Allegheny Portage Railroad
The Allegheny Portage Railroad was the first railroad constructed through the Allegheny Mountains in central Pennsylvania, United States. 36 miles long overall, both ends connected to the Pennsylvania Canal, the system was used as a portage railway, haulting river boats and barges over the divide between the Ohio and the Susquehanna Rivers. The railroad was authorized as part of the Main Line of Public Works legislation in 1824, it had five inclines on either side of the drainage divide running athwart the ridge line from Blair Gap through along the kinked saddle at the summit into Cresson, Pennsylvania. The endpoints connected to the Canal at Johnstown on the west through the relative flats to Hollidaysburg on the east; the Railroad utilized cleverly designed wheeled barges to ride a narrow-gauge rail track with steam-powered stationary engines lifting the vehicles. The roadbed of the railroad did not incline monotonically upwards, but rose in long, saw-toothed stretches of slightly-sloped flat terrain suitable to animal powered towing, alternating with steep cable railway inclined planes using static steam engine powered windlasses, similar to mechanisms of modern ski lifts.
Except for peak moments of severe storms, it was an all-seasons operation. Along with the rest of the Main Works, it cut transport time from Philadelphia to the Ohio River from weeks to just 3–5 days. Considered a technological marvel in its day, it played a critical role in opening the interior of the United States beyond the Appalachian Mountains to settlement and commerce, it included the first railroad tunnel in the United States, the Staple Bend Tunnel, its inauguration was marked with great fanfare. Construction of the Old Portage Railroad from Hollidaysburg to Johnstown, thirty six miles long, began in 1831 and took three years to complete, it included a tunnel 900 feet long as well as a viaduct over the Little Conemaugh River upstream from Johnstown. The vertical ascent from Johnstown was 1,172 feet; the vertical ascent from Hollidaysburg was 1,399 feet. The project was financed by the State of Pennsylvania as a means to compete with the Erie Canal in New York and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in Maryland.
The work was done through private contractors. The railroad utilized eleven grade lines and ten cable inclined planes, five on either side of the summit of the Allegheny Ridge to carry loaded canal boats on flatbed railroad cars. Trains of two-three cars were pulled on grade lines by mules. On incline planes, stationary steam engines pulled up and lowered down cars by hemp ropes switching to wire ropes in 1842; the entire Main Line system connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh via the Philadelphia-Columbia railroad, the Columbia-Hollidaysburg canal, the Portage railroad linking Hollidaysburg to Johnstown, a canal from Johnstown to Pittsburgh, was 400 miles long. A typical ride took 4 days instead of the former 23-day horse-wagon journey; the Old Portage Railroad was in operation for twenty years being considered "the wonder of America." Charles Dickens wrote a contemporary account of travel on the railroad in Chapter 10 of his American Notes. In the 1850s, the Main Line of Public Works and its portage railroad was rendered obsolete by the advance of railway technology and railroad engineering.
Early in 1846 the Legislature chartered the Pennsylvania Railroad to cross the entire state in response to plans by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to reach the Ohio Valley through Virginia. In December 1852 trains started to run between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh shortening the travel time from 4 days to 13 hours. Construction on the New Portage Railroad, a 40-mile realignment to cross the Allegheny Ridge bypassing inclines, started in 1851 and cost $2.14 million. The PRR raised sufficient investment and had enough quick success that they bought the existing Portage railroad and other parts of the Main Line of Public Works from the state on July 31, 1857; the PRR used the rest as local branches. The line reopened as a freight bypass line in 1904. Pennsylvania Railroad successor Conrail abandoned this line to Hollidaysburg and most of the branch trackage along the Juniata River in 1981 and removed the rails. Today, the remains of the railroad are preserved within the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site operated by the National Park Service.
