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community weblog - [ Animals ]

Threatened turtle turned up by cottager-funded Ont. lake study

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The stinkpot turtle, which rarely leaves the water and releases a foul odour when disturbed, is considered a species threatened with extinction in Canada.

A healthy population of threatened turtles has been found in an eastern Ontario lake as a result of a study partly funded by local cottagers.

"That's great news," said Paula Norlock, a biologist with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources after capturing some stinkpot turtles in Lower Beverley Lake last week. "And hopefully, you know, whatever we can find with a healthy population, we can spread to some populations that aren't doing so well."   more...

 



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Long absent piping plovers make a return

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A rare little bird is making a relatively big comeback.

For about 30 years, you couldn't find a piping plover nest on the shores of the Canadian Great Lakes if you tried.

The diminutive shore birds have been calling the Great Plains, the Atlantic Coast and the American Great Lakes states home, although not in great numbers. Considered an endangered species, there are only estimated to be about 6,400 piping plovers in North America.  more...

 



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Warming alters predator-prey balance

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For six decades since they loped across frozen Lake Superior to reach this rocky island, wolves have roamed 45-mile-long Isle Royale. Now, scientists tracking the Isle Royale wolves fear they could become extinct because of global warming.   more...

 



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Swan reduction could have been handled better

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by Howard Meyerson | The Grand Rapids Press

A state-approved mute swan kill on Big Whitefish Lake two weeks ago may become an example of what not to do, according state officials, who now say killing 51 swans may be too many at one time.

"This doesn't happen that often, but in retrospect if I were going to do it again, I would say: 'Shoot 10 or less (each time) because its an emotional issue for the public,'" DNR wildlife biologist Jon Niewoonder said.   more...

 



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Are cormorants ruining fishing?

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photoBEAVER ISLAND -- The once-renowned bass and perch fisheries here are just a memory, gobbled up by tens of thousands of big, black diving birds that can eat more than their own weight in fish in a week.

Sport and commercial fishermen and tourism interests want the state and federal governments to cut the number of double-crested cormorants around the Beaver Island group by half, raising the ire of bird lovers and animal-rights activists who say the cormorants aren't at the root of the problem.   more...

 



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A FEW MINUTES WITH: A man who outfought a hippo

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You see a guy out in Beverly Hills, Mich. Maybe he's picking up his daughter at school. Maybe he's at the store. Maybe the ball field.

You see Paul Templer and you see a guy with one arm. You wonder about him, but who would ask, "What happened?"

Well, you, maybe. And you'd notice right away his accent. And you'd quickly learn he grew up in Zimbabwe. That he used to be a safari guide. That he sometimes gave river tours. That he once was on the Zambezi River -- 1996 to be exact -- when the water exploded.   more...

 



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Reintroducing ospreys to southern Michigan

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Outdoors 06/12/2008The Davison Index (6/12)
Advances in chemical technology once were the undoing of ospreys in Michigan. Now, advancement in communication technology is proving to be a benefit to the Department of Natural Resources’ attempt to reintroduce the raptors in southern Michigan.   more..

 



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Dog rescued after months at sea

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Snickers the Sea Dog is barely more than a pup, but he's already an old salt.

The eight-month-old pooch spent three months adrift on a 15-metre boat and survived four months on tiny Fanning Island - 1609 kilometres south of Hawaii - where his owners left him after their sailing boat ran aground last December.

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Animals  In The News  

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'Phenomenal' day for birds of prey

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Anne Schnell of Hilton, Bird of Prey Days co-chairwoman, holds a red-tailed hawk as Ryan Loysen of Rochester speaks at last year's event.

By Leo Roth

If you want to see wild horses running on the beach, go to Assateague Island off the coast of Maryland and Virginia.

If you want to see mountains, go to Colorado. If you want sunshine, head to Florida.

But if you want to see the greatest congregation of migrating hawks in the spring, just go to the Lake Ontario shoreline, in particular, Braddock Bay Park in Greece.

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Milestone of Great Lakes invader no cause for celebration

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By John Myers

Conservation groups on Wednesday marked the 20th anniversary of the discovery of zebra mussels in the Great Lakes by calling for federal laws to stem the tide of new invasive species.

Zebra mussels were first discovered in Lake St. Claire in 1988 and over 20 years have spread across the Great Lakes and into most of the nation’s major inland riverways, now moving even into the western U.S.

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Nonmigrating ducks dying; weather blamed

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By Steve Pardo

Michigan's weird weather is blamed for ducks dying by the hundreds on the shores of Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River -- key stops in the birds' annual migrations.

Between 600 and 800 canvasback and redhead ducks have turned up dead along the shores, according the state Department of Natural Resources. Traditionally, they -- along with hundreds of thousands of other ducks -- some from as far away as Hudson Bay -- spend the late fall here, fattening up before moving to warmer climes.

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Whales Injured by Tour Boats off Waikiki and Kona Coast

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By Brianne Randle

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says ten-thousand whales make their way to Hawaii each year. A sight many turn out to see.

But, images like this do not make a pretty picture.

"You'll see some animals that have propeller wounds on their side," says David Schofield, Marine Mammal Response Coordinator.

Damage from a collision with a boat. And it's not the first.

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Animals  Environment  In The News  

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Michigan expands quarantine zone in fight against emerald ash borer

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by The Associated Press

A quarantine zone was enlarged again Monday in the struggle to contain the emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle that is decimating ash trees in Michigan and several other states.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture said it was placing all of Mackinac County in the eastern Upper Peninsula within the quarantined area, which already includes the entire Lower Peninsula.

Previously, the only parts of the Upper Peninsula under quarantine were small sections of Mackinac and Chippewa counties where the ash borer had been spotted.

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John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

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The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon commemorates the life of John Beargrease, the son of a Chippewa chief who delivered mail by dog sled along Lake Superior’s rugged North Shore in the late 19th century.

John Beargrease’s weekly deliveries along the North Shore played a pivotal role providing a lifeline for communities and commerce.

On January 27, the world will be watching as we continue the tradition of honoring John Beargrease’s character and commitment—and to celebrate life along the North Shore.

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Animals  SNOW  

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Herons persist in Chicago wetlands despite exposure to banned chemicals

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Loafing black-crowned night-herons near Lake Calumet Illinois with coking plant in background. Credit: Photo by Michael Jeffords Illinois Natural History Survey Herons nesting in the wetlands of southeast Chicago are still being exposed to chemicals banned in the U.S. in the 1970s, a research team reports. The chemicals do not appear to be affecting the birds’ reproductive success, however. The findings appear in the current issue of the Journal of Great Lakes Research.

University of Illinois veterinary biosciences scientist Jeff Levengood led the study. Levengood, a wildlife toxicologist at the Illinois Natural History Survey, said that chemicals banned 30 years ago for their deleterious effects on wildlife are still showing up in the offspring of black-crowned night-herons in a Chicago wetland.

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