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community weblog - [ Animals ]

RARE WARBLER MAKES COMEBACK

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New census figures show the population of one of the rarest songbirds in North America is at a record high. Biologists say the tiny Kirtland's Warbler is one of the lesser-known success stories of the Endangered Species Act. But the Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Sally Eisele reports that success has not come without a price:

To find the bird at this time of year, there's only one place to go—the pine forests of northern Michigan.

"Hear anything out there yet? No, we may need to take a walk."

Forest Service biologist Joe Gomola hikes off in search of a Kirtland's Warbler. He's armed with binoculars and a bird watching scope that looks like a bazooka. But he's really using his ears.   more...

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No dancing around the wolves, their numbers are growing

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A gray wolf howls at a full moon in a stark winter landscape. That image, that idea, is the most powerful romantic notion in the American outdoors.

It draws on my imagination. I long for the day wolves howl in Illinois. Report by report, we crawl toward that.

But God is there hell to pay when science and romantic notions collide. Especially with a creature as entrenched in our subconscious as wolves.

On July 16, Interior Secretary Gale Norton announced proposals to remove gray or timber wolves (Canis lupus) in the eastern United States from the list of threatened and endangered species.

Wolves in the Eastern Population Segment, located in Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin, had met the criteria, set as the wolves were re-established, for recovery. Those states readied management plans for the species.   more...

 



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Suspected cougars seen near Sylvania

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Carol Stokes just got home from work when she looked out a back window of her Sylvania home to see two large, cat-like animals in the field at the edge of a woods - animals that wildlife officials now say may have been cougars.

"They were just coming out of the woods. I didn't know what they were at the time." But, she added, "I've got a [house] cat and you wouldn't even be able to see it over there. They were huge."

She grabbed her video camera to record the April 24 sighting, then called 911. She was turned over to the Monroe County Sheriff's Department because the animals she saw were on the prowl in Whiteford Township, Michigan. Her backyard abuts the Ohio-Michigan line.   more...

 



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Moose sheds might be record

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Jim Ceglar

Jim Ceglar has created quite a stir.

Ceglar, of Aurora, Minn., recovered a set of massive moose antlers from the woods of northeastern Minnesota that is nothing short of astounding.

The huge rack, which weighs 61 pounds, likely is a new world record moose shed.

"It's very impressive," said Mark Braaten of Duluth, a moose calling expert and friend of Ceglar. "They are in perfect shape; there's not a chew mark on them."   more...

 



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  • These antlers are very impressive and so is the amount of time that was put in l...more
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EPP flock creating a potential problem

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Minnesota's Canada goose hunters are taking a quarter of a million birds a year. The question is, is that enough?

The Giant Canada goose is one of Minnesota's greatest success stories. Once all but wiped out, they have been coming back for the last 40 years with the help of sportsmen and the state's incredible patchwork of ponds and fields. There have skirmishes over the big birds between hunters and farmers but conventional hunting pressure has been unable to stop their steady growth.

It is hard not to admire the Giant Canada. In addition to a strong loyalty to one another, the Giant Canadas are smart and very tough. Like the coyote and the whitetail deer they are first-class survivors in a world with more and more urban and rural sprawl.   more...

 



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Wolf protection no longer needed

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The federal government later this week is expected to announce plans to eliminate federal protection for timber wolves in the eastern United States, saying the species has fully recovered from the brink of extinction.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a news conference Friday at a wolf research facility in Forest Lake, Minn., to announce a proposal to "delist" the wolf from the endangered species list.

Top state and federal wildlife officials are scheduled to attend, including Steve Williams, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director.

"We're getting ready to move ahead," agency spokeswoman Betsy Lorden said.  more...

 



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Annoying birds crated off

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COMMERCE TOWNSHIP — The last of Oakland County’s nuisance geese are drying off their tail feathers in trucks headed for Iowa.

This week marks the final roundup of geese on southeast Michigan’s inland lakes, where the birds — specifically their droppings — have become quite a problem for area residents.

While some municipalities such as Canton Township have used trained dogs to chase geese out of larger parks, others have turned to goose roundups to rid themselves of the messy birds. Relocation efforts in Commerce Township and elsewhere have been under way for the past two weeks because the geese are molting, which means they are losing their feathers and unable to fly.    more...