The site was established on 1,296 acres in 1964 and is about 12 miles west of Altoona, in Blair and Cambria counties. The park service operates a visitor center with interpretive exhibits near the old line. Nearby is the Samuel Lemon House, a tavern located alongside the railroad near Cresson, a popular stop for railroad passengers; the NPS maintains a length of reconstructed track, an engine house with exhibits, a picnic area, hiking trails. A skew arch bridge, a masterwork of cut stone construction, is another feature of the site near the Lemon House; the bridge is 60.4 feet long on the south elevation, 54.9 feet long on the north elevation, 22.2 feet high. It was the only bridge on the line, built to carry a road; the Staple Bend Tunnel is preserved in a separate unit of the historic site, 5 miles e
The mallard is a dabbling duck that breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas and North Africa and has been introduced to New Zealand, Peru, Uruguay, Chile, the Falkland Islands, South Africa. This duck belongs to the subfamily Anatinae of the waterfowl family Anatidae; the male birds have a glossy green head and are grey on their wings and belly, while the females have brown-speckled plumage. Both sexes have an area of white-bordered black or iridescent blue feathers called a speculum on their wings; the mallard is 50 -- 65 cm long. The wingspan is 81–98 cm and the bill is 4.4 to 6.1 cm long. It is slightly heavier than most other dabbling ducks, weighing 0.72–1.58 kg. Mallards live in wetlands, eat water plants and small animals, are social animals preferring to congregate in groups or flocks of varying sizes; this species is the main ancestor of most breeds of domesticated ducks. The female lays eight to thirteen creamy white to greenish-buff spotless eggs, on alternate days. Incubation takes 27 to 28 days and fledging takes 50 to 60 days.
The ducklings are precocial and capable of swimming as soon as they hatch. The mallard is considered to be a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Unlike many waterfowl, mallards are considered an invasive species in some regions, it is a adaptable species, being able to live and thrive in urban areas which may have supported more localised, sensitive species of waterfowl before development. The non-migratory mallard interbreeds with indigenous wild ducks of related species through genetic pollution by producing fertile offspring. Complete hybridisation of various species of wild duck gene pools could result in the extinction of many indigenous waterfowl; the wild mallard is the ancestor of most domestic ducks, its evolved wild gene pool gets genetically polluted by the domesticated and feral mallard populations. The mallard was one of the many bird species described in the 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae by Carl Linnaeus, he gave it two binomial names: Anas platyrhynchos and Anas boschas.
The latter was preferred until 1906 when Einar Lönnberg established that A. platyrhynchos had priority as it appeared on an earlier page in the text. The scientific name comes from Latin Anas, "duck" and Ancient Greek πλατυρυγχος, platyrhynchus, "broad-billed"; the genome of Anas platyrhynchos was sequenced in 2013. The name Mallard referred to any wild drake, it is sometimes still used this way, it was derived from the Old French malart or mallart for "wild drake" although its true derivation is unclear. It may be related to, or at least influenced by, an Old High German masculine proper name Madelhart, clues lying in the alternate English forms "maudelard" or "mawdelard". Masle has been proposed as an influence. Mallards interbreed with their closest relatives in the genus Anas, such as the American black duck, with species more distantly related, such as the northern pintail, leading to various hybrids that may be fertile; this is quite unusual among such different species, is because the mallard evolved rapidly and during the Late Pleistocene.
The distinct lineages of this radiation are kept separate due to non-overlapping ranges and behavioural cues, but have not yet reached the point where they are genetically incompatible. Mallards and their domesticated conspecifics are fully interfertile. Genetic analysis has shown that certain mallards appear to be closer to their Indo-Pacific relatives while others are related to their American relatives. Mitochondrial DNA data for the D-loop sequence suggests that mallards may have evolved in the general area of Siberia. Mallard bones rather abruptly appear in food remains of ancient humans and other deposits of fossil bones in Europe, without a good candidate for a local predecessor species; the large ice age palaeosubspecies that made up at least the European and west Asian populations during the Pleistocene has been named Anas platyrhynchos palaeoboschas. Mallards are differentiated in their mitochondrial DNA between North American and Eurasian populations, but the nuclear genome displays a notable lack of genetic structure.
