USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Research Topics Wildlife & Fish

[Photo]: Marbled Murrelet chick

Bird Monitoring: Bird monitoring research in our laboratory has been an ongoing effort since wildlife research began here in 1982. In the last 25+ years, approximately two million censuses, captures, and field evaluations of birds and their habitats have been conducted on Marbled Murrelets and landbirds.

Herpetology: Includes the studies of the autecology and community structure of forest and riparian-associated herpetofauna in redwood and Douglas-fir/hardwood forests, investigations of the application of reptiles and amphibians as indicators for monitoring the status of ecosystems, and the investigations of the possible mechanisms contributing to declines in amphibians.

Invasive Species: Research by PSW scientists demonstrates that introduced trout and other species have caused major changes in abundance and distribution of native amphibians, zooplankton, and benthic invertebrates, changes likely to result in federal endangered species listings. Scientists are looking at the impacts of introduced fishes on invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and bats.


Fisher resting in oak snag
  • Developing Quantitative Methods for Assessment of Bat Populations: Bats are important components of biodiversity and, as primary predators of nocturnal insects, play an important role in ecosystem function, especially in forests. Nevertheless their contributions are often overlooked because their activities take place out of sight from humans: they roost in inconspicuous places and emerge from them at night to forage under the cover of darkness.
  • Mitigating Impacts of Wind Energy Development on Populations of Migratory Bats: Because wind energy is able to generate electricity without many of the environmental impacts associated with other energy sources, it is expected to produce a net benefit to wildlife species. However, in some situations, wind energy developments have produced large impacts to bats in the form of direct mortality from collision with moving turbines.
  • Carnivore Survey: The integrity of an ecosystem may be measured by the health of its vertebrate carnivore populations. Carnivores influence the structure and reflect the vigor of trophic levels on which they depend, and are sensitive to the abundance and behavior of the human populations with which they coexist.
  • Kings River Fisher Project: Links between landscape condition and survival and reproduction of fishers in the Kings River Area in the Sierra National Forest.