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).
USGS -- Developing a better method for diagnosing avian botulism
Avian botulism is a paralytic disease caused by one of the deadliest toxins known to mankind. It is produced by a naturally occurring bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, and when environmental conditions cause the toxin to accumulate in their food supply, botulism can kill thousands of birds each year. Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, the USGS, through its National Wildlife Health Center Diagnostic Microbiology Laboratory, with support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, is developing a rapid method for detecting a Type E avian botulism that causes mortality in fish-eating birds. This method uses a fluorescence-based bioassay and would potentially eliminate the need to use laboratory animals in mouse lethality assays. The new assay method will also be less labor intensive and faster so it will facilitate analysis of the large number of samples required to conduct meaningful ecological studies. This method may also have applications for human health since Type E botulism can occur in humans following consumption of improperly prepared fish.