A special plover completes 1,300-mile migration
In the language of the Little Traverse Bay of Odawa Indians, his name is Bimaajii, or “one who moves about.” He’s an endangered Great Lakes piping plover, found in May 2018 on High Island in Lake Michigan by Bill Parsons and Archie Kiogama, wildlife biologists for the Odawa. After discovery, Bimaajii was banded with a unique combination of colored bands and named Of,YL:X,R in the unique parlance of the University of Minnesota researchers that study the Great Lakes piping plovers. The colors selected for Bimaajii’s bands -- yellow, red and black -- are the colors of the Odawa medicine wheel.
The Little Traverse Bay Band has been working on Great Lakes piping plover conservation for many years and monitors High Island each summer for signs of nesting plovers. Tribal biologists also found a second plover in May, a female called Migaaza, or “she is fighting.” Keeping a close watch on the pair, the biologists discovered a nest in June. They placed an exclosure, or small cage, around the nest, allowing the birds to come and go but keeping predators like gulls and ravens at bay. The Band’s actions helped the birds’ chances of nesting success, and the pair hatched a chick. When researchers returned to band the chick it was named Ozaa giizis oons, or “little yellow sun.”
Whooping crane eastern population see the best year yet for wild-hatched chicks
Six wild-hatched whooping crane chicks in Wisconsin survived to flight stage in 2018, the most since the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership began restoring a migratory population of the endangered birds in the eastern United States.
Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership
Great Lakes piping plovers see a mix of recovery progress
A cold winter and poor fledging season in 2017 brought mixed results for endangered Great Lakes piping plovers in 2018. This year’s breeding population dipped to 67 pairs after several years of hovering around the 75-pair mark. On the plus side, despite fewer pairs, nesting plovers had a successful breeding season. For the second year in a row breeding piping plovers were found on all five Great Lakes, a benchmark reached in 2017 for the first time in 55 years.
A year of rusty patched bumble bee observations - still hope for the species
After a year of new observations for the rusty patched bumble bee, the core range of the species continues to grow. Since this species was listed as endangered in the spring of 2017, we have made new observations, primarily in southwest Minnesota, southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. New populations have also been discovered in Iowa and Virginia.
Rusty patched bumble bee
More Higgins eye reintroductions into the Chippewa River
In August, biologists from the Minnesota-Wisconsin Field Office, Regional Office and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources assisted biologists from Genoa National Fish Hatchery in releasing 3,000 Higgins eye pearlymussels in the Chippewa River in Wisconsin -- marking the second year of this exciting effort!
Higgins eye pearlymussels
Second Minnesota Bat Festival shares wonders, dispels myths
The second Minnesota Bat Festival at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge aimed to celebrate the unique role bats play in our world, further visitors’ appreciation and knowledge of bats and explain why bats need our help right now more than ever.
Northern Long-eared Bat
First-ever conservation bank in the Midwest will help bats
There’s a new tool in the toolbox to help bats in the midwest, thanks to the first-ever conservation bank for imperiled species in the midwest. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved the Chariton Hills Conservation Bank in northern Missouri in July 2018.s
Northern Long-eared Bat