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Announcing Sacred Mounds, a novel of Magical Realism and Historical Fantasy from Jim Metzner, with a foreword by Hutke Fields, principal chief of the Natchez Nation.
Cyclonic hordes of insects, a telepathic despot, body-swapping sex - just a few of the surprises Salvador Samuels encounters when he is swept back to pre-colonial times, walking in the moccasins of a blind Indian - who, in turn, has been transported into Salvador's body in present-day America. Sacred Mounds Book Cover Four hundred years apart, they are bound by a mission to rescue our world, aided by the mysterious presence of the mounds. Thousands of these ancient earthworks once dotted the landscape of North America. We still don't know why they were created. Sacred Mounds suggests they are as important today as when they were made over a thousand years ago. Sacred Mounds weaves the stories of two men, each a stranger in a strange land. With the help of two remarkable women, they must find a way to save our planet and return home.
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Shorebirds: Western Sandpipers & Humans: The Pulse of the Planet daily radio program offers free legal online mp3 downloads, exploring the world of sound in nature, culture and science, with audio adventures, world music, extraordinary sound portraits, science diaries, and nature ring-tones; an amazing sonic experience.

Airdate: May 03, 2007
Scientist: Mary Ann Bishop

Shorebirds: Western Sandpipers & Humans

Shorebirds: Western Sandpipers & Humans
Development along the California coastline is having an impact on Western Sandpipers and other shorebirds.

ambience: Western Sandpipers

Visit any beach along the Pacific coast and you're likely to see Western Sandpipers feeding at the edges of the shoreline. Although these birds are plentiful, they like to hang out in the same places where humans do - and that presents some potential problems. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Nesting and breeding in sub-arctic areas, like Alaska, and migrating mostly along the Pacific Coast, the Western Sandpiper's preferred habitats are beaches, mud flats, and open marshes. And it's this choice of real estate which may ultimately put these birds at risk. Mary Ann Bishop is with the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station in Alaska.

"They are the most numerous bird on the Pacific coast. However, they're vulnerable - in the sense that the kinds of habitats where they spend their time are the kinds of habitat where people like to spend their time - on the beach. And so, development has taken its toll on a lot of their habitats. And what's very critical is that these birds go back to the same stopover areas year after year. The analogy that is often made with the stopover areas is that they are the links in the chain - and that, you break a link in that chain, and you make the survival much more difficult for these birds. They've got to have these areas to stop over year after year. And so many of these areas, especially in the lower 48 - so much habitat has been lost. For example, in the San Francisco bay area, tremendous amounts of habitat have been lost."

If developers of shoreline areas can keep in mind the birds' migratory habits, it's possible that humans and Western Sandpipers can share these areas together for years to come.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.