INHS - Special Publications

Illinois Natural History Survey Special Publications comprise the most variable group of our publication series. They include classroom activities, collections of research data such as an atlas of birds breeding in Illinois and a world checklist of chewing lice. Other examples include a summary of 150 years of research milestones of the Survey, a compendium and history of waterfowl research at INHS, and surveys of Illinois' bird populations and habitat changes over more than a century. Special Publications are intended for classroom teachers, researchers, decision makers who develop natural resources policies, and citizens interested in natural science issues.

cover image Illinois Birds
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INHS SP 31: Illinois Birds A Century of Change

Authors: Jeffery W. Walk, Michael P. Ward, Thomas J. Benson, Jill L. Deppe, Stacy A. Lischka, Steven D. Bailey, and Jeffery D. Brawn
2010, 230 p.

A project that began with two young men walking across rural Illinois toting shotguns and field glasses evolved into the first systematic bird survey in North America (Hickey 1981). When Stephen A. Forbes, Director of the Illinois Natural History Survey from its creation until 1930, directed Alfred Gross and Howard Ray to travel the state in 1906, no one in the country had yet attempted to count all the species of birds they observed across habitats, with a specific and repeatable method. Through 1909, Gross and Ray crisscrossed the state in all seasons, by foot, horseback, train, and steamboat, while counting and collecting the birds they saw.

In the mid-1950s, Richard and Jean Graber were newly hired ornithologists at the Illinois Natural History Survey. Among the first projects they undertook was to repeat the 50-year-old surveys during the summer and winter months of 1956-1958. The Grabers’ 1963 publication, “A Comparative Study of the Bird Populations of Illinois, 1906-1909 and 1956-1958,” remains the standard for assessing changes in bird populations of the state for the first half of the 20th century. With the exception of two obscure summer bird censuses by the U. S. Biological Survey (Cooke 1915, 1916), data on bird populations are scarce for most of North America until the Breeding Bird Survey began in the mid-1960s (Peterjohn et al. 1995).

From 2007-2009 we collected additional data that provide a bookend to what is now a 100-year bird survey. We present a summary of the changes to the summer bird populations and habitats across the state over the past century. Whereas our use of air-conditioned vehicles on interstate highways, use of Global Positioning System satellites to record our movements, and analysis of data on laptop computers would have been pure fantasy to our predecessors, their methods for counting birds in the field have been essentially retained.

This study provides three snapshots spanning a century. Important changes in the avifauna undoubtedly occurred within these windows, such as those documented by Charles Kendeigh at Trelease Woods near Urbana from 1922 to 1976. Kendeigh (1982) reported a spike in the abundance of arthropods and the forest birds that feed on them in the 1950s, when Dutch elm disease eliminated a common canopy tree and there was a surge of plant growth from the understory. The unique span of time and geographic scale are this study’s strengths. In Illinois, where land cover and land use have changed dramatically owing to agricultural practices and development, insights into the dynamics of bird communities and populations over a diverse suite of habitats are crucial to understanding the past, present, and future sustainability of the avifauna across Illinois and the Midwest. Our goal for this book is to summarize the results of surveys conducted across all three time periods. We direct our findings to a broad audience under four major headings: The Changing Illinois Landscape, Bird Communities Through Time, Species Accounts and Looking Back, Moving Forward.

Additional information on the book

Canaries in the Catbird Seat cover
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INHS SP 30: Canaries in the Catbird Seat: The Past, Present, and Future of Biological Resources in a Changing Environment


Editors: Christopher A. Taylor, John B. Taft and Charles E. Warwick
2009, 306 p.

