The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - May 23, 2001

May 23, 2001

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The target audience of the Scout Report for Science & Engineering is faculty, students, staff, and librarians in the life sciences, physical sciences, and engineering. Each biweekly issue offers a selective collection of Internet resources covering topics in the sciences, and related fields such as math and engineering, that have been chosen by librarians and content specialists in the given field of study.

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering is also provided via email once every two weeks. Subscription information is included at the bottom of each issue.

In This Issue


Learning Resources

General Interest

Current Awareness

New Data

In The News


L-Functions and Random Matrix Theory
This site highlights some of the conjectures and open problems concerning L-functions, with emphasis on the areas in which there has been recent progress using results from Random Matrix Theory. The main page's index links to short articles on such topics as the GUE Hypothesis, Zeros and Primes, and Extremal Problems. The site comes from the American Institute of Mathematics, which has posted these problems to go along with their workshop on L-Functions and Random Matrix Theory, held May 14-18, 2001. [HCS]
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TOXNET (Toxicology Data Network)
The National Library of Medicine (National Institutes of Health) sponsors TOXNET, a collection of databases covering toxicology, hazardous chemicals, and related topics. At the site, users may access a range of information -- from toxicology data, to toxicology literature, toxic release information, and basic chemical information. The suite of searchable databases are as follows: CCRIS (Chemical Carcinogenesis Research Information System), ChemID_plus_, DART/ETIC (Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology), EMIC (Environmental Mutagen Information Center), GENE-TOX (Genetic Toxicology), HSDB (Hazardous Substances Data Bank) and HSDB Structures, IRIS (Integrated Risk Information System), NCI-3D Database, TOXLINE (Toxicology Literature Online), and TRI (Toxics Release Inventory). For toxicology professionals and students, alike, this Data Network will be a valuable research resource. [LXP]
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Complex Carbohydrate Research Center Spectral Databases
Dr. William York of the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center has created these two databases with scientific input from others at the University of Georgia. The Xyloglucan NMR Database consists of a searchable table of the ?H-NMR chemical shifts of xyloglucan oligoglycosyl alditols. Xyloglucans are highly branched polymers with a cellulosic backbone (i.e., consisting of b-(1,4)-linked D-glucosyl residues). The basis for the most commonly used nomenclature for xyloglucan structures comes from the linear array of glycosyl side chains that many of the backbone residues bear. The Partially Methylated Alditol Acetate (PMAA) Database shows the molecular structures of PMAAs derived from Hexopyranosyl, Pentopyranosyl, and Pentofuranosyl Residues. Users view the structures by gliding the mouse over a table. The PMAA Database also says that electron-impact mass spectra are available, but at the time of publication, these links weren't working. The Xyloglucan database comes with overviews, search guides, and nomenclature information. The PMAA database has a help page. Both require a free login. [HCS]
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Polar Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) -- NOAA
The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates POES, the Polar Operational Environmental Satellite system. Comprised of several components (namely, the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and the Tiros Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS)), these satellites make nearly polar orbits daily, providing global coverage of land, ocean, and atmospheric data. The POES Website includes an overview of the satellite system and lists data types such as vegetation index, sea surface temperature charts, volcanic eruption clouds, and much more. For researchers interested in environmental monitoring using satellite-based data, the POES Webpage will serve as a useful reference point. [LXP]
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Boolean Functions Theory, Algorithms and Applications [.pdf]
Dr. Yves Crama, professor of Operations Research and Production Management at University of Liege, Belgium, generously shares with the public a working copy of his latest book. It is tentatively titled Boolean Functions Theory, Algorithms and Applications and is co-authored by Peter Hammer of the Rutgers Center for Operations Research. At this Website, you can download drafts of chapters on fundamental concepts and applications, Boolean equations, and duality, as well as a draft of the bibliography (.pdf). This is a unique opportunity for workers in operations research to catch a glimpse of their colleagues' activities and to provide welcomed comments. [HCS]
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Bibliography of Genetic Variation in Natural Populations
Dr. Fred Allendorf, Professor of evolutionary genetics at the University of Montana, has put together this substantial bibliography on Genetic Variation in Natural Populations. Currently containing over 40,000 references, the searchable bibliography has been compiled over the last 25 years and is periodically updated (last update September 2000). The primary focus of the bibliography is genetic variation in natural populations of animals, plants, and microbes, with a taxonomic bias towards fish (salmonids); the secondary focus is conservation, especially the application of genetic principles to conservation. Nevertheless, Allendorf warns that this is "a somewhat eclectic collection of titles" reflecting the interests and teaching responsibilities of the compiler. In an era when most Websites try to do too much, this one meets its goal to perfection: it provides a magnificent, organized, and searchable collection of resources that will be of great interest to both researchers and students. [LXP]
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Learning Resources

