USGS Reports on the potential impacts of large-scale interbasin water transfer projects
Event Date(s): 3/29/2012
Contact(s): Evan H Campbell Grant
In the most recent volume of PLoS ONE, scientists at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in collaboration with University of Maryland, Princeton University, Arizona State University and the Manonmaniam Sundaranar University report how large-scale interbasin water transfer projects, in which river systems are linked via canals to transfer water from one river basin to another, alter the total number of freshwater fish species, while simultaneously altering distribution of biodiversity. The results from this study can aid in assessing impacts of large-scale canal projects and guide the balancing of ecosystem and societal demands for freshwater, even in cases where biodiversity data are limited.For more information, visit http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0034170.
Contact: Evan H Campbell Grant 301-497-5842, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research (USGS Patuxent) welcomes the first Whooping Crane egg of the Class of 2012 season. USGS is a partner in the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP) which is dedicated to the re-establishment of the Eastern Migratory Flock. USGS Patuxent hopes to welcome an estimated 20-25 additional eggs this season, where they will capture genetic information for studies and rear this endangered species in costume for several months before shipping the endangered Whooping cranes to Wisconsin for their release into the wild.
For additional information, please contact Marilyn Whitehead at email@example.com or 301-497-5502.
PWRC Scientist Presents on Evolution of Immune Responses
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center scientist Caldwell Hahn has been invited to attend the annual meeting of the Research Coordination Network in Ecoimmunology (RCNE) May 21st and 22nd in Ann Arbor, MI, which is themed " Merging Ecoimmunology and Disease Ecology". Recent results using avian brood parasites as model organisms to illuminate the evolution of enhanced immune response will be presented. In collaboration with Lawrence Igl (USGS Northern Prairie Research Center) and Gisela Erf (University of Arkansas), Hahn demonstrated that cowbirds deposit higher levels in eggs of immune factors such as lysozymes and maternal immunoglobulins compared to related species (Caldwell Hahn; Laurel, MD; 301-497-5653).
For additional information, please contact Caldwell Hahn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-497-5653.
Two recently published papers by scientists at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center showed an unexpected toxic interaction between mercury and selenium. When birds are exposed to high levels of mercury or selenium, both of these elements can, by themselves, have harmful effects on reproduction, including the failure of eggs to hatch, as well as the creation of deformed embryos. Previous scientific evidence, largely in the human health arena, has shown the two to counteract each other's toxicity. But when Patuxent scientists injected the eggs of birds with combinations of selenium and mercury they found that, although hatching success of eggs was improved (the mercury and selenium did counteract each other) the rate of embryonic deformities actually increased. This puzzling finding of counteracting each other on one toxic effect, but compounding each other's harm on another effect -- all within the same experiment and on the same set of eggs -- has never been shown before. Because mercury and selenium can occur together at elevated levels in animals in nature, and both are already considered very harmful environmental pollutants, the Patuxent findings suggest that unexpected toxic interactions may be occurring and need to be looked for.
Heinz, G.H., D.J. Hoffman, J.D. Klimstra, and K.R. Stebbins. 2012. A comparison of the teratogenicity of methylmercury and selenomethionine injected into bird eggs. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 62:519-528.
Klimstra, J.D., J.L. Yee, G.H Heinz, D.J. Hoffman, and K.R. Stebbins. 2012. Interactions between methylmercury and selenomethionine injected into mallard eggs. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 31:579-584.
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (PWRC) launched 2 new features to their website
www.pwrc.usgs.gov to showcase the Mission Areas and their Functional Directory. The USGS Mission Areas include: Climate and Land Use Changes, Ecosystems, Energy and Minerals, Environmental Health, Natural Hazards and Water. Each Mission Area has a collection of each PWRC researcher’s project informational sheets which relate to that specific area. Additionally, if someone is looking for a scientist that is working in a certain field the new Functional Directory is where to look. The Functional Directory has 13 major themes: Amphibian Monitoring, Avian Monitoring, Coastal Wetlands Ecology, Decision Science, Endangered Species, Environmental Health, Habitat Restoration, Monitoring Design and Analysis, Population Estimation, Stream Community Ecology, Terrestrial Avian Ecology, Vertebrate Taxonomy and Waterbirds/Waterfowl. The Functional Directory has links to PWRC researcher's projects, their professional pages, their contact information, books that have been published in the last 10 years and any related website. By the addition of these features to PWRC's homepage, partners, agency colleagues, and future partners have access to the projects and to foster deeper relationships between PWRC and USGS as a whole.
For additional information, please contact Shannon Beliew at email@example.com or 301-497-5506.