Canaries in the Catbird Seat:The Past, Present, and Future of Biological Resources in a Changing Environmentusually $30, now is $20. This publication reflects the role of scientists and biologists who serve as “environmental sensors” through observation and research, much like the historic role of the mineshaft canary in alerting miners to low oxygen levels or poisonous gases. This colloquialism applies to institutions and scientists involved in biological monitoring and research because of the perspective gained by extensive experience across many ecosystems and species groups. The book describes the INHS and its staff, who, since 1858, have had the unique and privileged position of making observations and analyzing data collected throughout Illinois, the Midwest, and beyond. The 150-year time span of their studies is perhaps unparalleled for biological monitoring agencies in the United States. In celebration of the 150th anniversary of INHS, these observations were summarized and recounted to be accessible to citizens interested in our shared natural heritage and in context with the wider scientific community

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INHS SP 29: Spunky Bottoms: Restoration of a Big-River Floodplain

Authors: Heske, E.J., J.R. Herkert, K.D. Blodgett, A.M. Lemke, Eds.
2007, 44 p.

Preface: Healthy, self-sustaining river systems provide important ecological and societal goods and services upon which human life depends (Postel and Richter 2003). Concern over sustaining these services has stimulated major restoration efforts, and river and stream restoration has now become a world-wild phenomenon (Palmer et al. 2005).

Despite the increased emphasis placed on river restoration, few projects are ever evaluated to assess their performance (Alexander and Allan 2006). There is a clear need to undertake meaningful monitoring of river restoration projects, not only to provide information on the effectiveness of the restorations themselves in ecological terms, but also to provide much needed data to help establish further the science of restoration (Giller 2005).

Ecological success in a restoration project cannot be assessed in the absence of clear project objectives from the start and subsequent evaluation of their achievement (Dahm et al. 1995). The goal of the Spunky Bottoms restoration project is “to restore native plant and animal communities that were characteristic of the Illinois River floodplain and to reconnect the river to the floodplain to allow movement of aquatic organisms” (Blodgett et al., this volume). The research presented in this volume provides an overview of the baseline data that were collected at The Conservancy’s Spunky Bottoms restoration project between 1998-2003. These data are intended to form the foundation of our efforts to evaluate progress toward our restoration goal.

Part 1 of these proceedings, provides an introduction to the restoration project at Spunky Bottoms. It begins with a paper by K. Douglas Blodgett et al. that describes the background and initial goals and restoration plans for The Nature Conservancy’s floodplain restoration project at Spunky Botts. The introduction section also includes a paper by Edwin R. Hajic that explores the interrelationships among Illinois River Valley wetlands, adjacent landforms, and the geomorphic processes that shaped these areas. Part 2 provides initial data from research on the aquatic systems of the site. This section includes papers that summarize research on the initial microbial communities (Tim Kelly), nitrogen and bacterial dynamics (Michael J. Lemke et al.), insect emergence patterns (A. Maria Lemke et al.), composition of the dragonfly and damselfly (Odonate) temporal patterns (Robert Novak), and development of the fish at the site are presented in Part 3, beginning with a study by Deborah Beal that provides some data on early changes in wetland plant species composition at the site. William Sluis then evaluates transplant survival of cordgrass and lake sedge. Four papers on vertebrates conclude the terrestrial systems section including preliminary surveys of reptiles and amphibians (John K. Tucker and Chris Phillips), small mammals (Edward J. Heske et al.), wetland birds (Tharran Hobson et al.), and waterfowl populations (Michelle M. Horath and Stephen P. Havera) at the site.

As the restoration of Spunky Bottoms continues, we will continue to monitor and evaluate progress towards our goal of restoring a dynamic and diverse floodplain community at the site in the hopes that the lessons learned at Spunky Bottoms can inform other large river restoration projects around the workl."
James R. Herkert, Director of Science
The Nature Conservancy of Illinois
1 February 2007

The Crayfishes of Kentucky
INHS SP 28: The Crayfishes of Kentucky

Authors: Christopher A. Taylor and Guenter A. Schuster

2004, 219 p.

Crayfishes, also known as crawfish, crawdads, or mudbugs, are a diverse and important component of freshwater aquatic and semi-aquatic ecosystems around the world. Their familiar form is recognizable by almost anyone who has spent time in and around lakes or creeks. Crayfishes are found natively on every continent except Africa and Antarctica and occur in almost every type of aquatic and semi-aquatic habitat.

This book intends to provide an up-to-date list of known crayfish species from the state of Kentucky. Distribution maps, illustrations, photos, and a key are provided to assist those interested in identifying Kentucky crayfishes. Information on the habitat and biology of each species is also provided, as is a summary of the historical efforts of crayfish biologists, or astacologists, in the state.