A Search for Ultra-High Energy Neutrino Interactions in the Moon Using Large-Aperture Radio Antennas [.pdf, PostScript, .dvi]
The Goldstone Lunar Ultra-high Energy neutrino experiment (GLUE), a joint project of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and UCLA, searches for 10ns microwave pulses from a lunar regolith (meteor ejecta believed to have struck the moon) using two large telescopes. Visitors to this Website can download a detailed, scientific description of the experiment entitled "New Limits on a Diffuse Flux of > 100 EeV Cosmic Neutrinos" (.pdf or .ps), read abstracts and download data (.ps, .pdf, .dvi, HTML), and follow links to photo galleries of experiments in action. Interesting! [HCS]
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Greenhouse Gases and the Kyoto Protocol
The United Nations Environment Programme UNEP/ GRID Arendal Website (described in the June 24, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering) summarizes greenhouse gas emissions for 1998 and provides projections for 2010. The maps and statistics presented here are based on data collected by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for the international summit in The Hague, November 2000. Units for totals are "thousands of metric tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) equivalent units," and for emissions per capita, the units are "tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) equivalent per person." In every case, emissions from industrialized nations are what the viewer might expect. Nevertheless, the comparison of 1998 and projected future levels is certainly instructive. A series of links provides access to additional related information. [LXP]
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Joseph Leidy: Father of American Vertebrate Paleontology
Joseph Leidy was the leading American expert on anatomy and vertebrate paleontology during the mid nineteenth century and author of over 200 scientific texts. Philadelphia's Academy of Natural Sciences, where Leidy worked, is fortunate to have a great portion of Leidy's collections. The Academy has put together this nice, illustrated site on Leidy's important work. The section on fossils includes a hypertext list of specific names with links to photographs, illustrations, and descriptions of the specimens. Be sure not to miss the section on the duckbilled dinosaur Hadrosaurus foulkii, the subject of Leidy's best known monograph. Other highlights are an overview of Leidy's other scientific work, including forays into parasitology and protozoology and his Professorship in Anatomy, a timeline biography, and a thorough index. [HCS]
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Wetlands Functions and Values -- EPA Watershed Academy
This learning module on wetland functions and values is the newest addition to the EPA's Watershed Academy Website (first reviewed in the January 19, 2000 Scout Report for Science & Engineering). The module explores the ecological and societal benefits and values that wetlands provide, such as "fish and wildlife habitats, natural water quality improvement, flood storage, shoreline erosion protection, opportunities for recreation and aesthetic appreciation," and much more. First-time users will find helpful instructions at "How to navigate this module;" the hyperlinked instructional text is also accompanied by useful color images. For anyone interested in wetland ecology, there is much to be learned (or reviewed) here. [LXP]
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Combinatorial Structures [PostScript]
This site is the online material for Colorado University-Denver's course Math 6406, Combinatorial Structures. The information found here should be helpful to both students and professors of combinatorics. Thorough lecture notes, with references, cover topics such as Latin squares, Hadamard matrices, finite fields and geometries, coding theory, and block design. The class handout "A Short Course in Combinatorial Designs" can be downloaded in .ps format. The links page points to some great resources for combinatorial designs, but the homework section is not particularly useful to Web surfers because it is directly related to the textbook. [HCS]
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General Interest

