Should Lake Superior wolves be saved?
- Editor H2ONotes [ 6/10/2013 - 06:45 ] #
On an island in Lake Superior, biologists are wondering whether to
save some very special wolves from extinction by inbreeding, or let
nature take its course.
Behind this is the bigger question: What's really natural, anyway?
wolves are on Isle Royale, a huge island off Thunder Bay, Ont. Because
of a twist in the international boundary, it's in U.S. waters, though
closer to Canada's mainland.
Canadian animals have colonized it twice. In the early 1900s, moose swam over from the mainland and thrived. more...
Eating sea lamprey: They're not bad to stomach after you cut the head off
- Editor H2ONotes [ 4/22/2013 - 05:48 ] #There’s two sides to sea lampreys, according to Lars Rudstam, director of the Cornell Biological Field Station in Bridgeport.
On the one hand, they attach themselves using their mouths to the
sides or bellies of fish and use their raspy tongues to drill a hole and
suck out their host’s bodily fluids. State Department of Environmental
Conservation officials noted recently these parasitic,
prehistoric-looking aquatic creatures are causing big problems for
Cayuga Lake’s trout fishery. ... more
Trumpeter swans at risk in shrinking lakes
- Editor H2ONotes [ 4/5/2013 - 06:29 ] #The deaths of two trumpeter swans from lead poisoning in Georgian Bay
this year are raising questions about the environmental impact of
decreasing water levels in the Great Lakes.
The swans, once feared extinct in Ontario, eat aquatic vegetation in
the wild or are fed corn by humans. To help them digest their food, the
birds swallow stones and pebbles.
But the swans may also accidentally swallow fishing weights or lead
shotgun pellets. The ingested lead slowly poisons them until they die,
said Sara Street, executive director of the Friends of Wye Marsh. more...
Effort at Lake Superior beach aims to help Wisconsin's rarest bird
- Editor H2ONotes [ 4/17/2012 - 07:33 ] #
If you build it, or at least keep dogs and gulls away, they will come.
the hope along a swath of Lake Superior shoreline in Douglas County
this summer under a federally funded program to restore piping plovers,
Wisconsin’s rarest bird.
The St. Louis River Alliance is organizing the effort under a five-year, $250,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
diminutive shorebird is seen on occasion passing through the Twin
Ports, but no confirmed plover nesting has occurred here in more than 25
Animals Environment Other
Minnesota's eagle population making a comeback
- Editor H2ONotes [ 4/10/2012 - 05:48 ] #
ELK RIVER, Minn. (AP) — The National Park Service said bald eagles
continue to make a modest comeback in Minnesota, aided by a warm winter
and a thriving food supply.
Last month, an unofficial aerial count along the Mississippi River by
wildlife officials revealed at least 36 active nests in the 72-mile
stretch from Elk River to Hastings. That compares to 28 last year and 30
in 2010, said Bill Route, an eagle project manager for the Park
"The eagle population is increasing and highly productive" in the area,
said Route, who cautioned that aerial counting isn't an exact science. more...
DNR: Expect large numbers of bald eagles
- Editor H2ONotes [ 3/12/2012 - 07:00 ] #
Bald eagles are migrating back to Minnesota and may be seen in large
numbers across parts of the state over the next few weeks, according to
the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
“It’s definitely time for folks to keep their eyes out,” according to
Lisa Gelvin-Innvaer, DNR regional nongame wildlife specialist. “Usually
we see these bigger pulses of migrating eagles a little later in March,
but it appears that timing may be early for a lot of natural events
this year due to the mild winter.”
Only two states, Florida and Alaska, have greater nesting populations
of bald eagles than Minnesota. In 2005, researchers estimated there to
be more than 1,300 active nests in the state. more...
Common tern’s uncommon tale has upturn
- Editor H2ONotes [ 3/8/2012 - 06:54 ] #When last we left the common tern, all we knew of the black-and-white
water bird was that it was a threatened species blamed for singly
quashing plans for a signature bridge over the Niagara River.
But things are looking up for this migratory fowl, due to arrive
later this month in Buffalo Harbor, where its numbers are flourishing.
Buffalo is now believed to be home of the largest tern colony on the
Great Lakes, thanks to state efforts to improve nesting grounds along
breakwaters in the harbor, according to a report released Tuesday.
“They’re thriving in Buffalo,” said Ed Alkiewicz, director of
relicensing and implementation for the New York Power Authority. “It’s a
success story.” more...
Pinery abundant with rare wildlife
- Editor H2ONotes [ 2/21/2012 - 07:00 ] #
Just an hour and twenty minutes to the west of London on Lake Huron
is a unique and beautiful nature preserve -- Pinery Provincial Park.
While many Southwestern Ontario people know the Pinery as a "go to"
summer spot for beaches and camping, it offers much to nature
enthusiasts through all four seasons.
One of the most important aspects of the Pinery is its oak savanna
habitat. Because this is such an unusual form of Carolinian forest it
has become home to unique and rare species of plants and animals.
