Many wildlife species reside in sensitive habitats that make detection and monitoring difficult. For waterfowl, measuring brood production can serve as an early indicator of habitat quality and provide important insight into understanding overall ecosystem drivers. Early and comprehensive detection of duckling production and brood counts can inform recreational hunting, ecosystem function, and community composition.
Accurate maps of seasonal habitat for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) across broad extents are of paramount importance to conservation efforts in sagebrush ecosystems across the Great Basin, particularly for habitat assessments and mitigation efforts. However, the ability to model sage-grouse habitat at fine spatial scales necessary for microhabitat assessment is constrained by the spatial and spectral resolution of most remotely sensed measurements of vegetation composition.
Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are diverse communities of organisms including lichen, moss, and cyanobacteria that live on soil surfaces in dryland environments around the world. Although biocrusts are estimated to make up 12% of the planet’s terrestrial surface and play critical roles in water and carbon cycling, there is great uncertainty related to their distribution, function, and response to change.
Recent catastrophic wildfires in the western United States have led to loss of life and property and burned through some of the most iconic landscapes in the National Park Service (NPS).
The Nation’s coastlines are highly dynamic ecosystems that can change drastically in response to storms, high water levels, and sea-level rise. These changes can put habitats, lives, and infrastructure at risk. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has the expertise and capabilities to measure these coastlines and predict where and when coastal change may occur, but updated coastal elevation data are needed to keep these forecasts as accurate as possible.
Coastal wetlands and estuaries are critical ecosystems that serve as the bridge between land and sea, provide habitat for numerous species of fish and wildlife, and offer protection from storms and waves for inland communities. When these environments evolve naturally, they can adapt to rising sea levels by retreating landward, and fish and wildlife follow suit.
Twenty years ago, ecological studies were often limited by the number of times biologists could find (relocate) their study animals. With the advent and now widespread use of Global Positioning System (GPS)collars, tracking the animals is no longer a primary concern.
During late summer and autumn, Pacific walruses are resting on shore north of the Bering Strait more often and in larger numbers in both the United States and Russia. Historically, walruses rested primarily on floating sea ice over their offshore foraging grounds in this region, but climate warming has reduced availability of sea ice. With greater numbers of walruses gathering on shore, USGS scientists an
Many wildlife species reside in sensitive habitats that make detection and monitoring difficult. For waterfowl, measuring brood production can serve as an early indicator of habitat quality and provide important insight into understanding overall ecosystem drivers.
Conventional, field-based streamflow monitoring in remote, inaccessible locations such as Alaska poses logistical challenges and make remote sensing an appealing alternative means of collecting hydrologic data.