Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

Filter Total Items: 70

Does banding hurt birds?

No, banding does not hurt birds. When proper techniques and equipment are carefully employed, it’s a safe procedure for birds. Trained banders, who apply their expertise and thoughtfulness towards the health and well-being of the birds, follow strict procedures based on the Bander’s ethic code.

link

Does banding hurt birds?

No, banding does not hurt birds. When proper techniques and equipment are carefully employed, it’s a safe procedure for birds. Trained banders, who apply their expertise and thoughtfulness towards the health and well-being of the birds, follow strict procedures based on the Bander’s ethic code.

Learn More

Are there invasive reptiles other than Burmese pythons in the United States that people should be concerned about?

Free-ranging reptiles representing dozens of species from around the world are detected in the United States in any given year, usually as a result of escape or illegal release. Fortunately, many of these individuals fail to establish reproductive populations, but all non-native species can potentially pose risks when introduced. Florida is a major transportation hub and has a climate that’s...

link

Are there invasive reptiles other than Burmese pythons in the United States that people should be concerned about?

Free-ranging reptiles representing dozens of species from around the world are detected in the United States in any given year, usually as a result of escape or illegal release. Fortunately, many of these individuals fail to establish reproductive populations, but all non-native species can potentially pose risks when introduced. Florida is a major transportation hub and has a climate that’s...

Learn More

Can Burmese Pythons swim from the Everglades to the Florida Keys?

A number of Burmese pythons have been found on Key Largo, and a few in the Lower Keys. However, there is as yet no evidence of a breeding population anywhere in the Keys. Because pythons regularly escape or are released from captivity, it can be difficult to determine whether a snake encountered in the Keys arrived there by swimming from the mainland or was a former captive pet on the island...

link

Can Burmese Pythons swim from the Everglades to the Florida Keys?

A number of Burmese pythons have been found on Key Largo, and a few in the Lower Keys. However, there is as yet no evidence of a breeding population anywhere in the Keys. Because pythons regularly escape or are released from captivity, it can be difficult to determine whether a snake encountered in the Keys arrived there by swimming from the mainland or was a former captive pet on the island...

Learn More

Where do bats live?

Bats can be found in almost all parts of the world and in most regions of the United States. In general, bats seek out a variety of daytime retreats such as caves, rock crevices, old buildings, bridges, mines, and trees. Different species require different roost sites. Some species, such as the Mexican free-tailed and gray bats live in large colonies in caves. A few solitary species, such as the...

link

Where do bats live?

Bats can be found in almost all parts of the world and in most regions of the United States. In general, bats seek out a variety of daytime retreats such as caves, rock crevices, old buildings, bridges, mines, and trees. Different species require different roost sites. Some species, such as the Mexican free-tailed and gray bats live in large colonies in caves. A few solitary species, such as the...

Learn More

Why are coral reefs in peril and what is being done to protect them?

Coral reefs can be damaged by natural processes, such as storms, but they are increasingly at risk from human activities. Oil spills and pollutants can threaten entire reefs. Excessive nutrients from land sources, such as sewage and agricultural fertilizers, promote the growth of algae that can smother corals. Other organisms harmful to corals, such as crown-of-thorns starfish, multiply when the...

link

Why are coral reefs in peril and what is being done to protect them?

Coral reefs can be damaged by natural processes, such as storms, but they are increasingly at risk from human activities. Oil spills and pollutants can threaten entire reefs. Excessive nutrients from land sources, such as sewage and agricultural fertilizers, promote the growth of algae that can smother corals. Other organisms harmful to corals, such as crown-of-thorns starfish, multiply when the...

Learn More

Where can I find bathymetric data?

The USGS has made bathymetric surveys for many coastal areas and for a few selected rivers and lakes in the U.S., including Yellowstone Lake, Crater Lake, and Lake Tahoe. Information and data for some of those studies is on the USGS Maps of America's Submerged Lands website. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is the primary source of bathymetric data for the world's oceans. See...

link

Where can I find bathymetric data?

