Wisconsin Ecological Services Field Office

Midwest Region

 

Wisconsin Field Office

2661 Scott Tower Drive
Green Bay, WI 54229-9565
Phone: 920-866-1717
Fax: 920-866-1710
TTY: 1-800-877-8339
(Federal Relay)

e-mail: GreenBay@fws.gov

 


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2012 Feature Stories

 

 

A Banner Year for the Kirtland's Warlber

 

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Photo by USFWS; Joel Trick

 

November 20, 2012

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that 2012 has been a banner year for endangered Kirtland’s warblers.  Survey results of the rare bird in Michigan and Wisconsin scored a new record, with 2,090 singing males, up from 1,828 last year.   

 

“It was only 1987 when we tied an all-time low of 167 singing males.  This is a pretty remarkable recovery -- 12 times the population size from where it was just a short 25 years ago,” said Scott Hicks, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s East Lansing Field Office Supervisor. 

 

Biologists, researchers and volunteers in Michigan observed 2,063 singing males during the official 2012 survey period – up from 1,805 in 2011. In Wisconsin, volunteers and paid monitors found and tracked singing male Kirtland’s warblers and were able to monitor nesting.  

 

View a Slideshow and Read More!

 

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Silent Spring - 50th Anniversary

To commemorate Silent Spring's 50th Anniversary, our Environmental Contaminant Specialists have written a series of articles about some of their modern problems and projects, and how those relate back to Rachel Carson's work and her findings in Silent Spring. Here is the second in the series.

 

Investigating the use of Herbicides in

an Endangered Species' Habitat


sResearch to assess the affect of herbicides on endangered Hine's emerald dragonflies.

Photo by USFWS; Sarah Warner

 

September 2012

 

Rachel Carson’s research in the 1950s on the effects of pesticides to the American robin sparked awareness of and a concern for the risks of chemicals to human and wildlife health. Carson’s research led to the banning of the pesticide DDT and to the Environmental Protection Agency‘s review and regulation of all pesticides. Although regulated, chemicals are widely used in the environment and there is evidence that some chemicals used today can cause a health risk to wildlife, something Carson warned us about decades ago. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service maintains Carson’s legacy of due diligence and continues investigations on the effects of chemicals on wildlife today.

 

Read More >>

 

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The Fox River 50 Years After Silent Spring

Great blue heron

Great blue heron flying along the Green Bay shoreline.

Photo by USFWS; Joel Trick

 

September 2012

 

If Rachel Carson walked along the shores of Green Bay today, she would observe Forster’s terns flying overhead, notice egrets and herons foraging in near shore wetlands, and perhaps even witness northern pike migrating into coastal wetlands.  The Green Bay shoreline is a far cry from the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean near Carson’s Maine cottage where she found the inspiration for her best-selling book, The Sea Around Us.  But an inspiring shoreline it is, nonetheless.  Thanks to clean-up and restoration efforts in recent decades there are vast improvements in the Bay and the Lower Fox River. 

 

Read More >>

 

Six Whooping Crane Chicks Arrive in Wisconsin
for Ultralight Training

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Photo by Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership

 

June 27, 2012

 

The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP) is pleased to announce that this year’s group of birds that will follow the ultralight planes to Florida has safely arrived in Wisconsin from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, MD.

 

As with last year, they were taken to the White River Marsh State Wildlife Area in Green Lake and Marquette Counties. This is only the second year that this new site has been utilized. The cranes will spend the summer with Operation Migration staff getting acclimated, gaining strength, and learning to follow the planes. This fall, Operation Migration will guide the young birds on their first southward migration to the Gulf coast of Florida, the cranes’ winter home.

 

These birds represent a portion of the 12th group of endangered whooping cranes to take part in a project conducted by WCEP, a coalition of public and private organizations that is reintroducing a migratory flock of whooping cranes into eastern North America, part of their historic range. An additional batch of chicks will be migrating south as part of WCEP’s Direct Autumn Release (DAR) project. Biologists from the International Crane Foundation rear whooping crane chicks that are released in the fall in the company of older cranes, from which the young birds then learn the migration route. The DAR cranes will be released on the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge (HNWR) in Dodge County, WI early this fall. There are now over 100 wild cranes in this population, all of which, with the exception of 3 wild hatches, were released using the above two methods.

 

Most of the whooping cranes released in previous years spend the summer in central Wisconsin, where they use areas on or near Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, as well as other public and private lands. WCEP asks anyone who encounters a whooping crane in the wild to please give them the respect and distance they need. Do not approach birds on foot within 200 yards; remain in your vehicle; do not approach in a vehicle within 100 yards. Also, please remain concealed and do not speak loudly enough that the birds can hear you. Finally, do not trespass on private property in an attempt to view or photograph whooping cranes.

 

WCEP founding members are the International Crane Foundation, Operation Migration Inc., Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and National Wildlife Health Center, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, and the International Whooping Crane Recovery Team.

 

Many other flyway states, provinces, private individuals, and conservation groups have joined forces with and support WCEP by donating resources, funding, and personnel. More than 60 percent of the project’s budget comes from private sources in the form of grants, public donations, and corporate sponsors.

