valley of California
Mapping wintering waterfowl distributions using weather surveillance radar
Understanding interaction effects of climate change and fire management on bird distributions through combined process and habitat models
A Multiscale Approach to Understanding Migratory Landbird Habitat Use of Functional Stopover Habitat Types and Management Efforts
Use of Remote Sensing Data to Quantify Bird and Bat Distributions and Inform Migratory Bird Conservation Efforts
Use of Remote Sensing Data to Quantify Bird Distributions and Aid in the Environmental Assessment of Energy Development in the Gulf of Mexico Region
An Online Portal for Managing and Reporting Annual Piping Plover Monitoring Data
Two Hundred Years of Forest Change in the Tensas River Basin
Modeling Landscape-Scale Habitat Relations for Landbirds During Migration: Science Support for the Gulf Coast Joint Venture
Monitoring Effects of Barrier Island Restoration on Piping Plovers in Louisiana
Response of a Threatened Shorebird to Severe Storms
Science and Products
Filter Total Items: 56
Shorebird habitat availability assessment of agricultural fields using a digital aerial video systemField and wetland conditions in the rice prairies of Louisiana and Texas are highly dynamic habitats. Rice prairies are important habitat for many species of migratory birds, including shorebirds, wading birds, and waterfowl. Ground sampling a variety of fields to assess habitat availability is very labor intensive, and accessibility to private lands makes statistical habitat sampling almost impos
Linking animals aloft with the terrestrial landscapeDespite using the aerosphere for many facets of their life, most flying animals (i.e., birds, bats, some insects) are still bound to terrestrial habitats for resting, feeding, and reproduction. Comprehensive broad-scale observations by weather surveillance radars of animals as they leave terrestrial habitats for migration or feeding flights can be used to map their terrestrial distributions either
Erratum: Understanding interaction effects of climate change and fire management on bird distributions through combined process and habitat modelsThis article corrects: Understanding Interaction Effects of Climate Change and Fire Management on Bird Distributions through Combined Process and Habitat Models Volume 25, Issue 3, 536–546, Article first published online: 28 April 2011
Vanishing before our eyesNo abstract available
Songbirds are resilient to hurricane disturbed habitats during spring migrationThe Gulf of Mexico is a conspicuous feature of the Neotropical–Nearctic bird migration system. Traveling long distances across ecological barriers comes with considerable risks, and mortality associated with intercontinental migration may be substantial, including that caused by storms or other adverse weather events. However, little, if anything, is known about how migratory birds respond to dist
How do en route events around the Gulf of Mexico influence landbird populationsHabitats around the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) provide critical resources for Nearctic–Neotropical migratory landbirds, the majority of which travel across or around the GOM every spring and fall as they migrate between temperate breeding grounds in North America and tropical wintering grounds in the Caribbean and Central and South America. At the same time, ecosystems in the GOM are changing rapidly, w
Assessment of bird response to the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative using weather-surveillance radarIn response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in spring 2010, the Natural Resources Conservation Service implemented the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative (MBHI) to provide temporary wetland habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl, shorebirds, and other birds along the northern Gulf of Mexico via managed flooding of agricultural lands. We used weather-surveillance radar to conduct broad reg
Endozoochory of seeds and invertebrates by migratory waterbirds in Oklahoma, USAGiven their abundance and migratory behavior, waterbirds have major potential for dispersing plants and invertebrates within North America, yet their role as vectors remains poorly understood. We investigated the numbers and types of invertebrates and seeds within freshly collected faecal samples (n = 22) of migratory dabbling ducks and shorebirds in November 2008 in two parts of Lake Texoma in so
Application of ground-truth for classification and quantification of bird movements on migratory bird habitat initiative sites in southwest Louisiana: final reportThis project was initiated to assess migrating and wintering bird use of lands enrolled in the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative (MBHI). The MBHI program was developed in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, with the goal of improving/creating habitat for waterbirds affected by the spill. In collaboration with the University of De
Wintering waterfowl respond to Wetlands Reserve Program lands in the Central Valley of CaliforniaDaytime use by wintering waterfowl at Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) sites within the northern Central Valley of California (CVC) increased dramatically after wetland restoration and was sustained for up to 8 years post-restoration. The magnitude of the increase in waterfowl density at WRP sites after wetland restoration was greater with greater densities of birds in the local area before restorat
Mapping wintering waterfowl distributions using weather surveillance radarThe current network of weather surveillance radars within the United States readily detects flying birds and has proven to be a useful remote-sensing tool for ornithological study. Radar reflectivity measures serve as an index to bird density and have been used to quantitatively map landbird distributions during migratory stopover by sampling birds aloft at the onset of nocturnal migratory flights
Understanding interaction effects of climate change and fire management on bird distributions through combined process and habitat modelsAvian conservation efforts must account for changes in vegetation composition and structure associated with climate change. We modeled vegetation change and the probability of occurrence of birds to project changes in winter bird distributions associated with climate change and fire management in the northern Chihuahuan Desert (southwestern U.S.A.). We simulated vegetation change in a process-base
A Multiscale Approach to Understanding Migratory Landbird Habitat Use of Functional Stopover Habitat Types and Management EffortsUSGS scientists are using a spatially-explicit Bayesian network model to predict the difference between energetic value and energetic demand for stopover habitats for migrating landbirds.
Use of Remote Sensing Data to Quantify Bird and Bat Distributions and Inform Migratory Bird Conservation EffortsThree federal wildlife refuge complexes on the upper Texas coast include portions of the Columbia Bottomlands and other forests that are important for migratory birds and possibly bats: Texas Mid-Coast, Trinity River, and Chenier Plain.
Use of Remote Sensing Data to Quantify Bird Distributions and Aid in the Environmental Assessment of Energy Development in the Gulf of Mexico RegionKnowing where migratory birds consistently stop to rest and forage is critical for conservation planning, particularly along the northern and western Gulf where there is increased interest in energy development.
An Online Portal for Managing and Reporting Annual Piping Plover Monitoring DataFederally-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.
Two Hundred Years of Forest Change in the Tensas River BasinPrescriptions in the forest habitat management plan for Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge are designed to produce a forest once represented in the Tensas Basin. There are several problems with reconstructing original forests. In most areas, conditions have changed since these forests were cut; particularly, hydrology, soils, and climatic conditions.
Modeling Landscape-Scale Habitat Relations for Landbirds During Migration: Science Support for the Gulf Coast Joint VentureUSGS uses weather surveillance radar data and landscape-scale habitat metrics to model bird-habitat connections along the western coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Monitoring Effects of Barrier Island Restoration on Piping Plovers in LouisianaThe federally threatened piping plover relies on sand-beach habitat year-round for nesting, foraging, and roosting, habitat that is particularly vulnerable to loss and degradation from coastal development, recreation activities, erosion, and sea-level rise.
Response of a Threatened Shorebird to Severe StormsThe federally protected Atlantic Coast Piping Plover relies on habitats that were affected by Hurricane Sandy. USGS works to understand how these changes have affected nesting habitat and the reproductive success of the shorebird.