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community weblog - [ Animals ]

To save gentle manatees, expert traces their family trees

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The image “http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C4&Date=20080107&Category=FEATURES10&ArtNo=80107039&Ref=AR” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.By Ludmilla Lelis

A thick herd of manatees greeted Blue Spring State Park specialist Wayne Hartley as he started his manatee count during a recent Florida cold snap.

Among them swam Lunatic, Law, Liege and Lili — manatees he named when each was a newborn calf and all of whom descended from Luna, a matriarch whose family tree of 35 sea cows spans five generations.

“Luna was one of those who had a calf every two years,” said Hartley, sighing in his reminiscence.

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Animals  Environment  Other  

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Big Northerns Through The Ice

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There is nothing quite like the thrill of pulling a trophy northern pike through the ice. Big northerns are not only an open water phenomena. They are one of my favorite ice fishing targets. As an ice fisherman I love the thrill of seeing that huge 'gator' head fill the hole. I've learned a few lessons over the years. The tough part is we typically learn the most from our failures, not our successes, and that also holds true for ice fishing for big northern pike. With a proper game plan and the right equipment you can set yourself up to put some beautiful fish up on the ice. There is not a lot to it, but you do need to create a game plan that will give you the highest opportunity possible to catch these monsters.

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Animals  Fishing  

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Ugly lamprey teach important lessons

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By Barbara Arrigo

With a gloved hand, I reached into the tank of water and pulled out a sea lamprey. I managed to hang on to it for all of about two seconds before it started writhing ... flexing ... turning ... reaching ...

Well, probably not reaching. I wasn't in a horror movie, after all; I was visiting a U.S. Geological Survey biological station on Lake Huron. Still, I flung the foot-and-a-half long sucker back in the tank with a shriek.

Lampreys are ugly, ugly, ugly things. They were among the earliest lake invaders, swimming here via canals, and they may still rank as the worst.  more...



Animals  Environment  

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Ultimate Air Dogs Will be at at Detroit River Days!

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Ultimate Air Dogs is one of the premier dock jumping organizations in the country.

Based right here in Michigan, Ultimate Air Dogs puts on professional events that draw in thousands of spectators while maintaining a family friendly atmosphere. Long distance jumping is the main featured event. It is showcased in different rounds called “Splashes”. Another event is the Ultimate Vertical and it is a fast growing exhilarating sport that is becoming a crowd favorite.

The Ultimate Air Dogs will be featured at the Detroit International River Days June 22 – 25, 2007.



Animals  Events  

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Volunteers battling cormorants again

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By SEAN HARKINS

It’s 5 a.m. and the alarm is going off. Lorie Pahlkotter knows she has to get up and protect Long Lake from the predators she has seen all too often.

As treasurer of the Long Lake Improvement Association, Pahlkotter has put too much time and money into the lake to watch her hard work be compromised by birds.

Each April and May for the past three years, teams of volunteers have gone onto both Long Lake and Grand Lake to harass double-crested cormorants, birds that can eat over a pound of fish a day and have the potential to wipe out entire fish populations. The harassment coincides with spawning season.  more...


 



Animals  Other  

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Ducks and gulls are staging finales

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James F. McCarty
Plain Dealer Reporter

For birders willing to endure the last bite of winter's whip, Northeast Ohio's waterfowl- and gull-watching opportunities are in peak season.

Rafts of ducks, many dressed in their best breeding plumage, are passing through the area, massing in protected coves and harbors along the Lake Erie shoreline and on interior lakes and ponds. Many already have begun pairing up and engaging in courtship activities while on their way to far-flung nesting grounds.  more...

 



Animals  Environment  

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Cormorant control

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By Elizabeth Shaw

SAGINAW BAY - State and federal fish and wildlife officials again are setting their sights this spring on fish-eating flocks of double-breasted cormorants.

The Legislature has approved $150,000 for cormorant control in 2007, contingent on the federal government matching those funds in time for the nesting season in late April.

The birds have been blamed for decimating the perch population and threatening other fish species in the Great Lakes from the western Upper Peninsula to the Thunder Bay area near Alpena.   more...

 



Animals  Environment  

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U.S. to weigh claims that cougars on prowl

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Send in proof, agency asks residents

Think you've seen a cougar?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to hear from you.

One reason why that's important is because a nonprofit group called the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy believes that possible sightings of the big cats have too often been shrugged off by state and federal officials as a lay person's overactive imagination.

Officials also have conceded over the years that they have attributed some claims to pet cougars getting loose on their own or being illegally set free by their owners. more...

 



Animals  Environment  

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Feed filthy geese to the homeless, citizens say

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A Michigan citizens group fed up with Canada geese soiling the state's parks, beaches and golf courses is proposing the explosive fowl population be culled --and fed to the homeless.   more...

 



Animals  Environment  

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Wolves, moose in decline on Mich. island

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JOHN FLESHER
Associated Press

Chased into the Lake Superior shallows, mauled and left for dead by fellow wolves, the young female struggled to shore and collapsed. A lone male came to the rescue, licking her wounds and staying on as she recovered.

Together they formed a successful and prolific pack, with the female bearing at least 19 pups. But their love story has ended tragically: A rival pack killed the female this winter, a year after fatally attacking her mate as he munched on a moose carcass.  more...

 



Animals  Environment  

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SWAN SONG OF THE MUTE SWANS

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Wildlife officials want to eliminate the European mute swan so it doesn't compete with native birds. (Photo by Christina Shockley)

Controversy over what to do about a non-native swan has taken an unusual turn. One state that was going to kill all of its mute swans will now give some of them a short lease on life. It's going to let people "adopt" the wild birds. Christina Shockley has the story: more...

 



Animals  Other  

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Sheboygan considers plan to shoo away bothersome birds

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Sheboygan is considering creative plans to keep birds from nesting along the Lake Michigan shoreline, where the droppings can raise E.coli levels in the water.  more...

 



Animals  Environment  

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The myth of moose

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Have you seen the pictures of the white moose on the Internet? The pair that supposedly was photographed somewhere along a road in the western Upper Peninsula?

They must be thoroughbred racing moose, because in about four days they apparently covered more than 3,000 miles from Bathurst, New Brunswick, in the Canadian Maritimes to Kelowna, British Columbia.   more...

 



Animals  Other  

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Don't expect wolves to become game animals

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Despite the U.S. Interior Department’s recent decision to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, the roughly 450 wolves in the Upper Peninsula aren’t likely to become game animals any time soon.

Delisting will allow the state to use lethal control for wolves that prey on livestock or pets, but killing is a last resort when other methods fail, state wolf researchers said. And if wolves must be killed, it will be done by state workers.   more...

 



Animals  Environment  

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Cormorant droppings harm Mackinac Bridge

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By Fred Gray News-Review Staff Writer

MACKINAW CITY - Pigeon and sea gull droppings have been eating away at the paint on the Mackinac Bridge for years and now double-crested cormorant poo can be added to the noxious mix, says the Mackinac Bridge Authority's chief engineer. “We don't want them there,” said Kim Nowack, who is looking for new ways to shoo the birds away. “The cormorants are the latest threat to the bridge. The bird droppings corrode the steel, and make maintenance harder by soaking up moisture and putting it against the steel.” more...



Animals  Environment  

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