I spoke this week with Alistair MacKenzie who is responsible for
natural heritage education and resource management at the park. I was
astounded to learn that there are 160 "tracked species." These include
plants, insects, birds, and other animals. Some of these species are at
risk. The Eastern hog-nosed snake for example is threatened and is
protected by both federal and provincial laws. more...
Wind project on Lake Ontario shore threatens endangered birds: Nature Canada
- Editor H2ONotes [ 2/21/2012 - 06:57 ] #
PICTON, Ont. - A proposed wind energy project in Ontario's rural
Prince Edward County has ruffled feathers with Nature Canada, which says
the turbines would threaten several endangered bird species.
The location of the project at Ostrander Point, on land
owned by the province, is "one of the most significant sites for
migrating birds in eastern Ontario," the national conservation group
says. Every year tens of thousands of birds stop there to refuel, drawn
by the unique geography of the area on Lake Ontario's shoreline.
"While Nature Canada recognizes wind energy is an important
green energy solution, wind farms in the wrong place can be bad for
The group has suggested citizens tell the province's
Environment Ministry to refuse the application by Toronto-based Gilead
Power Corp. for the project. more...
Animals Other Wind
Living with Michigan's wolves
- Editor H2ONotes [ 2/10/2012 - 06:08 ] #
Gray wolves in the western Great Lakes were recently taken off the
endangered species list. Now, the state of Michigan is responsible for
managing the wolf population.
Michael Nelson is a professor of environmental ethics at Michigan
State University. He’s an author of a new report on people’s attitudes
about wolves in Michigan. His report is based on a statewide telephone
survey conducted in 2010.
Nelson says they asked people throughout the state how they felt
about the following four statements (on a five point scale from strongly
disagree to strongly agree): more...
Eric Sharp: Good, bad news on lampreys
- Editor H2ONotes [ 2/10/2012 - 06:05 ] #
Tests of chemical signals called pheromones prove they can trick sea
lampreys to avoid streams that offer good spawning habitat and lure them
to streams where baby lampreys won't survive.
"It's hard to see
any good news when it comes to invasive species, but the sea lamprey is
one case where we're winning the battle," Dr. Marc Gaden said this week
during a briefing on new lamprey control efforts by the Great Lakes
Fishery Commission and other agencies.
That's the good news.
not-so-good news, at least in the short run, is what the scientists
learned when they tried a full-count press on the handful of rivers and
creeks that were thought to produce most of the lampreys in Lake Erie.
Should hunting of sandhill cranes be allowed in Wisconsin?
- Editor H2ONotes [ 2/10/2012 - 06:03 ] #
With long legs trailing behind in the sky, the sandhill crane
announces its arrival with a cry that hearkens back to prehistoric
times.Spotted along the river or seen
fishing in Fond du Lac County’s abundance of ponds and lakes, the
elegant bird has a great following of local enthusiasts who turn out to
count them every year. The state is home to the International Crane
But the bird’s blissful existence may soon be disturbed by the blast of
shotguns. State Rep. Joel Kleefisch, an Oconomowoc Republican and avid
duck hunter, began circulating a bill last week that would require the
DNR to create a sandhill season. more...
Leave it to Beavers: City Says They May be Causing Power Outages
- Editor H2ONotes [ 12/14/2011 - 10:13 ] #
Did the beavers turn out the lights?
A Rochester city official said this week that beavers living along
the Clinton River on the city border are likely to blame for some recent
power outages in the area.
But don't rush to blame the river-dwelling mammals just yet: They're just trying to get by.
Deputy City Manager Nik Banda said DTE-contracted crews working this
week to clear tree limbs away from power lines have found evidence that
beavers chewing cottonwood trees were likely responsible for downed
Cold weather from the Arctic carries sweet bird species to Northeast Ohio
- Editor H2ONotes [ 11/11/2011 - 06:51 ] #
Every year around this time I begin receiving different versions of the same question:
Are there any birds worth watching in late fall and winter?
My response is an emphatic Yes! followed by a brief explanation.
As any true birder knows, birding opportunities in Northeast Ohio
improve as the temperatures drop, the leaves fall and frost covers our
car windshields in the morning.
As the majority of songbirds and
shorebirds have departed on the long journeys southward, waterfowl and
boreal species begin to arrive in impressive numbers. more...
Plovers find Lakeshore great place to nest
- Editor H2ONotes [ 11/8/2011 - 08:22 ] #
The largest flock of piping plover, an endangered shorebird, in the Great Lakes region summers at the Lakeshore.
However, plover numbers in the Lakeshore slipped in 2011.
According to Lakeshore biologist Sue Jennings, 18 pairs of plovers
established nests in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Fifteen
nests were found on the mainland and three were on North Manitou Island.
“The recovery of the Great Lakes population is dependent upon
survival and recruitment of the nesting pairs located within the
Lakeshore,” Jennings said. “Overall, the Great Lakes population is
making a slow recovery. However, the population remains fragile and
could easily be lost to a single event, such as significant storm,
predation, nest disturbance and/or habitat loss.” more...
Animals Environment Other
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