Get the INHS crayfish package! Get both guides for $25.00!

INHS SP 28: The Crayfishes of Kentucky

INHS MAN 15: Field Guide to Crayfishes of the Midwest


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INHS SP 27: Assessment of Created Wetland Performance in Illinois

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Authors: Plocher, A. and J. Matthews
2004, 22 p.

The wetland assessment procedure in this publication describes eight general wetland attributes that can be used to evaluate the functional success of constructed wetlands. Six of these (wetland status, functional problems, realism, floristic quality, size, and landscape setting) should be assessed at every constructed wetland. The two remaining attributes (wetland type and water quality improvement) can be used in situations where the wetland is expected to fulfill specific requirements.

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INHS SP 26: The Illinois Breeding Bird Atlas

Authors: Kleen, V.M., L. Cordle, and R.A. Montgomery
2004, 459 p.

Introduction: The Illinois Breeding Bird Atlas presents a comprehensive summary of information about birds that currently breed in the state, based primarily on data from the Illinois Breeding Bird Atlas Project and the North American Breeding Bird Survey, as well as the knowledge gained over many years of experience with the state’s avifauna. As the word “atlas” implies, the book includes maps that illustrate the distribution of breeding bird species in Illinois, but it also includes information on their ranges, abundance, habitats, life histories, historical status, and recent population trends.

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INHS SP 24: The Chewing Lice World Checklist and Biological Overview

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Authors: Price, R.D., R.A. Hellenthal, R.L. Palma, K.P. Johnson, and D.H. Clayton
2003, 501 p.

There are almost 4,400 species of chewing lice in the world, the majority of which are found on birds. Each group of birds or mammals plays host to specific chewing lice, making lice ideal for helping determine the phylogenetic relationships of birds. This volume contains a key, broken down by host order, allowing ornithologists and bird lovers to quickly narrow down which group of lice might be present on a given bird. Beautifully detailed scientific illustrations of the more than 250 genera of chewing lice and lists of known hosts for each species provides the reader with a glimpse into this fascinating group. This book may be of interest to ornithologists, evolutionary biologists and of courses parasitologists.

Preface: This work evolved from a discussion between the two senior authors during the 1984 national meeting of the Entomological Society of America in San Antonio, Texas. It was intended as an update of “A Check List of the Genera & Species of Mallophaga” published by G. H. E. Hopkins and Theresa Clay in 1952 and its two supplements published in 1953 and 1955. This was to be augmented by a full list of the known chewing louse-host associations. Subsequently, family and genus keys, along with genus illustrations, were added and, through the collaboration of Kevin P. Johnson and Dale H. Clayton, a section on chewing louse biology, ecology, and evolution was included, all of these expanding the scope and coverage of this work well beyond that of a simple checklist.

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INHS SP 23: Status and Functions of Isolated Wetlands in Illinois

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Authors: Levin, G.A., L. Suloway, A.E. Plocher, F.R. Hutto, J.J. Miner, C.A. Phillips, J. Agarwal, and Y. Lin
2002, 16 p.

Executive Summary (abbreviated): More than half of the wetlands in the conterminous United States have been destroyed, and Illinois has lost about 90% of its wetlands. In a effort to slow further loss, wetlands were protected under the federal Clean Water Act. However, the 2001 United States Supreme Court decision in Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. United States Army Corps of Engineers ruled that federal protection under the Clean Water Act does not extend to “non-navigable, isolated, intrastate” wetlands. This action has left a large but undetermined number of isolated wetlands without this protection. This report summarizes the functions of isolated wetlands and estimates the number and extent of isolated wetlands in Illinois.

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INHS SP 22: Illinois Landowners Guide to Amphibian Conservation

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Authors: Szafoni, R.E., C.A. Phillips, S.R. Ballard, R.A. Brandon, and G. Kruse
2002, 26 p.

