Spring is coming early in 3/4 of national parks, according to a new study. Awesome? Not so much. As flowers bloom earlier every year, it’s disrupting the link between the wildflowers and the arrival of birds, bees, and butterflies that feed on and pollinate the flowers. In Shenandoah, an earlier spring is giving invasive plants a head start, and they’re displacing native wildflowers, leading to costly management issues.
Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Vine Creek Ranch at Death Valley National Park. Steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
USGS -- Assessing the Effects of Seismic Experiments on Marine Wildlife
As part of a long-standing Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, USGS through its Earthquake Hazards Program, and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), a publicly owned utility providing service within California, are engaged in a long-term seismic risk management program to reduce the impact of future earthquakes. A spin-off from this CRADA is a study by the USGS Western Ecological Research Center to improve understanding of the ecological impact of high energy seismic studies on sea otter population. Sea otters are a federally-listed threatened species that also serve as crucial indicators of the health of nearshore waters and coastal resources, from kelp forests to fisheries. Results from this study will help managers in shaping recovery strategies for sea otters, and for enhancing ecological services provided by nearshore healthy ecosystems. The study involves collaboration between USGS, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and veterinarians and scientists from a number of universities. The team of biologists, veterinarians, technicians, interns and volunteers have captured, tagged and collected tissue samples for health analyses from over 50 sea otters in the region, and then monitored these animals in the wild on a daily basis using radio telemetry and direct observation. Gene transcription analysis is used to assess exposure to various stressors, and advanced bio-logging devices provide detailed information on dive behavior and metabolic rates. Data from thousands of observations of tagged animals are used to provide baseline data on the demography, behavior, diet, habitat use and movements of sea otters in the vicinity of Diablo Canyon Power Plant, for use in “before/during/after” comparison studies that would be conducted in the event of any future seismic testing/research activity.