The Prosopis woodlands of central Argentina, shown here in the protected Man and the Biosphere Ñacunán Reserve, provide key habitats for species such as the gray leaf-eared mouse (Graomys griseoflavus).USDA Forest Service photo by Mary Rowland.
Drylands occupy almost 50 percent of the Earth’s surface and are increasingly affected by grazing and other land uses. Mary Rowland and Mike Wisdom, research wildlife biologists with the PNW Research Station, have long studied the interplay among cattle grazing, wildlife, and vegetation at the Starkey Experimental Forest and Range, Oregon.
Guanaco in La Payunia Provincial Reserve in northern Patagonia, Argentina. USDA Forest Service photo by Michael Wisdom.
Roads affect plants and animals across the world. Large mammals are particularly vulnerable to road effects because their large home ranges lead to a higher probability of contact with road networks. Disturbance associated with roads can alter the probability of habitat use by making suitable habitat near roads inaccessible or underused.
Chaparral vegetation in the hills above Whittier, California. Photo courtesy of Northwalker/Wikimedia Commons.
Chaparral vegetation is a dominant and unique feature of California’s Mediterranean-type climate. The evergreen shrubs that characterize chaparral are well adapted to long, hot, dry summers and extreme fluctuations in interannual precipitation.
Two northern spotted owlets. Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Flickr.
Because of the economic and ecological implications surrounding management of the federally threatened northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina), it is one of the most studied birds in the world.
A Pacific marten (Martes caurina) in Lassen National Forest, California. USDA Forest Service photo by Katie Moriarty.
Logging debris, commonly known as slash, is often piled and burned.
Norwegian high-Arctic. Photo by Bruce Marcot.
Wildlife biologist Bruce Marcot’s research has led him around the globe, from India to the Congo, from New Zealand to Australia, and from Bolivia to the high Arctic.
Rim Fire. Photo courtesy USDA Forest Service.
In 2018, wildfires continued to affect forests and communities across the Western United States and around the globe. The number of large wildfires in the United States has increased since the 1980s, and annual acres burned are projected to continue increasing. Some Western ecoregions now have year-round fire seasons.
Gold Creek drainage, Okanogan National Forest (Washington State). Photo by John Marshall.
Wildfires continue to challenge our capacity to control them. In California, fire season is now year-round, and 10 of the state’s worst fire seasons have occurred since 2000.
Sandy DeBano, Oregon State University entomologist and PNW Research Station collaborator, describes methods to capture bees along Meadow Creek, Starkey Experimental Forest and Range. USDA Forest Service photo by Mary Rowland.
Native bees are declining worldwide, but conserving or restoring their habitat requires better understanding of bee-flower associations. High-quality bee habitat includes flowers that provide pollen and nectar preferred by bees.
A wet meadow restoration project along Sylvies River, Oregon. Photo courtesy of Caroline Nash.
Stream and watershed restoration is a multi-billion dollar enterprise globally, and a major focus of federal land managers and specialists throughout the Western United States. Many of these efforts target upland valley floors where streams have deeply incised their channels, turning previously wet meadows into dry, flat terraces.