Radiation and Long-term Space Flight
Data on the carcinogenic effects of space radiation on humans are available from the Russian MIR Space Station and the US Space Shuttle missions but are limited to tissue-level studies rather than the organ-level studies which are necessary to accurately determine radiation doses. Now, NASA's National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) has instigated an experiment, called the "torso-experiment," that will use a fully instrumented phantom torso (with head) to provide the necessary depth-dose-equivalent measurements on the International Space Station. Depth-dose-equivalent measurements will be taken as a function of spacecraft altitude, attitude, location, and time, and measurements internal to the phantom torso will be supported by other radiation measurements from the Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter and the Charged Particle Direction Spectrometer. Read more about this somewhat bizarre-looking experiment at this Webpage from NSBRI. [HCS]
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Wild Species 2000 (homepage)
Wild Species 2000 (report) [.pdf]
A partnership of Environment Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Wild Species 2000 Website displays a recent report on the status of Canada's wild species. Combining results from Provincial, Territorial, and Federal monitoring efforts for the first time, the report (.pdf format) represents a substantial contribution to understanding the general status of species in Canada. The report provides a contextual introduction to biological diversity, describes data and methods, and gives general status assessments for ferns, orchids, butterflies, freshwater fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals (terrestrial and marine). Subsequent reports are planned, with anticipation of expanded information so as to report on additional taxa. [LXP]
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Stormtrack, the storm chaser homepage, is an information-rich site geared toward general audiences. Along with up-to-the minute reports on exciting storm activity around the US, Stormtrack provides a library of chase logs and case studies, data links, weather maps, a message board and more. Miscellaneous topics posted at the site include the energy-helicicity index, hurricane and tornado damage, and the Oklahoma-based Storm Prediction Center. For serious weather buffs, there is also a page of equipment recommendations, a chat room,, and information on how to volunteer as a storm spotter. [HCS]
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Fish & Seafood Online
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada serves up market information on fish and seafood at this site. The site contains fact sheets on a few of the 120 species of fish and shellfish taken commercially from Canadian waters. Pitched at seafood-loving consumers/ buyers, the fact sheets include distribution information, identification tips, nutritional profiles, product forms, preparation techniques, markets, and suppliers. An interesting component of the site is the searchable Suppliers Directory, in which users may search for suppliers by product name. The site also offers statistics highlighting Canada's seafood trade performance (exports and imports) for the year 2000. An events calendar lists upcoming seafood shows. For anyone interested in the market forces driving marine resource extraction in Canada (or anywhere else, for that matter), this site will be an interesting eye-opener. [LXP]
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Three Sisters, Oregon
Earlier this month, the US Geological Survey (USGS) released a report stating that USGS scientists have detected a slight uplift of the ground surface over a broad area centered 5 kilometers west of South Sister volcano in the Three Sisters region of the central Oregon Cascade Range. This uplift was detected using a relatively new technique, Satellite Radar Interferometry (InSAR). InSAR uses satellite data to make radar images of the Earth's surface and then compares images from the same location acquired at different times to detect minor (a few centimeters) changes in the ground elevation. This page comes from the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory Website, and it contains links to the May 8 press release, current hazards report (spring 2001), geologic descriptions of the Three Sisters volcanoes, color interferograms, site photographs, earthquake maps, an overview of InSAR, daily seismicity measurements, and much more. The USGS's Cascade Volcano Observatory has been featured previously in our reports (see the September 23, 1994 Scout Report for Science & Engineering), but the Three Sisters research is particularly timely. [HCS]
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Current Awareness
(For links to additional current awareness on tables of contents, abstracts, preprints, new books, data, conferences, etc., visit the The Scout Report for Science & Engineering Current Awareness Metapage:

Science Books Vie for Big Prize
Scientists and science fans, it's time to make your summer reading lists. This BBC Online site contains brief reviews of the twelve books (six of them children's) on the shortlist for this year's Aventis Prize for science books. One of the judges, author and former Booker Prize judge Maggie Gee, said of the finalists: "There are more ideas in these books than I find in contemporary fiction." The winner will be announced June 12, 2001. [HCS]
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Fish vs. Electricity: A Pacific Northwest Balancing Act -- ENN
The Environmental New Network (ENN) posted this news release on the conflicting water needs of wildlife (in this case, endangered salmonids) and power generation, in the Pacific Northwest. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has announced it will release a limited amount of water from behind two hydropower dams to benefit juvenile endangered salmon and steelhead. This month's intentional spill is timed to meet ecological and political needs; additional spills may or may not happen. [LXP]
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New Publications

Sensors and Actuators
For a limited time, online access to the Elsevier journal Sensors and Actuators A (physical) and B (chemical) is free. Along with the full text articles, previews of in-press articles are available. Sensors and Actuators A (SAAA) disseminates "...information on all aspects of research and development of solid-state devices for transducing physical signals." Sensors and Actuators B (SAAB) " an interdisciplinary journal dedicated to covering research and development in the field of chemical sensors, actuators and microsystems." Issues of SAAA available range from September 1999 to the present; issues of SAAB cover January 2000-present. [HCS]