 

If you come across a whooping crane in the wild, please report the sighting at the WCEP whooping crane observation webpage at: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/whoopingcrane/sightings/sightingform.cfm.

 

-WCEP-

 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

Connect with our Facebook page at facebook.com/usfwsmidwest, follow our tweets at twitter.com/usfwsmidwest, watch our YouTube Channel at youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at flickr.com/photos/usfwsmidwest.


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Recovery Plan Outlines Steps to Help Rare Plant

dwarf lake iris

Photo by USFWS; Joel Trick

 

May 30, 2012

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced availability of a draft recovery plan for the threatened dwarf lake iris, a species native to the Great Lakes coastline of Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada.

 

The recovery plan provides federal, state and tribal natural resource managers and their partners with a blueprint of actions needed to prevent the extinction of the plant and recover it to the point that protection under the Endangered Species Act is no longer needed. Recovery actions focus on conserving the iris’ habitat through a variety of protection strategies, including the preparation of management and monitoring plans. Additional efforts will focus on improving understanding of dwarf lake iris ecology.

 

Listed as threatened by the Service in 1988, the dwarf lake iris occurs along the shorelines of northern lakes Huron and Michigan, where it ranges from the Door Peninsula of northeastern Wisconsin eastward through the Mackinaw Straits region of Michigan and then south to the Bruce Peninsula of Ontario. Dwarf lake iris typically grows in shallow soil over moist sand, gravel and beach rubble, and limestone crevices. Dwarf lake iris is vulnerable to both natural processes, such as shading from forest growth, and human activities that can modify or destroy its habitat.

 

Copies of the Recovery Plan for the dwarf lake iris are available from the East Lansing, Michigan Field Office, 2651 Coolidge Road, Suite 101, East Lansing, Michigan 48823. The plan may also be downloaded from the Service’s website at: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered. Comments may be submitted to the East Lansing Field Office at the address above, and must be received by June 29, 2012.

 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

 

Connect with our Facebook page at facebook.com/usfwsmidwest, follow our tweets at twitter.com/usfwsmidwest, watch our YouTube Channel at youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at flickr.com/photos/usfwsmidwest.

 

Draft Recovery Plan (68-page PDF; 500KB)

 

FR Notice of Availability (2-page PDF)

 

Dwarf Lake Iris Information


 

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Two Freshwater Mussels as Endangered

Underwater photo of a cluster of spectaclecase mussels.

 

The spectaclecase mussel often clusters in sheltered areas on river bottoms. This mussels has been lost from over 50 percent of its former range.

Photo by USFWS; Nick Rowse

 

March 13, 2012

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the sheepnose and the spectaclecase,  two freshwater mussels found in river systems in the eastern half of the United States, as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. 

 

Sheepnose are currently found in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.  The sheepnose occurs in 25 streams, down from 76, a 67 percent decline.  Very few of these populations are known to be reproducing.

 

The spectaclecase once occurred in at least 44 streams but now occurs in 20 streams, a 55 percent reduction in the number of occupied streams.  Of the 20 remaining populations, six are represented by only one or two known specimens each.  Spectaclecase mussels are currently found in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

 

News Release

 

Information about Sheepnose

 

Information about Spectaclecase


 

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Piping Plover Nesting Habitat Protection
Along the Shores of Lake Michigan

Adult Piping Plover

The endangered piping plover will soon return to the beaches of the Great Lakes to begin another nesting season.

Photo by USFWS; Joel Trick

 

February 23, 2012

The endangered piping plover will soon return to the beaches of the Great Lakes to begin another nesting season. In 2011, there were approximately 55 breeding pairs of piping plover in the Great Lakes region. Plovers nest on wide sand and cobble beaches near where the vegetation starts to grow. Each pair of plovers normally has a clutch of four eggs that both adults incubate for about 28 days. After the eggs hatch, the chicks are extremely vulnerable because they cannot fly for their first four weeks. During this time, any type of harassment can significantly decrease their chances of survival. If adult plovers are chased away because of harassment, the flightless chicks are easy prey for gulls and other predators, as the adults are not there to warn them of danger. Dogs that are not on a leash can easily chase and injure or kill the chicks.

 

Cooperation by private landowners is key to recovery efforts for this highly vulnerable species. In a typical year 20 to 30 % of Great Lakes piping plovers nest on private property.

 

News Release

 

Information about Piping Plovers

 


 

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists
Two Freshwater Mussels as Endangered Species

Two snuffbox mussels on a rock.

Snuffbox mussels collected during a river survey.

Photo by Mike Hoggarth

 

February 13, 2012

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed two freshwater mussels – the rayed bean and the snuffbox – as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.  The two mussels are found in river systems in the eastern United States. 

 

The rayed bean is currently found in rivers in Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia, as well as Ontario, Canada.  The snuffbox occurs in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Ontario, Canada. 

 

News Release

 

Information about Listing the Rayed Bean

 

Information about Listing the Snuffbox


 

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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

 

Gray wolf

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

 

 

2011 Feature Stories

 

 

 
Last updated: March 28, 2013