The purpose of this guide is twofold. First the guide provides a brief overview of the amphibians of Illinois, including aspects of their life histories and distributions. This background information is important in helping you assess an area and determine appropriate habitat enhancement and management practices. In particular, it is useful to become familiar with the amphibians that may be present in your part of the state. This information can help focus management efforts on local species.

In the second part of the guide, we provide technical guidance to resource managers, planners, restorationists, and private landowners in Illinois who wish to create, enhance, and manage habitat for amphibians. Regardless of the habitats available on your land, the management guidelines can make your area more suitable for amphibians.

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INHS SP 21: Waterfowl of Illinois: Status and Management
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Author: Havera, S.P.
1999, 628 p.

A comprehensive source on the status, management, and biology of Illinois waterfowl. A variety of topics relating to waterfowl were investigated and are discussed in this 628-page book with major emphasis placed on wetland habitats, food habits analyses, populations analyses, banding results, harvest information, historical records and regulations, private duck clubs, Canada Geese, nesting information, and waterfowl management. This book captures the strong traditions of waterfowling in the heart of the Mississippi Flyway and will be a welcome addition to the literature for those with a special interest in waterfowl. Illustrations, tables and color photos in this remarkable collection document a century of waterfowl investigations.

You may also enjoy:
      Waterfowl of Illinois: Abreviated Field Guide [Manual]       INHS Manuals

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INHS SP 20: The Round Goby, Neogobius melanostomus (Pallas). A Review of European and North American Literature

Authors: Charlebois, P.M., J.E. Marsden, R.G. Goettel, R.K. Wolfe, D.J. Jude, and S. Rudnika
1997, 76 p.

This document provides the scientific community with basic biological information on the round goby, which entered North America in 1990. We reviewed the available European and North American literature and compiled a comprehensive bibliography of round goby references including abstracts and annotations. We have also included a listing of examples of outreach materials available on the round goby. This document was inspired by the Round Goby Conference held in Chicago in 1996. Many of the data presented at the conference were preliminary, and therefore were not incorporated into this text. However, we have included the conference abstracts as an appendix. Summaries of conference discussions on research and outreach are also included.

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INHS SP 19: Illinois Wetland Restoration and Creation Guide

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Authors: Admiraal, A.N., M.J. Morris, T.C. Brooks, J.W. Olson, and M.W. Miller
1997, 188 p. Three-hole punched and shrink wrapped (binder not included)

This guide is intended to improve the quality and success of restored and created wetlands. It emphasizes the overall restoration and creation processes and presents information that serves as the basis for making decisions for completing each stage of a wetland project. Our guidebook was written primarily for wetland managers in Illinois, and therefore, is somewhat technical in nature. Users who will benefit most from this guide are those who have a background in botany, biology, hydrology, pedology, civil engineering, or landscape architecture. The most successful restoration and creation efforts will be accomplished by interdisciplinary teams that include specialists in these fields.

Pests Have Enemies, Too cover
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INHS SP 18: Pests Have Enemies Too, Teaching Young Scientists About Biological Control

Authors: Michael R. Jeffords and Audrey S. Hodgins
1995, 64p ("Natural Enemies" poster also included)

The background material for teachers and the student activities that make up this publication were designed to help young scientists become aware of what biological control is and how it can be used to help manage various types of pest organisms that plague humanity. Pests Have Enemies Too is not a curriculum; rather, it is a sequence of activities designed to give students a broad overview of biological control. The concepts presented in these materials are based on sound scientific research and should provide students with the necessary information about this very important topic so that they may make informed decisions about pest control and pest management in the future. Activities are designed for grades 5-10.


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INHS SP 16: Selected Wetlands-Related Legislation and Programs Applicable to Illinois

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Authors: Hubbell, M.E., and S.E. Baum
1995, 35 p.

This publication provides a basic overview of wetlands legislation. The information is meant to be brief, concise, and as unbiased as possible. Legislative programs with the greatest potential to affect wetland protection within Illinois were chosen based upon the responses of 38 resources professionals. These experts responded to a wetlands legislative questionnaire distributed in 1993. They were asked to rank the effectiveness of wetlands programs. Based upon their responses, 29 programs were included in this document. The document is divided into three sections: 1) Federal Legislation and Programs; 2) State of Illinois Legislation and Programs; and 3) Local Legislation and Programs. Private programs are not included.