Journal of Leukocyte Biology [.pdf]
The Society for Leukocyte Biology, in conjunction with Stanford University's HighWire Press, has placed online most issues of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. Devoted to "the exploration of the cellular and molecular biology of leukocytes," the journal is currently free "for a limited time" to all users (registration required). Full online text [.pdf] is available for all issues of 2000 and 2001; abstracts are available from 1984 onwards. [LXP]

Three IUPAC Publications Newly Available Online:
Nomenclature of Quinones with Isoprenoid Side-Chains
Nomenclature of Tetrapyrroles
Nomenclature of Lignans and Neolignans
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry's Joint Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature has put online the text of its nomuenclatural recommendations for Quinones, Tetrapyrroles, and Lignans/ Neolignans. These were published in 1973, 1986, and 2000 respectively but were not posted online until this year. the texts include tables, illustrations, and notes. [HCS]

Three more from NPWRC [.zip]
"Estimating Big Game Weights: A Crash Course for the Curious"
"Incidental Catch of Marine Birds in the North Pacific High Seas Driftnet Fisheries in 1990"
"Effects of Water Conditions on Clutch Size, Egg Volume, and Hatchling Mass of Mallards and Gadwalls in the Prairie Pothole Region"
Three publications have recently been placed online at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) Website. The first, by Bill Jensen, is based on a 2000 North Dakota Outdoors article [63(3):26-27] and provides equations for estimating live-weight from dressed weight for six North Dakota big game species. The second, by Douglas H. Johnson and colleagues, is based on a 1993 International North Pacific Fisheries Commission Bulletin document [53:473-483] and evaluates incidental take of marine birds in Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese driftnet fisheries. Third, Pamela J. Pietz and colleagues examine the relationship between local water conditions and reproductive variables for North Dakota and Minnesota ducks, 1988-1994; the study was first published in 2000 in Condor [102:936-940]. All three publications may be downloaded as .zip files, or browsed online. [LXP]

Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles
The National Academy Press's book about the cooperative research and development project between the US government and the US Council for Automotive Research (USCAR) is available free online. The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) program was instigated by President Clinton in 1993 with the aim of increasing fuel efficiency of autos and enhancing the US automobile industry's competitiveness and efficiency. Contents of the book include the development of vehicle subsystems, systems analysis, and concept vehicles. The text is presented in HTML format with a tool allowing users to jump to desired pages. [HCS]

Nature and Human Society: The Quest for a Sustainable World
This online "open" book was edited by world renowned experts Peter H. Raven and Tania Williams and was produced in 2000 by the Committee for the Second Forum on Biodiversity (National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council). Available for browsing only, the document spans nine chapters -- from "Defining Biodiversity" to "Examples of Sustainability." [LXP]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from The Chronicle of Higher Education

Statistics Jobs

Positions in Mathematical Physics
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Amersham Pharmacia Biotech and Science Prize for Young Scientists

Research Equipment Funding -- NSF
Preferred Proposal Deadline: January 15 each year

National Nanotechnology Initiative

National Research Service Awards
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Geological Society of America Annual Meeting
November 4-8, 2001; Boston, MA
Abstract Deadline: July 24, 2001

ICBIC 10: Tenth International Conference on Bioinorganic Chemistry
August 26-31, 2001; Florence, Italy
Abstract Deadline: May 31, 2001

Society of Automotive Engineers
General Aviation Technology Conference and Exhibition
April 16-18, 2002; Witchita, Kansas
Abstract Deadline: September 11, 2001

Benthic dynamics: In situ surveillance of the sediment-water interface
March 25-29, 2002; Aberdeen, Scotland
Registration: currently available
Abstract Deadline: November 1, 2001

Association for Science Education Annual Meeting 2002
January 3-5, 2002; Liverpool, England
Proposal Deadline: June 1, 2001
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New Data

