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 -- 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.