Internet Naturalist – September 22, 2013

  • Sage Grouse Strut their Stuff – YouTube
    This video was taken at the Mount Biedeman Wilderness Study Area in the Bodie Hills. The strutting grouse sound like coffee percolators. This is one of the larger leks; BLM wildlife crew counted 116 birds the day before. Video by Bob Wick, BLM
  • Ottawa to protect endangered sage grouse in Sask. | CTV Regina News 091713
    After having its legal feathers ruffled in court, the federal government says it is moving to protect the endangered sage grouse. Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq said Tuesday the government intends to introduce an emergency protection order for the bird native to the southern Prairies.She said the order would impose obligatory restrictions to protect the sage grouse and its habitat on provincial and federal crown lands in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The restrictions would not apply to activities on private land, or on grazing on provincial or federal crown lands.
  • Federal government must prevent extinction of sage-grouse in Canada — Ecojustice 032113
    The iconic bird, known for its elaborate courtship dance, saw almost 90 per cent of its Canadian population die off between 1988 and 2006. As few as 13 male birds currently remain in Alberta and at last count, as few as 42 males were left in Saskatchewan. Scientists predict that, in the absence of meaningful protection, sage-grouse will disappear from Alberta by next year and be completely extinct in Canada within a decade.
  • Piping plover program affected by sequestration | Michigan Radio 050213
    The piping plover is a tiny bird. They’re endangered. Last year there were just 58 breeding pairs in the Great Lakes region. One third of the population nests in the Sleeping Bear Dunes area. “The chicks, they look like they’re little cotton balls running up and down the beach. They’ve got these gangly legs, and … a very endearing bird.” Sue Jennings is the wildlife program manager at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. She says because of the federal sequester, they’ve had to cut back on their seasonal staff. They set up fences to keep people and predators away from the plovers when they’re nesting.
  • West Michigan birders compete to find the most species | Michigan Radio 052113
    If you’ve always thought of birding as a quiet, relaxing hobby… you haven’t been to a Birdathon. During the recent West Michigan Birdathon, I met up with Team Fallout (as in migratory fallout) at the Blandford Nature Center. Shortly after I arrived, we were scrambling to the top of an overlook. It’s similar to a walkathon – the birders raise money, and the donations go to the Grand Rapids Audubon Club’s environmental education program for 4th graders, Audubon Adventures. There are birdathons around the country, and the rules vary. In this one, the goal is to find as many bird species as you can in six hours.
  • Making Food From Flies (It’s Not That Icky) : The Salt : NPR 091913
    n the quirky little college town of Yellow Springs, Ohio, home to many unconventional ideas over the years, there’s now a small insect factory. It’s an unassuming operation, a generic boxy building in a small industrial park. It took me a while even to find a sign with the company’s name: . But its goal is grand: The people at EnviroFlight are hoping that their insects will help our planet grow more food while conserving land and water.
  • U.P. residents weigh in on proposed wolf hunt (part 1) | Michigan Radio 050713
    For many years, gray wolves were listed as an endangered species in Michigan. That ended last year. But the battle between the wolves and locals in the Upper Peninsula has been going on for some time. | The Department of Natural Resources estimates that there were 658 wolves prowling the Upper Peninsula this winter, down slightly from the year before.
  • Are people in Ironwood really afraid of wolves? (part 2) | Michigan Radio 050913
    Governor Rick Snyder signed a law yesterday afternoon that will allow a state wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula. Later today, Michigan’s Natural Resources Commission is expected to vote on whether to authorize the hunt. That decision could have an effect on one town on the far western edge of the Upper Peninsula. Ironwood is about as far west as you can go in the Upper Peninsula. This town of about 5,000 is a small town with a big wolf problem. More than 90 wolf complaints have been filed from the city of Ironwood since 2010. The problem is, deer are attracted to the city for safety and food, and the wolves follow the deer into town.
  • Wolf pups a good sign for struggling population on Isle Royale | Michigan Radio 081513
    The wolves of Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park have not been doing well, but there’s some unexpected good news. Earlier this year, researchers from Michigan Technological University who study the wolves reported there were just eight wolves left – and they reported they were unable to find any evidence of pups born to those wolves. But now, that has changed. Michigan Tech researcher Rolf Peterson heard two or three wolf pups in July. Peterson doesn’t have phone access on the island. But by email, he told me he thinks the pups were born this spring, and they were probably born to a pack called the West End Trio.
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