Since its establishment in 1936 as the nation's first wildlife experiment station, the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center has been a leading international research institute for wildlife and applied environmental research, for transmitting research findings to those responsible for managing our nation's natural resources, and for providing technical assistance in implementing research findings so as to improve natural resource management.
Patuxent's scientists have been responsible for many important advances in natural resource conservation, especially in such areas as migratory birds, wildlife population analysis, waterfowl harvest, habitat management, wetlands, coastal zone and flood plain management, contaminants, endangered species, urban wildlife, ecosystem management, and management of national parks and national wildlife refuges.
The Center develops and manages national inventory and monitoring programs and is responsible for the North American Bird Banding Program and leadership of other national bird monitoring programs. The Center's scientific and technical assistance publications, wildlife data bases, and electronic media are used nationally and worldwide in managing biological resources.
The focus of the Center's mission and vision for the future is to continue its dynamic international, national, and regional leadership in wildlife research. The Center will enhance its accomplishments in generating, interpreting, evaluating, and transmitting the scientific information needed to better address the pressing problems of managing our nation's biological resources, especially those under the stewardship of the Department of the Interior, other Federal and non-Federal partners. Today's challenges in natural resource management involve new approaches such as adaptive management, landscape and ecosystem scale management, partnerships among multiple stakeholders, and transfer and use of the huge store of existing information using modern technology.
The Center is a Federal research facility directed by the Federal government to conduct research necessary to fulfill Federal responsibilities, primarily, those of the Department of the Interior. The U.S. Geological Survey Biological Resources Division, of which the Center is a part, works with others to provide the information needed to manage our Nation's biological resources. Thus, scientific information needs of partner agencies strongly influence much of the Center's scientific agenda.
The Center also receives funds directly from agencies benefitting from our research and from other partner organizations, such as those co-located at its Laurel headquarters. Such support provides critical resources that enhance the scope and value of the Center's activities, within the mission of the Division.
Science conducted at the Center, like any scientific enterprise, ultimately, is driven by the pressing public natural resource needs coupled with intellectual creativity and motivation of its scientists and technical staff. No research program will succeed unless it flows from the creative energies of its scientists. The research of Center scientists must be engaged at the cutting edge of scientific understanding to assure the long term success of natural resources management.