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community weblog - [ Animals ]

Controversy over cormorant cull about to re-ignite

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The possible return of a cormorant cull at Presqu'ile Provincial Park after a two-year absence has once again aroused strong emotions on both sides of the issue.

The Ministry of Natural Resources has given the public until Dec. 29 to respond to a proposed project that includes managing cormorant populations on Gull and High Bluff Islands in Presqu’ile. more...



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Resurgent gray wolves killed, despite protection

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Image: Gray wolf

SAGOLA, Mich. - When Brian Roell got word from an aerial surveillance crew that the gray wolf's radio collar was indicating no movement, he knew what it probably meant.

A few hours later, the wolf program coordinator for Michigan's Department of Natural Resources was trudging through a swampy backwoods near this township in the Upper Peninsula with another wildlife biologist and a DNR conservation officer.  more...



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  • This is too bad! Folks still need to be informed and understand the value of wo...more
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Minnesota without moose? It could happen

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DULUTH - Is climate change killing off Minnesota's moose?

That appears to be the case, according to scientists and wildlife managers meeting here to talk about the dramatic decline in the state's moose population in recent decades. State wildlife biologists estimate the population has dropped 25 to 50 percent in 20 years, with a near-collapse in northwest Minnesota, now estimated to have fewer than 100 moose, down from 4,000 in the mid-1980s.  more...



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Bird die-off hits Presque Isle

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Area biologists found 176 dead birds at Presque Isle State Park on Nov. 25.

Researchers believe the deaths were caused by avian botulism, a seasonal paralytic disease that has swept the Great Lakes since 1999.

Biologists found 96 birds between Beaches 1 and 6 on the peninsula. They found 80 more on the shore between the Rotary Pavilion and the maintenance building.  more...


 



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Fox River's dredging for PCBs starts soon

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Green Bay - The workhorse in the biggest and most expensive phase to clean up the Fox River is a massive building rising from the banks of the river.

Operating like a factory, the 242,000-square-foot facility will extract chemical compounds from river sediments for an estimated seven years and send them away in scores of dump trucks every day.

After years of jockeying and extensive planning, the actual processing of the contaminated sediments starts in May - making the Fox and the Hudson River in New York the largest remediation projects in the country.  more...

 



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Small group of piping plovers making noise

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For a small relatively nondescript shorebird, the piping plover has been getting quite a lot of press recently. It has been largely absent from Ontario for half a century, but last year and this year, piping plovers successfully bred in southern Ontario.

In 2007 a pair of piping plovers nested at Sauble Beach. This past summer there were nests at Sauble Beach, Wasaga Beach and Oliphant.

Hundreds of naturalists visited one or more of these sites and were excited to see adults with their young. more...



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Lack of die-offs baffles scientists

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 TRAVERSE CITY -- A year ago dead birds littered area Lake Michigan beaches, but it's been much different so far this year to the pleasant surprise of researchers.

"We were expecting to have lots and lots of dead birds to deal with, so it's good news that we haven't seen that," said Damon McCormick, a biologist with Common Coast Research and Conservation.  more...

 



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What about the ugly animals?

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I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that you won’t see a “Save the lampreys” bumper sticker any time soon.

Not only are they so unattractive as to make scorpions look like hamsters by comparison, but the behavior of these eel-like creatures is, by human standards, profoundly uncivil. Using their suction-cup mouths and sharp teeth, lampreys attach themselves to unsuspecting fish, pierce their flesh with their pointy tongues, and hang there for about 18 months, living off the fish’s blood. When they finally detach, they leave a distinctive, circular wound on the fish.   more...

 

 



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Great Lakes governors want answers on carp barrier

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The Great Lakes governors want answers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard as to why they have not switched on the new $9 million electric fish barrier designed to keep the dreaded Asian carp from invading the lakes.

The barrier was finished more than two years ago, but federal officials in charge of the project won't activate it because of worries about the danger the electrified water could pose to barge operators traveling along the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.   more...

 



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Tiny water fleas pose big problem

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— State Department of Environmental Conservation officials said Thursday that evidence of an aquatic invasive species known as the “spiny water flea” has been discovered in the Great Sacandaga Lake, its first known appearance in an inland body of water in the state.

DEC spokesman David Winchell said the spiny flea isn’t a flea at all but a crustacean, similar to a tiny shrimp, native to Europe and Asia.   more...

 



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Manitowish Waters at center of efforts to restore timber wolves to western Great Lakes

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Manitowish Waters is figuring prominently in ongoing efforts to restore a sustainable population of timber wolves (Canis lupus) to the western Great Lakes region, now that the Timber Wolf Alliance has relocated its headquarters from Northland College's Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute to the non-profit North Lakeland Discovery Center, W215 Hwy. W.
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Snowy owl makes early appearance

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Around mid-day last Sunday, the hot line call came. A snowy owl had been sighted in Cobourg Harbour. It seems to have been a one-day visit. Although not the earliest record for snowy owl for Northumberland County, it was a bit on the early side for this species. If they are going to come south, they usually turn up in November. more...

 



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Managing Habitats for Migrating Land Birds in the Western Lake Erie Basin

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This is a practical guide describing how private landowners and managers of corporate lands, city parks and other public areas can manage habitats to assist birds as they migrate through the Great Lakes region, especially around Lake Erie.  more...


 



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Endangered frogs get a break in the weather

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photoPick up a Mississippi gopher frog and it covers its eyes with its forefeet, like someone afraid to see what’s coming next. And for at least a decade, it’s had a good reason not to look.

This year, for a change, nature gave a bit of a break to one of the nation’s most endangered species.

Few remain in the wild, with the Detroit Zoo and four other zoos holding several dozen as well.  more...

 



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Birds cause trouble on Beaver Island

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A cormorant can eat up to 1 ½ pounds of fish a day. Near Beaver Island, the birds are feasting on the bass population. LANSING — State lawmakers and the residents of remote Beaver Island are pressing state and federal wildlife officials to control exploding populations of cormorants in northwestern Lake Michigan — a naturally caused problem that appears to have no natural limits.

They're distressed at the growing destruction they say thousands of the coastal water birds have caused to small islands where they nest in the Beaver Island archipelago, and to once-thriving schools of smallmouth bass on which the birds feast.   more...

 



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