Haplotypes typical of American mallard relatives and spotbills can be found in mallards around the Bering Sea. The Aleutian Islands hold a population of mallards that appear to be evolving towards a subspecies, as gene flow with other populations is limited; the paucity of morphological differences between the Old World mallards and the New World mallard demonstrates the extent to which the genome is shared among them such that birds like the Chinese spot-billed duck are similar to the Old World mallard, birds such as the Hawaiian duck are similar to the New World mallard. The size of the mallard varies clinally; the mallard is a medium-sized waterfowl species, slightly heavier than most other dabbling ducks. It is 50–65 cm long – of which the body makes up around two-thirds – has a wingspan of 81–98 cm,:505 and weighs 0.72–1.58 kg. Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 25.7 to 30.6 cm, the bill is 4.4 to 6.1 cm (
The white-tailed deer known as the whitetail or Virginia deer, is a medium-sized deer native to the United States, Mexico, Central America, South America as far south as Peru and Bolivia. It has been introduced to New Zealand, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, the Lesser Antilles, some countries in Europe, such as Finland, the Czech Republic and Serbia. In the Americas, it is the most distributed wild ungulate. In North America, the species is distributed east of the Rocky Mountains as well as in most of Mexico, aside from Lower California, in southwestern Arizona. IIt is replaced by the black-tailed or mule deer from that point west. However, it is found in mixed deciduous riparian corridors, river valley bottomlands, lower foothills of the northern Rocky Mountain region from South Dakota west to eastern Washington and eastern Oregon and north to northeastern British Columbia and southern Yukon, including in the Montana Valley and Foothill grasslands; the conversion of land adjacent to the Canadian Rockies into agriculture use and partial clear-cutting of coniferous trees has been favorable to the white-tailed deer and has pushed its distribution to as far north as Yukon.
Populations of deer around the Great Lakes have expanded their range northwards, due to conversion of land to agricultural uses favoring more deciduous vegetation, local caribou and moose populations. The westernmost population of the species, known as the Columbian white-tailed deer, once was widespread in the mixed forests along the Willamette and Cowlitz River valleys of western Oregon and southwestern Washington, but today its numbers have been reduced, it is classified as near-threatened; this population is separated from other white-tailed deer populations. Some taxonomists have attempted to separate white-tailed deer into a host of subspecies, based on morphological differences. Genetic studies, suggest fewer subspecies within the animal's range, as compared to the 30 to 40 subspecies that some scientists described in the last century; the Florida Key deer, O. v. clavium, the Columbian white-tailed deer, O. v. leucurus, are both listed as endangered under the U. S. Endangered Species Act.
In the United States, the Virginia white-tail, O. v. virginianus, is among the most widespread subspecies. The white-tailed deer species has tremendous genetic variation and is adaptable to several environments. Several local deer populations in the southern states, are descended from white-tailed deer transplanted from various localities east of the Continental Divide; some of these deer populations may have been from as far north as the Great Lakes region to as far west as Texas, yet are quite at home in the Appalachian and Piedmont regions of the south. These deer, over time, have intermixed with the local indigenous deer populations. Central and South America have a complex number of white-tailed deer subspecies that range from Guatemala to as far south as Peru; this list of subspecies of deer is more exhaustive than the list of North American subspecies, the number of subspecies is questionable. However, the white-tailed deer populations in these areas are difficult to study, due to overhunting in many parts and a lack of protection.