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INHS SP 15: Wetland Resources of Illinois, An Analysis and Atlas

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Authors: Suloway, L. and M. Hubbell
1994, 88 p.

Recognition of the functions and values of wetlands have spawned efforts to stop or reverse wetland loss. Management of wetland resources requires a knowledge of the location, extent, and character of our remaining wetlands. The Illinois Wetlands Inventory (IWI) is an enhanced version of the USFWS National Wetlands Inventory of the 1980s, which located and classified all surface water in the nation. This publication is intended to serve as a reference for resource planners, managers, environmental scientists, policy makers, and other interested in wetland resources in Illinois. It provides valuable baseline data for future analyses.

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INHS SP 11: The Forest Resources of Illinois: An Atlas and Analysis of Spatial and Temporal Trends


Authors: Iverson, L.R., R.L. Oliver, D.P. Tucker, P.G. Risser, C.D. Burnett, and R.G. Rayburn
1989, 181 p.
COMES WITH MAP; Forest Cover in Illinois 1820-1980 (Approximate size - 40"w × 52"h)

Introduction (abbreviated): The Illinois Council on Forestry Development, formerly the Illinois Commission on Forestry Development, was created by the Forestry Development Act of 1983. Although the Act included a number of specific charges, its general objective was to provide for an evaluation of the forest resources and forest industry of Illinois. Of particular importance to the Forest Resource Analysis Committee of the Council was its mandate to "determine the magnitude, nature, and extent of the State's forestry resources." This book summarizes the Committee's evaluation of the forest resources of Illinois.

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INHS SP 03: A Directory of Illinois Systematists, Ecologists and Field Biologists (2nd Edition, Updated and Revised)

Authors: Burton, P.J., K.R. Robertson, and A. Dennis
1989, 146p

Introduction (abbreviated): Illinois is fortunate to have a large number of biologists associated with its universities, colleges, museums, botanical and zoological gardens, private companies, and government agencies. This directory provides a centralized list of the systematists, ecologists, and field biologists who live or conduct research in Illinois. While a number of professional societies have membership lists, there has been no single source that gives the addresses, phone numbers, and areas of expertise for this group in the state.

Legacy of a Pest cover
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INHS SP 09: Legacy of a Pest: A Science, Technology, and Society Curriculum Guide for Understanding and Dealing with Biological Problems

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Authors: Laurie J. Case, Janet L. Wissmann and Michael R. Jeffords
Illustrated by John P. Sherrod and Janet L. Wissmann
1988, 243 p.
("Life Cycle of the Gypsy Moth" poster also included)

Provides teaching materials for science teachers to use to foster an understanding of all aspects of insect control. The 50+ activities included provide science teachers with an exceptional resource to use in teaching the relationships between science, technology, and society. Some topics include: Food Webs, Insect Awareness, Biogeography, Taxonomy, Insect Development and Control of Insects. These activities were written for grades 5-10, but some might be adaptable to other age groups.



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INHS SP 08: Catalog of the Cinara Species of North America (Homoptera: Aphididae)

Authors: Voegtlin, D.J. and C.A. Bridges
1988, 55p

Introduction (abbreviated): Entomologists engaged in taxonomic research require an in-depth knowledge of the literature on the group in question. The ever increasing volume of papers, coupled with the need to know the historical literature on which the taxonomy is based, presents a major hurdle. For many groups of insects this problem has been addressed, in part through the compilation of detailed catalogs. This is not the case for aphids, and there are no catalogs to the extensive taxonomic literature on this important group. The information in this catalog is presented in three sections. The first lists the species along with extensive annotations; the second contains over 200 references related to those species; and the third records the hosts of Cinara for which documentation can be provided.

