Western Ecological Research Center (WERC)
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.
Did you know that the USGS is studying raptors in California? Biologists with the USGS Western Ecological Research Center are hard at work in the field, learning more about the ecology of Northern Harriers and their interactions with migratory waterfowl of concern to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Many amphibians are either too small or too slow to avoid an oncoming car. For some populations of the Federally threatened Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus canorus), this has meant increased mortality from vehicle strikes in addition to other threats from disease, drought, and habitat loss.
A new study published in Conservation Biology ties the presence of invasive crayfish to higher numbers of mosquito larvae within the Santa Monica Mountains, CA. The area is only about an hour away from the heart of Los Angeles, and is home to diverse wildlife, which already face threats...
Toward salt marsh harvest mouse recovery: A review
The salt marsh harvest mouse (SMHM, Reithrodontomys raviventris) is an endangered species, endemic to the San Francisco Estuary. Despite being protected for almost half a century and being included in a large number of recovery, restoration, and management plans, significant data gaps hinder conservation and management of the species, a...Smith, Katherine R.; Riley, Melissa K.; Barthman-Thompson, Laureen; Woo, Isa; Statham, Mark J.; Estrella, Sarah; Kelt, Douglas A.
Collision and displacement vulnerability to offshore wind energy infrastructure among marine birds of the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf
Marine birds are vulnerable to collision with and displacement by offshore wind energy infrastructure (OWEI). Here we present the first assessment of marine bird vulnerability to potential OWEI in the California Current System portion of the U.S. Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (POCS). Using population size, demography, life history,...Kelsey, Emily C.; Felis, Jonathan J.; Czapanskiy, Max; Peresksta, David M.; Adams, Josh
Prioritizing conserved areas threatened by wildfire and fragmentation for monitoring and management
In many parts of the world, the combined effects of habitat fragmentation and altered disturbance regimes pose a significant threat to biodiversity. This is particularly true in Mediterranean-type ecosystems (MTEs), which tend to be fire-prone, species rich, and heavily impacted by human land use. Given the spatial complexity of overlapping...Tracey, Jeff A.; Rochester, Carlton J.; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Preston, Kristine L.; Syphard, Alexandra D.; Vandergast, Amy G.; Diffendorfer, James E.; Franklin, Janet; MacKenzie, Jason B.; Oberbauer, Tomas A.; Tremor, Scott; Winchell, Clark S.; Fisher, Robert N.