Some areas no longer carry deer, so assessing the genetic difference of these animals is difficult. Some subspecies names, ordered alphabetically: O. v. acapulcensis – Acapulco white-tailed deer O. v. borealis – northern white-tailed deer O. v. carminis – Carmen Mountains white-tailed deer O. v. clavium – Key deer or Florida Keys white-tailed deer O. v. chiriquensis – Chiriqui white-tailed deer O. v. couesi – Coues' white-tailed deer, Arizona white-tailed deer, or fantail deer O. v. dakotensis – Dakota white-tailed deer or northern plains white-tailed deer O. v. hiltonensis – Hilton Head Island white-tailed deer O. v. idahoensis – white-tailed deer O. v. leucurus – Columbian white-tailed deer O. v. macrourus – Kansas white-tailed deer O. v. mcilhennyi – Avery Island white-tailed deer O. v. mexicanus – Mexican white-tailed deer O. v. miquihuanensis – Miquihuan white-tailed deer O. v. nelsoni – Chiapas white-tailed deer O. v. nigribarbis – Blackbeard Island white-tailed deer O. v. oaxacensis – Oaxaca white-tailed deer O. v. ochrourus – northwestern white-tailed deer or northern Rocky Mountains white-tailed deer O. v. osceola – Florida coastal white-tailed deer O. v. rothschildi – Coiba Island white-tailed deer O. v. seminolus – Florida white-tailed deer O. v. sinaloae – Sinaloa white-tailed deer O. v. taurinsulae – Bulls Island white-tailed deer O. v. texanus – Texas white-tailed deer O. v. thomasi – Mexican lowland white-tailed deer O. v. toltecus – rain forest white-tailed deer O. v. truei – Central American white-tailed deer O. v. venatorius – Hunting Island white-tailed deer O. v. veraecrucis – northern Veracruz white-tailed deer O. v. virginianus – Virginia white-tailed deer or southern white-tailed deer O. v. yucatanensis – Yucatán white-tailed deer O. v. cariacou – O. v. curassavicus
North American river otter
The North American river otter known as the northern river otter or the common otter, is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to the North American continent found in and along its waterways and coasts. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 14 kg; the river otter is insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. The North American river otter, a member of the subfamily Lutrinae in the weasel family, is versatile in the water and on land, it establishes a burrow close to the water's edge in river, swamp, coastal shoreline, tidal flat, or estuary ecosystems. The den has many tunnel openings, one of which allows the otter to enter and exit the body of water. Female North American river otters give birth in these underground burrows, producing litters of one to six young. North American river otters, like most predators, prey upon the most accessible species. Fish is a favored food among the otters, but they consume various amphibians, freshwater clams, snails, small turtles and crayfish.
The most common fish consumed are perch and catfish. Instances of North American river otters eating small mammals, such as mice and squirrels, birds have been reported as well. There have been some reports of river otters attacking and drowning dogs; the range of the North American river otter has been reduced by habitat loss, beginning with the European colonization of North America. In some regions, their population is controlled to allow the trapping and harvesting of otters for their pelts. North American river otters are susceptible to the effects of environmental pollution, a factor in the continued decline of their numbers. A number of reintroduction projects have been initiated to help halt the reduction in the overall population; the North American river otter was first described by German naturalist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1777. The mammal was identified as a species of otter and has a variety of common names, including North American river otter, northern river otter, common otter and river otter.
Other documented common names are American otter, Canada otter, Canadian otter, fish otter, land otter, nearctic river otter, Prince of Wales otter. The North American river otter was first classified in the genus Lutra; the species name was Lutra canadensis. The species epithet canadensis means "of Canada". In a new classification, the species is called Lontra canadensis, where the genus Lontra includes all the New World river otters. Molecular biological techniques have been used to determine when the river otter and the giant otter of South America diverged; these analyses suggest they diverged in the Miocene epoch 23.03 to 5.33 million years ago, "much earlier" than indicated in the fossil record. Fossils of a giant river otter dating back 3.5 Mya have been found in the US Midwest. The earliest known fossil of Lontra canadensis, found in the US Midwest, is from the Irvingtonian stage; the oldest fossil record of an Old World river otter comes from the late Pliocene epoch. The New World river otters originated from the Old World river otters after a migration across the Bering Land Bridge, which existed off and on between 1.8 million and 10,000 years ago.
The otters migrated to North America and southwards again across the Panamanian Land Bridge, which formed 3 Mya. Listed alphabetically L. c. canadensis – L. c. kodiacensis – L. c. lataxina – L. c. mira – L. c. pacifica – L. c. periclyzomae – L. c. sonora – The North American river otter is a stocky animal of 5 to 14 kilograms, with short legs, a muscular neck no smaller than the head, an elongated body, broadest at the hips. They have long bodies, long whiskers that are used to detect prey in dark waters. An average adult male weighs about 11.3 kilograms against the female's average of 8.3 kilograms. Its body length ranges from 66 to 107 centimetres. About one-third of the animal's total length consists of a long, tapered tail. Tail lengths range from 30 to 50 centimetres. Large male North American river otters can exceed a weight of 15 kilograms, it differs from the European otter by its longer neck, narrower visage, the smaller space between the ears and its shorter tail. A broad muzzle is found on the North American river otter's flat head, the ears are round and inconspicuous.
