A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
DOINews: Precipitation Matters More than Warming Temperature in Determining Future Bird Distributions Across the West
For most bird species across the west, regional warming is not as likely to influence population trends as will changes in precipitation. So suggests a Northwest Climate Science Center-funded paper recently published in the journal Global Change Biology.
Its authors, Javier Guttierrez Illan, Chris Thomas, Julia Jones, Weng-Keen Wong, Susan Shirley and Matthew Betts, used historical data about bird abundance from 1970-1974 to test the ability of climate models to accurately predict bird distributions in 1998-2002. Observed changes in bird abundances matched predicted changes for 59% of the species considered in this study. The most important variables for predicting changes were related to patterns of precipitation and to minimum winter temperatures. Authors of the paper are from Oregon State University and University of York.