USGS February science picks

analyzing the returned images and data.

To see a "Sol by Sol" (Martian for "Day by Day") journal from USGS astrogeologists, go to http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/Gallery/PhotoGalleries/MER-MissionActivities.

For more information, call Deborah Soltesz at 928-556-7088 or email at dsoltesz@usgs.gov.

Where Have All the Vultures Gone? Catastrophic declines of white-backed vultures in Pakistan began in the 1990s. Their population has declined 95 percent in the last 5 years, and the species is teetering on extinction. USGS wildlife pathologist Carol Meteyer and colleagues discovered that the anti-inflammatory livestock drug diclofenac was poisoning these raptors as they scavenged livestock carcasses recently treated with this drug while alive. Studies showed diclofenac caused acute kidney failure in vultures when they ate the carcasses of animals that had recently been treated with it. USGS collaborated with researchers at Washington State University, The Peregrine Fund, and the San Diego Zoo in uncovering the cause of kidney failure in these highly revered birds. The British journal "Nature" recently published results of this research. More information can be found.

For additional information, visit http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/news/diclofenac.html or call Carol Meteyer at 608-270-2462.

More Birds At Risk This Time in Hawaii: Recent environmental monitoring by USGS scientists has revealed that feral cats and other non-native predators are threatening the palila, an endangered Hawaiian forest bird. The palila is a Hawaiian honeycreeper with a gray back, yellow breast, yellow head and finch-like beak. Fewer than 5,000 of these birds exist today. The scientists discovered that feral cats kill chicks in about 10 percent of palila nests found on Mauna Kea V

Contact: Butch Kinerney
United States Geological Survey

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Related biology news :

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3. Story tips from the Department of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory, February 2004
4. Other highlights in the February 4 issue of JNCI
5. JCI table of contents, February 2, 2004
6. Research news from Tufts University, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy: February 2004
7. Story tips from the Department of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory February 2003
8. Science picks -- leads, feeds and story seeds (February 2003)
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11. February media highlights - GSA Bulletin

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