The rhinarium is bare, with an triangular projection. Eyes placed anteriorly. A short, broad rostrum for exhaling and a long, broad cranium define the flat skull; the North American river otter's nostrils and ears close during submersion, keeping water from entering them. Its vibrissae are thick, enhancing sensory perception underwater and on land; the fur of the species is short, with a density of about 57,800 hairs/cm2 in the midback section. The pelage varies from light brown to black; the throat and lips are grayer than the rest of the body. Fur of senescent river otters may become white-tipped, rare albinos may
United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, the natural hazards that threaten it; the organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology, geography and hydrology. The USGS is a fact-finding research organization with no regulatory responsibility; the USGS is a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior. The USGS employs 8,670 people and is headquartered in Reston, Virginia; the USGS has major offices near Lakewood, Colorado, at the Denver Federal Center, Menlo Park, California. The current motto of the USGS, in use since August 1997, is "science for a changing world." The agency's previous slogan, adopted on the occasion of its hundredth anniversary, was "Earth Science in the Public Service." Since 2012, the USGS science focus is directed at six topical "Mission Areas", namely Climate and Land Use Change, Core Science Systems, Ecosystems and Minerals and Environmental Health, Natural Hazards, Water.
In December 2012, the USGS split the Energy and Minerals and Environmental Health Mission Area resulting in seven topical Mission Areas, with the two new areas being: Energy and Minerals and Environmental Health. Administratively, it is divided into six Regional Units. Other specific programs include: Earthquake Hazards Program monitors earthquake activity worldwide; the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado on the campus of the Colorado School of Mines detects the location and magnitude of global earthquakes. The USGS runs or supports several regional monitoring networks in the United States under the umbrella of the Advanced National Seismic System; the USGS informs authorities, emergency responders, the media, the public, both domestic and worldwide, about significant earthquakes. It maintains long-term archives of earthquake data for scientific and engineering research, it conducts and supports research on long-term seismic hazards. USGS has released the UCERF California earthquake forecast.
As of 2005, the agency is working to create a National Volcano Early Warning System by improving the instrumentation monitoring the 169 volcanoes in U. S. territory and by establishing methods for measuring the relative threats posed at each site. The USGS National Geomagnetism Program monitors the magnetic field at magnetic observatories and distributes magnetometer data in real time; the USGS collaborates with Canadian and Mexican government scientists, along with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, to produce the North American Environmental Atlas, used to depict and track environmental issues for a continental perspective. The USGS operates the streamgaging network for the United States, with over 7400 streamgages. Real-time streamflow data are available online. National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center implements partner-driven science to improve understanding of past and present land use change, develops relevant climate and land use forecasts, identifies lands and communities that are most vulnerable to adverse impacts of change from the local to global scale.
Since 1962, the Astrogeology Research Program has been involved in global and planetary exploration and mapping. In collaboration with Stanford University, the USGS operates the USGS-Stanford Ion Microprobe Laboratory, a world-class analytical facility for U--Pb geochronology and trace element analyses of minerals and other earth materials. USGS operates a number of water related programs, notably the National Streamflow Information Program and National Water-Quality Assessment Program. USGS Water data is publicly available from their National Water Information System database; the USGS operates the National Wildlife Health Center, whose mission is "to serve the nation and its natural resources by providing sound science and technical support, to disseminate information to promote science-based decisions affecting wildlife and ecosystem health. The NWHC provides information, technical assistance, research and leadership on national and international wildlife health issues." It is the agency responsible for surveillance of H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in the United States.
The USGS runs 17 biological research centers in the United States, including the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. The USGS is investigating collaboration with the social networking site Twitter to allow for more rapid construction of ShakeMaps; the USGS produces several national series of topographic maps which vary in scale and extent, with some wide gaps in coverage, notably the complete absence of 1:50,000 scale topographic maps or their equivalent. The largest and best-known topographic series is the 7.5-minute, 1:24,000 scale, quadrangle, a non-metric scale unique to the United States. Each of these maps covers an area bounded by two lines of latitude and two lines of longitude spaced 7.5 minutes apart. Nearly 57,000 individual maps in this series cover the 48 contiguous states, Hawaii, U. S. territories, areas of Alaska near Anchorage and Prudhoe Bay. The area covered by each map varies with the latitude of its represented location due to convergence of the meridians. At lower latitudes, near 30° north, a 7.5-minute quadrangle contains an area of about 64 square miles.