 



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Pollutant level rising in Great Lakes gull eggs

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Herring gull eggs collected from nests along the Great Lakes are contaminated with a pollutant that could be as bad as PCBs.

Moreover, levels of BDEs -- brominated diphenyl ethers -- are rising, and are highest in eggs collected near Chicago and other big cities.

Environment Canada, a government department, has been sampling the eggs every spring since 1974 at 15 sites on the Great Lakes.   more...

 



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Cormorants’ fish-eating habits targeted for DNR study

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Wisconsin anglers relish a meal of yellow perch, but so do cormorants and white pelicans.

As the perch population has declined in Green Bay, angler bag limits have been curtailed, but no such dietary restrictions apply to wildlife.

In an effort to satisfy angler concerns, the state Department of Natural Resources has launched a $90,000 study of the dining habits of the two major fish-eating bird species on the bay.

“The reason the study is coming about is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has given states the authority to manage cormorant populations,” DNR avian ecologist Sumner Matteson said. “Commercial and recreational fishermen perceive cormorants as heavily preying on yellow perch, and they have asked what the state is doing about it.   more...

 



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Ducks Unlimited - Great Lakes / Atlantic Region

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Ducks Unlimited HomeDucks Unlimited is dedicated to reversing the trends of wetland losses, restoring and protecting habitats, educating conservation values, and making the Great Lakes/Atlantic region a better place for breeding, migrating and wintering waterfowl. Great Lakes Initiatives   more...


 



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Missing Boater Found Dead

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The 57-year-old man, his grandson -- whose age was not available -- and two dogs were on a pontoon boat on Bald Eagle Lake in Brandon Township Tuesday night when one of the dogs jumped overboard, Local 4 reported.

The man reportedly jumped into the lake after the dog. more...



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How turtles get from A to B

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Sea turtles can navigate themselves around the world with their own equivalent of the global positioning system (GPS), scientists believe after new research.

Turtles are able to navigate across thousands of miles of open ocean relying on the Earth's magnetic fields.

Scientists have wanted to know how turtles make vast Atlantic journeys, returning to specific feeding sites with pinpoint accuracy.

According to a recent report in the journal Nature, tests show that the turtles can locate their position from subtle variations in the Earth's magnetic field.

The turtles' navigation aid is the equivalent of the GPS, but instead of relying on satellites in space, it depends on magnetism.   more...

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=143&art_id=qw108658980115B252&set_id=1
 



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Fishfly season kicks off in southeast Michigan

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GROSSE POINTE, Mich. (AP) -- The annual fishfly invasion has begun in southeast Michigan.

More than a dozen species of mayfly -- including fishflies -- are flying, mating, and littering the streets with their slippery bodies and filling the air with a strange, fishy smell.

"It's pretty messy," St. Clair Shores native Gretchen Kornack, 22, told The Detroit News for a Thursday story. "If you live in the area long enough, you learn to deal with them. You brush them off your car. You pick them off yourself before you go inside."

Fishflies are brown creatures, about the size of a pinky finger with transparent wings. They spend most of their life in Lake St. Clair and its shallows in larval form. Eventually, mature mayflies make their way to shore, molt and take to the air for one day to mate and die.  more...

 



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Expert says turtle populations in danger

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It's June, and the Michigan ponds, streams and wetlands are overflowing. For the past two months, most of the Michigan turtle population has been on the move. The turtles are following 225 million years of instinctual behaviors. They survived the dinosaurs, but today their numbers dwindle as they face, among other dangers, the risk of death trying to get across a road, according to experts.

In early spring, the first to be spotted crossing the road is probably a male looking for a suitable mate. In June, another migration begins, the females start searching for a warm, sunny nesting spot in which to lay their eggs.   more...

 



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Ohio eagle population soars

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It has been another record year in Ohio for bald eagle chicks, despite spring storms that toppled seven nests.

Ohio's adult eagles hatched 131 young, easily surpassing the previous record of 107 in 2002, according to figures from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

``It's a record... and that's exciting,'' said wildlife biologist Tom Henry.

Ohio also had a record 108 nests this year -- the first time that 100 has been surpassed. It marks the 16th consecutive year the number of eagle nests in Ohio has grown.

In 2003, Ohio had 88 neststhat produced 105 eaglets.   more...

 



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