USGS Western Ecological Research Center

Home Who We Are Where We Are What We Do Products Search Director's Message Outreach Jobs Contacts
Click to go back to the main WERC outreach page.

Scientists at the USGS Western Ecological Research Center study the many ecosystems of the Pacific Southwest. Follow our expeditions and projects through this outreach page, and learn more about your local landscape with our library of Outreach Factsheets and photos. Thanks for joining us!

Ben Young Landis
Outreach and Communications Coordinator

WERC Headquarters
3020 State University Drive East
Sacramento, CA 95819
Phone: (916) 278-9495
Fax: (916) 278-9475
Email: blandis@usgs.gov
Click the above link to visit our page for resource managers.
USGS provides quality data that can inform management plans, from wildfires to climate change. Read our Pub Briefs or partner with us.
Click the above link to visit our media kit page.
Access our Media Kit for press releases, expert lists, factsheets, photo archives and more.
Screenshot of WERC newsletter 103 --Photographer: USGS
[-a / A+]
WERC Biweekly Update: Feb. 16-29, 2012
WEDNESDAY FEB 29 2012
WERC research roundups are now in a biweekly format, complete with PDF version. Check back every two weeks for a run down of new research and events from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center. To add your name to the email distribution list for the PDF newsletter, please contact blandis@usgs.gov.

Download the current issue (1.03)


HEADLINE

High-Water Hideouts for Endangered Rail
Bay Nature magazine interviewed WERC scientist Cory Overton at the Dixon Field Station, who is testing artificial floating islands in San Francisco Bay as refuges for endangered California clapper rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus). The islands serve as roosting and nesting sites for rails during extreme high tides, which could be exacerbated under forecasted sea level rise. Remote cameras have shown the rails actively using the islands, so Overton will deploy more than 25 islands in spring 2012 in Oakland’s Arrowhead Marsh and elsewhere to further study this conservation tool.
http://baynature.org/articles/jan-mar-2012/keeping-clapper-rails-high-and-dry


NEW JOURNAL ARTICLES

Kéfi, S, EL Berlow, EA Wieters, SA Navarrete, OL Petchey, SA Wood, A Boit, LN Joppa, KD Lafferty, RJ Williams, ND Martinez, BA Menge, CA Blanchette, AC Iles, U Brose. 2012. More than a meal... integrating non-feeding interactions into food webs. Ecology Letters. doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01732.x
http://www.werc.usgs.gov/ProductDetails.aspx?ID=4653

Lee, JS, EW Ruell, EE Boydston, LM Lyren, RS Alonso, JL Troyer, KR Crooks, S VandeWoude. 2012. Gene flow and pathogen transmission among bobcats (Lynx rufus) in a fragmented urban landscape. Molecular Ecology. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05493.x
http://www.werc.usgs.gov/ProductDetails.aspx?ID=4654

Vittecoq, M, E Elguero, KD Lafferty, B Roche, J Brodeur, M Gauthier-Clerc, D Missé, F Thomas. 2012. Brain cancer mortality rates increase with Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence in France. Infection, Genetics and Evolution. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2012.01.013 (in press)
http://www.werc.usgs.gov/ProductDetails.aspx?ID=4655

Waitman, BA, SB Vander Wall, TC Esque. 2012. Seed dispersal and seed fate in Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia). Journal of Arid Envrionments. doi: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2011.12.012 (in press)
http://www.werc.usgs.gov/ProductDetails.aspx?ID=4656


NEW PUBLICATION BRIEFS

Reassessing Wilderness Stewardship in an Era of Rapid Climate Change
WERC ecologist Nate Stephenson and USDA paleoecologist Constance Millar discuss planning considerations when designing wilderness management actions in face of shifting baselines and species ranges under climate change.
http://www.werc.usgs.gov/ProductDetails.aspx?ID=4643


NEW FACTSHEETS

WERC Outreach Factsheet: Long-Term Research in Forest Dynamics
USGS maintains a network of 30 long-term forest research plots in Sequoia and Yosemite national parks, where the birth, growth, health and deaths of some 30,000 trees have been tracked annually for up to 30 years. Nate Stephenson explains the network’s value.
http://www.werc.usgs.gov/ProductDetails.aspx?ID=4651