At 49° north latitude, 49 square miles are contained within a quadrangle of that size. As a unique non-metric map scale, the 1:24,000 scale requires a separate and specialized romer scale for pl
International Union for Conservation of Nature
The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is involved in data gathering and analysis, field projects and education. IUCN's mission is to "influence and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable". Over the past decades, IUCN has widened its focus beyond conservation ecology and now incorporates issues related to sustainable development in its projects. Unlike many other international environmental organisations, IUCN does not itself aim to mobilize the public in support of nature conservation, it tries to influence the actions of governments and other stakeholders by providing information and advice, through building partnerships. The organization is best known to the wider public for compiling and publishing the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, which assesses the conservation status of species worldwide.
IUCN has a membership of over 1400 non-governmental organizations. Some 16,000 scientists and experts participate in the work of IUCN commissions on a voluntary basis, it employs 1000 full-time staff in more than 50 countries. Its headquarters are in Switzerland. IUCN has observer and consultative status at the United Nations, plays a role in the implementation of several international conventions on nature conservation and biodiversity, it was involved in establishing the World Wide Fund for Nature and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. In the past, IUCN has been criticized for placing the interests of nature over those of indigenous peoples. In recent years, its closer relations with the business sector have caused controversy. IUCN was established in 1948, it was called the International Union for the Protection of Nature and the World Conservation Union. Establishment IUCN was established on 5 October 1948, in Fontainebleau, when representatives of governments and conservation organizations signed a formal act constituting the International Union for the Protection of Nature.
The initiative to set up the new organisation came from UNESCO and from its first Director General, the British biologist Julian Huxley. The objectives of the new Union were to encourage international cooperation in the protection of nature, to promote national and international action and to compile and distribute information. At the time of its founding IUPN was the only international organisation focusing on the entire spectrum of nature conservation Early years: 1948–1956 IUPN started out with 65 members, its secretariat was located in Brussels. Its first work program focused on saving species and habitats and applying knowledge, advancing education, promoting international agreements and promoting conservation. Providing a solid scientific base for conservation action was the heart of all activities. IUPN and UNESCO were associated, they jointly organized the 1949 Conference on Protection of Nature. In preparation for this conference a list of gravely endangered species was drawn up for the first time, a precursor of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
In the early years of its existence IUCN depended entirely on UNESCO funding and was forced to temporarily scale down activities when this ended unexpectedly in 1954. IUPN was successful in engaging prominent scientists and identifying important issues such as the harmful effects of pesticides on wildlife but not many of the ideas it developed were turned into action; this was caused by unwillingness to act on the part of governments, uncertainty about the IUPN mandate and lack of resources. In 1956, IUPN changed its name to International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Increased profile and recognition: 1956–1965 In the 1950s and 1960s Europe entered a period of economic growth and formal colonies became independent. Both developments had impact on the work of IUCN. Through the voluntary involvement of experts in its Commissions IUCN was able to get a lot of work done while still operating on a low budget, it established links with the Council of Europe. In 1961, at the request of United Nations Economic and Social Council, the United Nations Economic and Social Council, IUCN published the first global list of national parks and protected areas which it has updated since.
IUCN's best known publication, the Red Data Book on the conservation status of species, was first published in 1964. IUCN began to play a part in the development of international treaties and conventions, starting with the African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Environmental law and policy making became a new area of expertise. Africa was the focus of many of the early IUCN conservation field projects. IUCN supported the ‘Yellowstone model’ of protected area management, which restricted human presence and activity in order to protect nature. IUCN and other conservation organisations were criticized for protecting nature against people rather than with people; this model was also applied in Africa and played a role in the decision to remove the Maasai people from Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. To establish a stable financial basis for its work, IUCN participated in setting up the World Wildlife Fund
The eastern cottontail is a New World cottontail rabbit, a member of the family Leporidae. It is the most common rabbit species in North America; the eastern cottontail can be found in meadows and shrubby areas in the eastern and south-central United States, southern Canada, eastern Mexico, Central America and northernmost South America. It is abundant in Midwest North America, has been found in New Mexico and Arizona, its range expanded north. It was not found in New England, but it has been introduced there and now competes for habitat there with the native New England cottontail, it has been introduced into parts of Oregon and British Columbia. In the mid-1960s, the eastern cottontail was introduced to Cuba, Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Grenada, Saint Croix and northern Italy, where it displayed a rapid territorial expansion and increase in population density. Optimal eastern cottontail habitat includes open grassy areas and old fields supporting abundant green grasses and herbs, with shrubs in the area or edges for cover.
