At capacity Lake Mead, located just east of Las Vegas, is the largest water reservoir in the lower 48 United States. Nowadays it's hovering at less than 40% capacity, occasionally obtaining drought status within the past few years.
There's one good thing happening at the lake, though -- our national emblem, the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), is establishing an increasingly stable foothold in the state of Nevada.
From a nationwide estimate of up to 100,000 individuals in the late 18th century to just 487 nesting pairs in 1963, bald eagle populations were decimated by westward-creeping habitat loss and the eventual use of the infamous pesticide DDT.
Now at Lake Mead bald eagle numbers are the highest they've been in 5 years at 137 adults and juveniles, up from 76 in 2017. It's been mostly good news as of late: the species was removed from the Endangered Species List in 2007 after rebounding to over 20,000 individuals! Their remarkable recovery is a testament to the resilience of the natural world when granted proper protections.
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John Albert “Snowshoe” Thompson delivered the mail, not on snowshoes, but on 10’ skis, through the Sierra Nevada mountains between Placerville, CA and Genoa, NV from 1856-1876 until his death from appendicitis. He was a Norwegian immigrant and made his own skis, later teaching others to make theirs as well. He never got lost, even in blizzards. He also never got paid for doing the mail delivery! He is buried in Genoa, alongside his only son, Arthur. Arthur died two years after his father from diphtheria at the age of 11. This statue is in downtown Genoa. @dr.lovebeard #genoanevada#nevadahistoryalive#nevada#norway#nevadamagazine#explorenevada
Cater-whaaat? When discussing wild animals who may look and act differently than we're used to, it's often helpful to compare them to their domestic relatives. For example, bobcats exhibit a variety of vocalizations, some of which are similar to a house cat's, though others carry a notably wild twist!
A caterwaul is a distinctive feline vocalization that sounds like a shrill screech or high-pitched cry. Bobcat caterwauls in particular have been likened to a woman screaming, and are described as eerie by some.
But not to worry -- bobcats mean you no harm! Caterwauls are a bobcat's mating call, allowing males and females to locate each other during mating season. Bobcats can control territories of up to 37 square miles, so caterwauls, which can be heard from up to a mile away, are certainly helpful for communicating across vast expanses of wilderness.
And you thought meeting people at designated social events or on dating apps was hard? Try being a bobcat!