Mission Areas

Ecosystems

The USGS Ecosystems Mission?Area, the biological research arm of?the Department of the Interior (DOI),?provides science to help America achieve?sustainable management and conservation?of its biological resources. This work?is done within the broader mission of?the USGS to serve the Nation with?science that advances understanding?of our natural resources and inform?land and water stewardship.

Collaborative Conservation

Collaborative Conservation

What do gray wolves, manatees and bears have in common? They are just a few of the species that are part of important USGS research that informs U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decisions for endangered and threatened species.

Find out more

Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field

An Ecosystems Mission Area original podcast series that tells stories about our science, our adventures, and our efforts to better understand fish and wildlife and the ecosystems that support them.  

Ep 2-Citizen Science

Where's our Science?

Where

Find out where Ecosystems Science Centers, Field Stations, and Cooperative Research Units are located.

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Publications

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Year Published: 2019

Effects of Experimental Removal of Barred Owls on Population Demography of Northern Spotted Owls in Washington and Oregon—2018 Progress Report

Populations of Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina; herineafter referred to as Spotted Owl) have declined throughout the subspecies’ geographic range. Evidence indicates that competition with invading Barred Owls (S. varia) has contributed significantly to those declines. A pilot study in California showed that removal of Barred Owls...

Wiens, J. David; Dugger, Katie M.; Lesmeister, Damon B.; Dilione, Krista E.; Simon, David C.
Wiens, J.D., Dugger, K.M., Lesmeister, D.B., Dilione, K.E., and Simon, D.C., 2019, Effects of Barred Owl (Strix varia) removal on population demography of Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) in Washington and Oregon, 2015–18: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019-1074, 17 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191074.

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Year Published: 2019

Optimization of salt marsh management at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia, through use of structured decision making

Structured decision making is a systematic, transparent process for improving the quality of complex decisions by identifying measurable management objectives and feasible management actions; predicting the potential consequences of management actions relative to the stated objectives; and selecting a course of action that maximizes the total...

Neckles, Hilary A.; Lyons, James E.; Nagel, Jessica L.; Adamowicz, Susan C.; Mikula, Toni; Holcomb, Kevin S.
Neckles, H.A., Lyons, J.E., Nagel, J.L., Adamowicz, S.C., Mikula, T., and Holcomb, K.S., 2019, Optimization of salt marsh management at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia, through use of structured decision making: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1056, 29 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191056.

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Year Published: 2019

Integrating behavior and physiology into strategies for amphibian conservation

The amphibian decline crisis has been challenging to address because of the complexity of factors—and their multitude of interactive effects—that drive this global issue. Dissecting such complexity could benefit from strategies that integrate multiple disciplines and address the mechanistic underpinnings of population declines and extirpations. We...

Walls, Susan; Gabor, Caitlin R

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