The essential components of eastern cottontail habitat are an abundance of well-distributed escape cover interspersed with more open foraging areas such as grasslands and pastures. Habitat parameters important for eastern cottontails in ponderosa pine, mixed species, pinyon -juniper woodlands include woody debris and shrubby understories, patchiness. Eastern cottontails occupy habitats in and around farms including fields, open woods, thickets associated with fencerows, wooded thickets, forest edges, suburban areas with adequate food and cover, they are found in swamps and marshes and avoid dense woods. They are found in deep woods; the eastern cottontail home range is circular in uniform habitats. Eastern cottontails inhabit one home range throughout their lifetime, but home range shifts in response to vegetation changes and weather are common. In New England, eastern cottontail home ranges average 1.4 acres for adult males and 1.2 acres for adult females but vary in size from 0.5 to 40 acres, depending on season, habitat quality, individual.
The largest ranges are occupied by adult males during the breeding season. In southwestern Wisconsin adult male home ranges averaged 6.9 acres in spring, increased to 10 acres in early summer, decreased to 3.7 acres by late summer. Daily activity is restricted to 10% to 20% of the overall home range. In southeastern Wisconsin home ranges of males overlapped by up to 50%, but female home ranges did not overlap by more than 25% and actual defense of range by females occurred only in the immediate area of the nest. Males fight each other to establish mating priority. Eastern cottontails forage in open areas and use brush piles, stone walls with shrubs around them and shrubby plants, burrows or dens for escape cover and resting cover. Woody cover is important for the survival and abundance of eastern cottontails. Eastern cottontails do not dig their own dens but use burrows dug by other species such as woodchucks. In winter when deciduous plants are bare eastern cottontails forage in less secure cover and travel greater distances.
Eastern cottontails use woody cover more during the winter in areas where cover is provided by herbaceous vegetation in summer. In Florida slash pine flatwoods, eastern cottontails use low saw-palmetto patches for cover within grassy areas. Most nest holes are constructed in grasslands; the nest is concealed in weeds. Nests are constructed in thickets and scrubby woods. In southeastern Illinois tall-grass prairie, eastern cottontail nests were more common in undisturbed prairie grasses than in high-mowed or hayed plots. In Iowa most nests were within 70 yd of brush cover in herbaceous vegetation at least 4 in tall. Nests in hayfields were in vegetation less than 8 in tall. Average depth of nest holes is 5 in, average width 5 in, average length 7 in; the nest is lined with fur. The eastern cottontail is chunky, red-brown or gray-brown in appearance, with large hind feet, long ears, a short, fluffy white tail, its underside fur is white. There is a rusty patch on the tail, its appearance differs from that of a hare in that it has a brownish-gray coloring around the head and neck.
The body is lighter color with a white underside on the tail. It has large ears to see and listen for danger. In winter the cottontail's pelage is more gray than brown; the kits develop the same coloring after a few weeks, but they have a white blaze that goes down their forehead. This rabbit is medium-sized, measuring 36–48 cm in total length, including a small tail that averages 5.3 cm. Weight can range with an average of around 2.6 lb. The female tends to be heavier. There may be some slight variation in the body size of eastern cottontails, with weights seeming to increase from south to north, in accordance with Bergmann's rule. Adult specimens from the Florida Museum of Natural History, collected in Florida, have a mean weight of 2.244 lb. Meanwhile, 346 adult cottontails from Michigan were found to have averaged 3.186 lb in mass. The eastern cottontail is a territorial animal; when chased