The USGS has made bathymetric surveys for many coastal areas and for a few selected rivers and lakes in the U.S., including Yellowstone Lake, Crater Lake, and Lake Tahoe. Information and data for some of those studies is on the USGS Maps of America's Submerged Lands website. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is the primary source of bathymetric data for the world's oceans. See...

Learn More

What causes chronic wasting disease?

Chronic wasting disease is caused by a misfolded protein called a prion. All mammals produce normal prions that are used by cells, then degraded and eliminated, or recycled, within the body. When disease-associated prions contact normal prions, they cause them to refold into their own abnormal shape. These disease-associated prions are not readily broken down and tend to accumulate in--and damage-...

link

What causes chronic wasting disease?

Chronic wasting disease is caused by a misfolded protein called a prion. All mammals produce normal prions that are used by cells, then degraded and eliminated, or recycled, within the body. When disease-associated prions contact normal prions, they cause them to refold into their own abnormal shape. These disease-associated prions are not readily broken down and tend to accumulate in--and damage-...

Learn More

What are the visual signs of chronic wasting disease?

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has an extended incubation period averaging 18–24 months between infection and the onset of noticeable signs. During this time frame animals look and act normal. The most obvious sign of CWD is progressive weight loss. Numerous behavioral changes also have been reported, including decreased social interaction, loss of awareness, and loss of fear of humans. Diseased...

link

What are the visual signs of chronic wasting disease?

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has an extended incubation period averaging 18–24 months between infection and the onset of noticeable signs. During this time frame animals look and act normal. The most obvious sign of CWD is progressive weight loss. Numerous behavioral changes also have been reported, including decreased social interaction, loss of awareness, and loss of fear of humans. Diseased...

Learn More

Why is climate change happening and what are the causes?

There are many “natural” and “anthropogenic” (human-induced) factors that contribute to climate change. Climate change has always happened on Earth, which is clearly seen in the geological record; it is the rapid rate and the magnitude of climate change occurring now that is of great concern worldwide. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere absorb heat radiation. Human activity has increased...

link

Why is climate change happening and what are the causes?

There are many “natural” and “anthropogenic” (human-induced) factors that contribute to climate change. Climate change has always happened on Earth, which is clearly seen in the geological record; it is the rapid rate and the magnitude of climate change occurring now that is of great concern worldwide. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere absorb heat radiation. Human activity has increased...

Learn More

What is the difference between weather and climate change?

Weather refers to short term atmospheric conditions while climate is the weather of a specific region averaged over a long period of time. Climate change refers to long-term changes.

link

What is the difference between weather and climate change?

Weather refers to short term atmospheric conditions while climate is the weather of a specific region averaged over a long period of time. Climate change refers to long-term changes.

Learn More

What is the difference between global warming and climate change?

Although people tend to use these terms interchangeably, global warming is just one aspect of climate change. “Global warming” refers to the rise in global temperatures due mainly to the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. “Climate change” refers to the increasing changes in the measures of climate over a long period of time – including precipitation, temperature, and...

link

What is the difference between global warming and climate change?

Although people tend to use these terms interchangeably, global warming is just one aspect of climate change. “Global warming” refers to the rise in global temperatures due mainly to the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. “Climate change” refers to the increasing changes in the measures of climate over a long period of time – including precipitation, temperature, and...

Learn More

What are the long-term effects of climate change?

Scientists have predicted that long-term effects of climate change will include a decrease in sea ice and an increase in permafrost thawing, an increase in heat waves and heavy precipitation, and decreased water resources in semi-arid regions. Below are some of the regional impacts of global change forecast by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: North America: Decreasing snowpack in the...

link

What are the long-term effects of climate change?

Scientists have predicted that long-term effects of climate change will include a decrease in sea ice and an increase in permafrost thawing, an increase in heat waves and heavy precipitation, and decreased water resources in semi-arid regions. Below are some of the regional impacts of global change forecast by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: North America: Decreasing snowpack in the...

Learn More