Two from Hawaii
Mees Solar Observatory Recent Images
Tropical Storms, Worldwide [.pdf]
The University of Hawaii's Mees Solar Observatory, stationed at Haleakala, Maui, provides a wealth of data and images in its Webpages. The first page, Mees Solar Observatory Recent Images, houses daily updates of solar images and activity logs. Data available include coronagraphs, active solar region maps, CCD imaged spectrographs, imaging vector magnetographs from the Haleakala Stokes Polar Imager (HSP), as well as the Mees photometric spot index. Some days, images of the H-alpha active region of the sun are available. A regular feature is a series of .gif movies created from Mees White Light Telescope images. The next page, Tropical Storms Worldwide, gives regional maps and written updates of hurricane, typhoon, and tropical cyclone activity around the globe. The page also features a strike probability calculator where users click on a list of geographic locations or enter map coordinates or a US zip code in order to view the probability of a tropical storm reaching that area. A storm data archive (1994-2000) and printer-friendly .pdf-formatted storm track maps are also available. [HCS]
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Animal Genome Size Database
T. Ryan Gregory, doctoral candidate at the University of Guelph (Canada), provides this comprehensive data catalog of animal genome size. Included on site are haploid genome sizes (C-values) for approximately 2,100 species or subspecies of vertebrates and 800 species of invertebrates. Organized by taxa, this Website-in-progress will be of direct use to those researchers whose study organisms are represented here. Continual additions are planned as more data become available. [LXP]
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Climate of 2001 April in Historical Perspective
The newest of NOAA's monthly updates on climate in historical perspective is out now. Global and US climate analysis and extreme events such as flooding of the Mississippi River, severe storms in Bangladesh, and drought in Afghanistan are covered in the report. General temperature and precipitation data along with microwave sounding unit (MSU) measurements of lower tropospheric anomalies are given as text and graphs. [HCS]
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Fermilab Life Science Data
Best known for research on high-energy physics, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, or "Fermilab," hosts a surprising amount of data on flora and fauna. For example, bird lists (for the 6,800 acre Fermilab site) are posted regularly, with links to additional information on each of the 270 species seen on site. Located 40 miles west of Chicago, the Fermilab also records presence of insect and plant species. While most data are summary data (rather than actual counts), this site may prove useful to field ecology researchers, nevertheless. [LXP]
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In The News

United Nations Moves to Save Great Apes of the World
1. "U.N. says major initiative needed to save great apes"
2. "Great apes in peril"
3. United Nations Environment Programme
4. Living Links
5. Nouable Ndouki National Park
6. Born Free Foundation Primate Campaign
7. The Ape Alliance
8. Bushmeat Crisis Task Force
9. "Bushmeat as a Trade and Wildlife Management Issue" [.pdf]
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced Monday that it would form a special project for protection of apes, for whom "The clock is now standing at one minute to midnight," said Klaus Toepfer, executive director of UNEP. Poaching, habitat loss, and war are blamed for the serious decline in populations of apes, the group composed of gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, and bonobos. This week's In the News reviews the announcement of the UN's Great Apes Survival Project, or GASP, and gives links to Web resources for ape conservation and biology.

The first two sites listed are online news articles from the Environmental News Network (1) and from the BBC Online (2) announcing the GASP initiative. The next site (3) is the official page of the United Nations Environment Programme, where you can find information on the infrastructure of UNEP and speeches and official statements from UNEP officials. To gain an appreciation for the significance of apes in evolution and ecology, visit the Living Links Website (4) from Emory University's Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center. The Living Links site (that appeared in the March 29, 2000 Scout Report for Science & Engineering states, "Instead of hunting for missing links, why not focus on the living links between humans and their primate relatives? The Living Links Center specializes in comparisons of the social life, ecology, cognition, neurology, and molecular genetics of apes and humans." One of the organizations on the frontlines of the primate conservation movement is Nouable Ndouki National Park (5) in the Republic of Congo. The park's Website carries a wealth of information on park history, wildlife (including gorillas and chimps), current research, and conservation. Also heavily involved in ape conservation and giving guidance to the UNEP are the Born Free Foundation and the Ape Alliance. Born Free's Website (6) provides facts on the natural history of gorillas and chimps, reports on threats to wild primates, a variety of K-12 educational projects, and news updates including an article on the GASP proposal. The Ape Alliance (7), an international coalition of organizations and individuals working for the conservation and welfare of apes, divides its informative Website into pages of its many working groups: Bushmeat Working Group, Orangutan Working Group, Apes & Entertainment Working Group, DRC Parks Emergency Relief Working Group, Biomedical Working Group, and the Sanctuaries Working Group. Most organizations would agree that a serious contributor to the endangerment of great apes is the bushmeat trade. "Bushmeat" refers to commercially hunted wildlife, such as primates, forest antelope, monitor lizards, cane rats, and crocodiles. The Bushmeat Crisis Task Force offers a Website (8) where visitors can read about the project's goals and activities and browse the research archive of books, articles, and videos on the bushmeat crisis. At a meeting in Kenya in April 2000, the Commission on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) acknowledged that the bushmeat trade was a problem for endangered wildlife and released a report, available for download in .pdf format, entitled "Bushmeat as a Trade and Wildlife Management Issue" (9). [HCS]
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