A new University of Washington and NOAA Fisheries study found that sea lions have the largest negative effect on early-arriving endangered Chinook salmon in the lower Columbia River. The results of this study will publish Oct. 18 in the Journal of Applied Ecology.Read more
The small subpopulation of polar bears in Kane Basin were doing better, on average, in recent years than in the 1990s. The bears are experiencing short-term benefits from thinning and shrinking multiyear sea ice that allows more sunlight to reach the ocean surface, which makes the system more ecologically productive.Read more
A new University of Washington study uses passive data from a fishing technology company to model the movement of anglers and predict where aquatic invasive species may be spreading.Read more
Pacific geoducks, among the largest burrowing clams in the world, are native to the Pacific Northwest. Commercially grown only since 1995, farmed geoducks now generate over $20 million in annual sales in Washington State and are among the most valuable farmed shellfish on a per-acre basis. However, hatcheries can be a critical production bottleneck.Read more
In the Pacific Northwest, eelgrass serves an important function in the ecosystem by binding sediments, storing carbon, and providing essential habitat for Pacific herring, juvenile salmon, and many other species. Concerningly, eelgrass populations are susceptible to human impacts related to water quality changes or direct disturbance. Eelgrass mitigation and restoration strategies often result in plants being transplanted to new locations where eelgrass may already be present. However, these efforts often lack information on the genetic population structure in an ever-changing environment. A team of interdisciplinary researchers at the University of Washington is developing baseline data for native eelgrass to make the first comprehensive geographic map of state eelgrass population structure and describe the relationship between eelgrass population structure, phenotypic diversity, and local adaptation and resistance to environmental stressors.Read more
Learn how SAFS PhD student Jessie Hale examines patterns in sea otter feeding over time and space along the Washington coast.Read more
For nearly two decades, volunteers on Whidbey Island have been monitoring a curious little seabird—the pigeon guillemot, small in size, black with white patches on the wings and a fire-engine-red mouth and feet. Using binoculars, they observe and record the comings and goings of the island’s resident seabirds along the seaside cliffs.
Pigeon guillemots have been identified as a Puget Sound indicator species due to their abundance throughout the region, but what they might indicate is not yet clear.
An international group of scientists has laid out an ambitious global conservation plan for parasites. A related paper led by the University of Washington found that responses of parasites to environmental change are likely to be complex, and that a changing world probably will see both outbreaks of some parasites and a total loss of other parasite species.Read more
Deep-sea anglerfishes employ an incredible reproductive strategy. Tiny dwarfed males become permanently attached to relatively gigantic females, fuse their tissues and then establish a common blood circulation. Now scientists have figured out why female anglerfishes so readily accept their male mates. Their findings are published July 30 in Science.Read more
In their most recent book, Sarah Converse (unit leader, USGS Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and UW associate professor in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and Environmental and Forest Sciences) and her co-editors explore how managers can use a structured decision making approach to aid in solving natural resource problems.Read more