December/January Feature Story
Salazar Announces Recovery of Gray Wolves in the Western Great Lakes, Removal from Threatened and Endangered Species List:States, tribes to assume management responsibility
December 21, 2011
Photo by Corel Corporation
WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that gray wolf populations in the Great Lakes region have recovered and no longer require the protection of the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is publishing a final rule in the Federal Register removing wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and in portions of adjoining states, from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants.
“Once again, the Endangered Species Act has proved to be an effective tool for bringing species back from the brink of extinction,” Secretary Salazar said. “Thanks to the work of our scientists, wildlife managers, and our state, tribal, and stakeholder partners, gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region are now fully recovered and healthy.”
The rule removing ESA protection for gray wolves in the western Great Lakes becomes effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
News Release >>
Information about Delisting the Gray Wolf Western Great Lakes DPS
November Feature Story
Whooping Crane Fall Migration Underway
Photo by USFWS; Steve Gifford
Ten young whooping cranes began their migration on October 9 as they left White River Marsh State Wildlife Area in Green Lake and Marquette counties. These cranes are being led south by three of Operation Migration's ultralight aircraft and pilots. They will travel through Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia to reach the birds’ wintering habitats at Chassahowitzka and St. Marks National Wildlife Refuges on Florida's Gulf Coast. You can follow the ultralight migration on Operation Migration's Field Journal.
Another eight young cranes, that had been hatched and raised by International Crane Foundation biologists, were release at Horicon National Wildlife Refuge on October 24. They were released in the company of older whooping cranes from whom the young bird will learn the migration route south. This method of releasing young whooping cranes is called Direct Autumn Release.
For the past 10 years the Direct Autumn Release and ultralight-led whooping cranes have been released on Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. Many of these cranes have reached breeding age and have hatched chicks on the refuge. To date, three wild-hatched whooping crane chicks have fledged and successfully migrated in this population. This level of nest success is, however, not yet enough to sustain the population. As part of experimentation with improving reproduction in this flock, Horicon National Wildlife Refuge and White River Marsh State Wildlife Area were chosen as new locations for releasing birds in 2011. These sites are based on what biologists have learned about cranes released at Necedah and their habitat and nesting
October Feature Story
Karner Blue Butterfly Genetic Samples Collected as Part of Climate Change Research Project
Jennifer Resch and Jessica Kempke collect a wing clip sample from a Karner blue butterfly for genetic analyses. The Karners were collected at Black River State Forest in Jackson County, Wisconsin on August 3, 2011..
Photo by UFWS; Cathy Carnes
Genetic samples from Karner blue butterflies were collected during July and August, 2011, as part of a study on climate change. Karner blue wing clips (for genetic analyses) were collected at two sites in the Black River State Forest in Jackson County, Wisconsin, and at one site at Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area in Burnett County, Wisconsin.
Cathy Carnes, Jennifer Resch and Jessica Kempke of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Green Bay, Wisconsin, Ecological Services Office collected samples at Black River State Forest. Both Jennifer and Jessica are students attending the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and STEP (Student Temporary Employment Program) students with the USFWS. Joseph Kempke, a Service volunteer, assisted with the wing clip collection at Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area.
A Karner blue butterfly rests on the insect tent used to comfortably house the butterflies after processing, at Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area in Burnett County, Wisconsin.
Photo by USFWS Jessica Kempke
This was the second year of sample collection. Other biologists collected wing clips for genetic analysis from Necedah National Wildlife Refuge and Emmons Creek State Fisheries Area in central Wisconsin. The climate change study is being conducted by Dr. Ralph Grundel of the U.S. Geological Service and Dr. Jessica Hellman of Notre Dame University to assess the impact of global climate change on the butterfly. The genetic study can assess several important characteristics of Karner blue populations and relate those to climate. These characteristics include genetic diversity, genetic variation, and genetic differentiation among the sample sites.
September 2011 Feature Story
Wisconsin Kirtland's Warbler 2011 Season Summary
This male Kirtland’s warbler, first banded in 2009, returned to the Adams County nesting site for the third year in a row.
Photo by Bill Volkert
In 2011 Sam Jonas served as the primary monitor at the Adams County sites we have monitored for the past four years. Sam monitored Kirtland’s warblers at these sites from May 16 to July 14, with at least six males already present on his first day of work. New arrivals increased this total to at least 15 males by the end of May and a total for the season of 18 males at our main breeding site. The first female was observed on May 17, and a total of 11 females were eventually found during the season.
Caitlynn Nemec began work as our second monitor on June 1, assisting Sam in coverage of our main breeding site, providing coverage at other sites around the state, and also monitoring the satellite Adams County site where Kirtland’s warblers nested in 2009 and 2010. This year we had up to three males present at this site, including one bird that had been briefly observed here in late summer of 2010. A single female was present for a short time, but no nesting was detected at this site in 2011.
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