NEW PRESS RELEASES

Number of Dead California Sea Otters Recovered in 2011 a Record High
Since 1968, USGS and CDFG have documented sea otter “strandings” — the number of dead, sick or injured sea otters reported along California each year. Tim Tinker presents the 2011 figures, including an increase in mortality related to white sharks.
http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=3116

Cradle of Flames: New Book Explains How Wildfires Shape Southern California and other ‘Mediterranean’ Ecosystems
Exploring the impact of fire on Mediterranean-type plant communities is the focus of a new book, Fire in Mediterranean Ecosystems (Cambridge University Press). The book’s host of international authors is led by WERC fire ecologist Jon Keeley.
http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=3123

Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza Transmitted During Summer in Calif. Wetlands
Waterfowl can spread low pathogenic avian influenza viruses (LPAIv) during summer, even with warm wetland temperatures and low waterfowl densities. A WERC team led by Joe Fleskes sampled Yolo Bypass and Sacramento Valley wetlands for this study.
http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=3127


EVENTS

March 22, 2012 (Menlo Park, CA) Tom Suchanek will give this month’s USGS Menlo Park Public Lecture and Webcast, discussing the impacts of climate change on California and San Francisco Bay.
http://online.wr.usgs.gov/calendar/


IN THE NEWS

UCLA Undergrads Tackle Urban Wildlife Research (The Wildlife Society Urban Wildlife News) highlights research by UCLA researcher Travis Longcore, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority and Erin Boydston, examining the use of a roadway underpass by humans  and wild mammals in greater L.A.
http://www.environment.ucla.edu/news/article.asp?parentid=13976

White Sharks Factor in California Sea Otter Mortality (various outlets) is a current focus of WERC scientists Brian Hatfield and Tim Tinker, who recently announced the total reported sea otter strandings in California for 2011.
http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_19983492
http://www.q13fox.com/videogallery/68240860/
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0227-sea-otter-20120227,0,2779949.story
http://nyti.ms/zWjgjU
http://www.scpr.org/programs/madeleine-brand/2012/02/28/22699

Case Closed for Sea Otter Deaths (AAAS ScienceNOW) reports a California Department of Fish and Game analysis of sea otter deaths due to Microcystis, a freshwater cyanobacteria. WERC’s Tim Tinker is a coauthor on the research, which was discussed at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Vancouver.
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/02/scienceshot-case-closed-for-sea-.html

Darwin’s Degenerates (Science Sushi on Scientific American Blogs) revisits the evolutionary uniqueness of parasites, and cites several studies by Kevin Lafferty on parasite and ecological theory.
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/2012/02/12/darwins-degenerates-evolutions-finest-observations/


FROM THE BLOG

Meet the Lauan Ground Skink of Fiji checks in on a 2011 expedition by Robert Fisher to Fiji to survey a rare species and the potential threats to its survival. (See Expedition box below)
http://www.werc.usgs.gov/outreach.aspx?RecordID=124

Trick My Truck, San Francisco Bird Research Edition visits WERC scientist Stacy Moskal, who is studying shorebird use of constructed islands and tidal waters at Pond SF2 of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, near Menlo Park, CA. Moskal conducts bird behavior and count surveys from a custom mobile platform.
http://www.werc.usgs.gov/outreach.aspx?RecordID=123


EXPEDITIONS

Lauan Ground Skink Survey in Fiji
WERC scientist Robert Fisher explored the Ono-I-Lau island complex of Fiji in July 2011 with NatureFiji and University of Kansas and the support of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and National Trust Fiji. The Lauan ground skink (Leiolopisma alazon) was discovered in 1982 but not observed again by scientists until 2011, when the team photographed live specimens for the first time. The species was found on three small islands — the largest of which is less than 1km2 in area — and face threats from nonnative rats and yellow crazy ants, and sea level rise. A report is forthcoming.

Leiolopisma alazon, the Lauan ground skink, photographed in July 2011 --Photographer: Robert Fisher/USGS


This Biweekly Update is produced as a service to USGS/WERC staff, colleagues, partners and the interested public. To add your email address to the mailing list or to report errors/suggestions, please contact blandis@usgs.gov. Download the current issue (1.03)

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: webmaster@werc.usgs.gov

References to non-U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) products do not constitute an endorsement by the DOI.

* DOI and USGS link policies apply.