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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!

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WERC From the Field - Santa Cruz Sunset --Photographer: Ben Young Landis, USGS
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ResearchRoundup: March 2011 Highlights
FRIDAY APR 01 2011

Here are your WERC research highlights for March 2011 -- including avian flu, prescribed fire treatments, wildfire impacts, bat monitoring, bird nest predators and invasive species:

WERC Publications Briefs in March 2011
The "Publication Briefs for Resource Managers" series translates management implications of new academic papers for environmental professionals. Browse full list at

Prescribed Fires Can Successfully Replicate Burn Patterns Produced by Natural Fires

Analysis of Historical Fire Regimes Should Consider Impact by Early Human Migrations

Fire Regimes Can Inform Control Strategies for Invasive Alien Plants

Large California Fires Cause Shift in Reptile and Amphibian Assemblages

Raking May Help Reduce Sugar Pine Mortality Following Prescribed Fires

Prescribed Fires Can Have Long-Term Effects on Sierra Nevada Forest Structure

WERC Journal Articles in March 2011
A selection of new scientific findings from WERC researchers. Browse full list at

Identifying nest predators of American avocets (Recurvirostra americana) and black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus) in San Francisco Bay, California
Herring, G., J.T. Ackerman, J.Y. Takekawa, C.A. Eagles-Smith, J.M. Eadie
The Southwestern Naturalist

Impacts of the herbicide butachlor on the larvae of a paddy field breeding frog (Fejervarya limnocharis) in subtropical Taiwan
Liu, Wan-Yi, Ching-Yuh Wang, Tsu-Shing Wang, Gary M. Fellers, Bo-Chi Lai, Yeong-Choy Kam.

Wild Bird Migration across the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau: A Transmission Route for Highly Pathogenic H5N1
Prosser D.J., P. Cui,  J.Y.Takekawa,   M. Tang, Y. Hou, B. M. Collins,  B. Yan, N.J. Hill,  T. Li,  Y. Li,  F. Lei,  S. Guo, Z. Xing, Y. He,  Y. Zhou,  D. C. Douglas, W. M. Perry, and  S. H. Newman

Uncloaking a cryptic, threatened rail with molecular markers: origins,connectivity and demography of a recently-discovered population.
Girard, P., J. Y. Takekawa, and S. R. Beissinger
Conservation Genetics

Potential spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 by wildfowl: dispersal ranges and rates determined from large-scale satellite telemetry
Gaidet, N., Cappelle, J., Takekawa, J.Y., Prosser, D.J., Iverson, S.A., Douglas, D.C., Perry, W.M., Mundkur, T. and Newman, S.H.
Journal of Applied Ecology

Quantifying the fire regime distributions for fire severity in Yosemite National Park, California, USA 
Thode, A. E., J. W. van Wagtendonk, J. D. Miller, and J. F. Quinn.
International Journal of Wildland Fire

WERC Technical Reports in March 2011
A selection of new technical reports from WERC researchers. Browse full list at

Quantitative assessment of population genetic structure and historical phylogeography of the Alameda whipsnake Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus
Richmond, J.Q., D.A. Wood, C. Hoang, and A. G. Vandergast
Prepared for US FWS

WERC Outreach Stories in March 2011
A selection of WERC outreach stories translating USGS research for the public. Browse all stories at

Decoding Bat Speak

USGS Sea Otter Research on CBS Evening News

Did Early Humans Alter California's Wildfire Regimes?

San Diego Fires Impacted Reptile and Amphibian Diversity

Birders: Help Track the California Gull

Burial by Ash: Wildfires and Aquatic Life

WeekendProject: More Invasive Species Coloring Sheets!

USGS Uncovers New Link in Bird Flu's Global Spread

Fossil Sloth Poop Help Chart Joshua Tree Decline

WERC Significant Media Mentions in March 2011
A selection of news media coverage of WERC research

When Coconut Trees Attack... Other Trees (!5772829/when-coconut-trees-attack----other-trees

Science in the City: Bat Speak (The Exploratorium)

Roadkill, rat poison: can O.C. bobcats survive? (Orange County Register)

Mystery at Sea: California Sea Otters (CBS Evening News)

Wildfires can wipe out reptiles, amphibians, study finds (North County Times)

New Research Suggests Wild Birds May Play a Role in the Spread of Bird Flu (USGS Newsroom)

WERC Public Events in March 2011
A selection of public and professional events featuring WERC research. See full details at

Newport Bay Conservancy Bobcat Workshop
Waterbird Society Annual Meeting
National Science Teachers Association Annual Meeting
George Wright Society Biennial Meeting
South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Public Working Groups
International Sea Otter Conservation Workshop
Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting

-- Ben Young Landis

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