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Mystery of the missing mercury at the great Salt Lake
April 27, 2017 10:29 AM - University of Utah

Around 2010, the deep waters of Utah’s Great Salt Lake contained high levels of toxic methylmercury. Mercury measurements in waterfowl surrounding the lake led to a rare human consumption advisory for ducks.

But by 2015, 90 percent of the deep mercury was gone.

The disappearance of the mercury was not due to aggressive environmental policies or a wide-ranging cleanup effort. Instead, it’s part of a story involving a large-scale unplanned chemistry experiment, a sometimes-stinky lake, and ducks – in which the mercury did not disappear. The story is told in a paper published in Environmental Science & Technology.

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Florida Manatees Likely to Persist For At Least 100 Years—US Geological Survey
April 13, 2017 08:08 AM - USGS

Florida’s iconic manatee population is highly likely to endure for the next 100 years, so long as wildlife managers continue to protect the marine mammals and their habitat, a new study by the US Geological Survey and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute has found.

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SPOTLIGHT

Birds sing shorter songs in response to traffic noise

Taylor & Francis Group via EurekAlert!

Birds sing differently in response to traffic noise, which potentially affects their ability to attract mates and defend their territory, according to research published in Bioacoustics. The study found that a species of North American flycatcher sings shorter songs at a lower range of frequencies in response to traffic noise levels. The researchers suggest traffic noise reduction, for example through road closures, is a viable option for mitigating this effect.

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