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INHS SP 07: Microlepidoptera From the Sandy Creek and Illinois River Region: An Annotated Checklist of the Suborders Dacnonypha, Monotrysia, and Ditrysia (in part) (insecta)

Authors: Godfrey, G.L., E.D. Cashatt, and M.O. Glenn
1987, 44p

This paper reports the faunal, phonological, and host plant data associated with a collection of about 30,000 microlepidoptera representing 954 species. Collected by the late Murray O. Glenn between 1927 and 1976 in Marshall and Putnam counties, Illinois, and donated to the Illinois Natural History Survey in 1977, this collection may represent the most complete and significant assemblage of midwestern microlepidoptera in existence(Godfrey 1978). It is rivaled perhaps only by that of the late Annette F. Braun, Cincinnati, Ohio, a collection that now resides in The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (R.W. Hodges, pers. comm.), except for a synoptic set of specimens given to the University of Louisville (C.V. Covell, Jr., pers. comm.). A substantial amount of Glenn material is also preserved in the United States National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution. Glenn's persistent collecting activities, coupled with his careful labeling and preparation techniques, resulted in valuable data that have application to current and future ecological and systematic research and to inventorying natural resources of Illinois. This information, therefore, is made available here to aid investigators in these and related disciplines.

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INHS SP 05: Assessing Biological Integrity in Running Waters: A Method and Its Rationale

Authors: Karr, J.R., K.D. Fausch, P.L. Angermeier, P.R. Yant, and I.J. Schlosser
1986, 28p

The identification and treatment of chemical degradation by most existing water treatment programs has been dominated by engineering technology. The lack of tools for direct biological assessments of water resources has minimized participation of aquatic biologists. A major purpose of this publication is to provide a methodology for biologists to assume roles in monitoring, evaluating, and managing water resources. The method proposed herein provides a conceptual framework for biological monitoring, and it describes a useful tool to accomplish this goal-the Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI). The strength of the IBI is its ability to integrate information from individual, population, community, zoogeographic, and ecosystem levels into a single ecologically based index of the quality of a water resource.

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INHS SP 04: A Review of the Problem of Lead Poisoning in Waterfowl

Authors: Sanderson, G.C., and F.C. Bellrose
1986, 34p

Abstract (abbreviated): Waterfowl die from ingesting lead shotgun pellets deposited in the bottoms of lakes and marshes and in fields. In most instances, they die after ingesting 1 or 2 pellets, their bodies wasting away over a period of several weeks, losing from 30 to 50 percent of normal weight. No other disease produces such a consistent chronic weight loss. Less frequently, a large number of shot are ingested, an acute form of lead poisoning results, and the bird dies in good weight. More definitive diagnoses of lead toxicosis have been made from levels of lead in wing bones, in blood, and in the liver and other organs.

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INHS SP 02: Landscape Ecology: Directions and Approaches

Authors: Risser, P.G., J.R. Karr, and R.T.T. Forman
1984, 18p

This publication highlights a seminal workshop on landscape ecology, which focuses on spatially heterogeneous geographic areas. Such areas can include pine barrens, regions of row crop agriculture, Mediterranean woodlands, and areas of urban and suburban elements, including human actions as responses to, and their reciprocal influences on, ecological processes. Principles of landscape ecology presented in this publication provide theoretical and empirical foundations for a variety of disciplines such as regional planning, landscape architecture, and natural resources management.

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INHS SP 01: The Biogeochemistry of Blue, Snow, and Ross' Geese

Authors: Hanson, H.C., and R.L. Jones
1976, 281p

Foreword (abbreviated): The words ecology, ecosystems, renewable resources, and pollution loom large in our vocabulary and concerns today. The studies described in the book encompass these concerns as the authors trace an array of twelve elements -principally minerals- from their geographical sources to incorporation in the keratin of the primary feathers of goose wings. Doctors Hanson and Jones determined that the quantitative pattern of minerals found in feather keratin can be employed usefully in determining the birthplaces of wild geese and, in their subsequent years of life, their molting or breeding areas, or both. This is possible because each nesting area appears to be unique with respect to its local geology or to the input of minerals it has received over thousands of years from adjacent areas from wind deposits, the action of glaciers, rivers, and streams, its contact with the oceans, or a combination of these factors. Thus, the patterns of minerals incorporated into the feathers reflect in varying degrees the nutrient chain that can be traced back through the plants to the soils and, ultimately, to their rock origins.


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