Against the backdrop of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, there’s a biological wonder under way at Padre Island National Seashore where the Texas coastline meets the Gulf of Mexico. Where 15 years ago biologists might have seen only a handful of Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles nest on the national seashore’s beaches, this spring there have been at least 69 nests laid by the turtles, which are the most endangered sea turtles in the world.
There were, at last count, at least five dens with panther kittens this spring in and around Big Cypress National Preserve, which offers arguably the best habitat for the big cats. But how do biologists keep track of these kittens?
Among fishes, perhaps none are watched as closely as the Devils Hole Pupfish, which live on the very brink of extinction in a tiny warm spring that is part of Death Valley National Park. Via two video cameras -- one above the water's surface, the other underwater -- researchers keep tabs on the fish. And that's how they captured the effects of a recent earthquake on the small pool of water.
In a conclusion that might not seem to be too surprising, U.S. Geological Survey researchers have found that rural development in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem threatens the future of grizzly bear populations.
Fifteen years ago, back in 1995, a dream of seeing wolves running wild in Yellowstone National Park came to life, as the first of a handful or two of Canadian wolves were set free into the park. It was the culmination of a long-fought effort to see Yellowstone's ecosystem become whole once again with its complete prey and predator base. Doug Smith, who leads the park's Wolf Project, recently discussed the health of the program and what researchers have learned.
This Quicktime movie shows a small explosive event at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in the Halema`uma`u vent at 9:20 a.m Saturday. The explosion was immediately preceded by a portion of the vent rim collapsing into the vent cavity.
Restoring landscapes can be as simple as cleaning them up and letting nature take over. This video shows how humans and nature collaborated to restore nearly 600 acres of wetlands in Tomales Bay at Point Reyes National Seashore.
Wyoming's congressional delegation was quick Thursday to condemn the National Park Service's winter-use plan for Yellowstone National Park that would limit daily snowmobile numbers to 318. Sen. Mike Enzi thought as many as 1,000 machines should be allowed in.
National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis thinks the timing of his arrival in Washington couldn't be much better. The image of the national parks has been well-polished courtesy of the Ken Burns' documentary, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, there's a White House occupant who wants to invest in the park system, and, if recent head counts are any indication, Americans are more interested in visiting national parks than they have been in recent years.
How climate change is now impacting national parks, and how it might in the future, has been a hot topic this year. On Thursday a teleconference was held to discuss the latest report on this issue. Here's the audio version.
Ken Burns quickly warmed to the topic of national parks, which he profiles in a six-part, 12-hour series called The National Parks: America's Best Idea. His passion for the parks was readily apparent during a 40-minute interview.