US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Kathryn Purcell

Kathryn L. Purcell

Scientist Emerita
24075 Highway 41
United States

Phone: 559-868-6233
Fax: 559-868-3491
Contact Kathryn L. Purcell

Current Research

In current studies, I examine variability in avian abundance and reproductive success in diverse Sierra Nevada habitats, identify source and sink habitats, and examine elevational shifts in abundance, especially as they relate to weather conditions. Another primary avenue of study involves identifying and filling gaps in our current understanding of fisher ecology and habitat requirements and addressing the uncertainty surrounding the effects of timber harvest and fuels treatments on select response variables. Additional research includes implementation of avian monitoring techniques, avian response to climate change, and the effects of the invasive European starlings on native cavity-nesting birds, and use of upland habitat by western pond turtles and mitigation of potential conflicts with livestock grazing.

Research Interests

I am interested in understanding whether wildlife populations are viable and what they require to remain healthy. My work primarily gauges population health in terms of population trends, reproductive success, and survival. Habitat requirements for healthy populations are also at the heart of my research. I am interested in how animals select habitat and whether those choices are adaptive. Finally, I study the impacts of various natural and anthropogenic stressors on populations.


  • University of Nevada, Reno, Ph.D. Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology 1995
  • Humboldt State, M.S. Wildlife 1988
  • University of California, Davis, B.S. Biological Sciences 1980


Research Highlights


Impacts of European Starlings on Native Species: Looking Beyond Competition for Nest Sites

European starlings are a remarkably successful invasive species known to compete with native bird species for nest cavities. Starlings avoid ung ...


Response of Western Pond Turtles to Drought

Western pond turtles (Actinemys marmorata) are declining throughout most of their range. The population studied at the San Joaquin Experimental ...


Songbird Population Trends Have Their Ups and Downs

Population trends and information on whether species are increasing or decreasing are crucial to managing and conserving species. Using 27 years ...


Last updated on : 02/01/2021