Western Ecological Research Center (WERC)

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The Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) is a USGS Ecosystems Mission Area operation serving primarily California and Nevada. WERC scientists work closely with Federal, State, academic, and other collaborators to address a diverse array of high-profile topics. Topics include research on effects of wildfire, sea level rise, drought, energy development and more on federal Trust species.

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Photo of USGS biological science tech Shannon Waters holding a salmon for release
April 13, 2018

WERC biological science technician Shannon Waters is part of a research team studying the effects of warming water temperatures on Chinook salmon. On Tuesday, April 3rd, she visited the California State University, Sacramento to talk to students and the interested public about the team's findings.

Young skunk with ear tag ID
March 20, 2018

It's the first day of spring! Don't be surprised if you see young skunks scampering around California's inland marshes with an ear tag ID and a lightweight GPS collar -- it's for science.

Photo of an Aedes albopictus mosquito
February 28, 2018

The Asian tiger mosquito can carry dread diseases like Zika, and yellow and dengue fever. After it vanished from Palmyra Atoll, an island in the tropical Pacific, USGS researchers and partners set out to find out why.

Publications

Year Published: 2018

Distribution and Abundance of Least Bell’s Vireos (Vireo bellii pusillus) and Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (Empidonax traillii extimus) on the Middle San Luis Rey River, San Diego County, Southern California—2017 Data Summary

We surveyed for Least Bell’s Vireos (LBVI) (Vireo bellii pusillus) and Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (SWFL) (Empidonax traillii extimus) along the San Luis Rey River, between College Boulevard in Oceanside and Interstate 15 in Fallbrook, California (middle San Luis Rey River), in 2017. Surveys were conducted from April 13 to July 11 (LBVI) and...

Allen, Lisa D.; Howell, Scarlett L.; Kus, Barbara E.
Allen, L.D., Howell, S.L., and Kus, B.E., 2018, Distribution and abundance of Least Bell’s Vireos (Vireo bellii pusillus) and Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (Empidonax traillii extimus) on the Middle San Luis Rey River, San Diego County, southern California—2017 data summary: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1082, 12 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1082.

Year Published: 2018

Thinning, tree-growth, and resistance to multi-year drought in a mixed-conifer forest of northern California

Drought is an important stressor in forest ecosystems that can influence tree vigor and survival. In the U.S., forest managers use two primary management techniques to promote resistance and resilience to drought: prescribed fire and mechanical thinning. Generally applied to reduce fuels and fire hazard, treatments may also reduce competition for...

Vernon, Michael J.; Sherriff, Rosemary L.; van Mantgem, Phillip; Kane, Jeffrey M.
Michael J. Vernon, Rosemary L. Sherriff, Phillip van Mantgem, Jeffrey M. Kane, Thinning, tree-growth, and resistance to multi-year drought in a mixed-conifer forest of northern California, Forest Ecology and Management, Volume 422, 15 August 2018, Pages 190-198, ISSN 0378-1127, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2018.03.043.

Year Published: 2018

Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) habitat selection as a function of land use and terrain, San Diego County, California

Beginning in 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with Bloom Biological, Inc., began telemetry research on golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) captured in the San Diego, Orange, and western Riverside Counties of southern California. This work was supported by the San Diego Association of Governments, California Department of Fish and...

Tracey, Jeff A.; Madden, Melanie C.; Bloom, Peter H.; Katzner, Todd E.; Fisher, Robert N.
Tracey, J.A., Madden, M.C., Bloom, P.H., Katzner, T.E., and Fisher, R.N., 2018, Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) habitat selection as a function of land use and terrain, San Diego County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1067, 13 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181067.