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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2015 News and Feature Stories



Wisconsin Kirtland's Warbler 2015 Season Report

PDF Version

close up of male Kirtland's warbler

Photo courtesy of Joel Trick.


September 22, 2015


The Kirtland’s warbler 2015 breeding season was one of a few surprises, novel findings, new partnerships, and was the most successful season since the population was confirmed nesting in Adams County in 2008. The first confirmation that Kirtland’s were back on their breeding site in Wisconsin, the end of their 1500 mile migration from the Bahamas, was made by Barry Benson (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services). On May 8th, Barry heard 4 singing males while at the site checking cowbird traps On June 2, nest monitor Ashley Hannah confirmed the first Kirtland’s nest of the season with 5 eggs.

Surprises for the season include the second confirmed successful Kirtland’s warbler nest outside of Adams County. This nest was found in a jack pine stand in Marinette County. Nest monitors confirmed two eggs in the nest and fledging for the nestlings occurred on July 31. In total, three male Kirtland’s warblers and two adult females were confirmed at the Marinette County site. Three males were also confirmed in a jack pine stand in Bayfield County; however, nesting was not confirmed at the site. We are enthusiastic about the Kirtland’s warbler observations in both Marinette and Bayfield counties and are hopeful that these two areas will become important nesting sites in the future.


Read more »




Kirtland's Warbler Banded as Nestling in Wisconsin Confirmed in Bahamas

A Field Update by Ashley Hannah


Nestling receives color-bands at 5-6- days old.

Nestling ABPI receives color-bands at 5-6 days old, Adams
County, Wisconsin. Photo by Joel Trick


April 22, 2015


Banding Kirtland's Nestlings in Wisconsin

The 2014 Kirtland’s warbler season was the first time biologists attempted to band nestlings at the breeding site in Wisconsin. Banding nestlings helps to determine if the young warblers return to the breeding site in following years. The color combinations allow observers to easily tell individuals apart. Wisconsin Kirtland’s warbler males, some females, and six nestlings are banded with their own color combinations, and can be easily recognized whether they are in Wisconsin on the breeding grounds or in the Bahamas on the wintering grounds.


Kirtland’s Warbler Confirmed in Bahamas

In March and April 2015, researchers have been surveying for Kirtland’s on the wintering grounds in the Bahamas. The team consists of Joe Wunderle (US Forest Service), Dave Ewert (The Nature Conservancy), Genie Fleming (Puerto Rican Conservation Foundation), Nathan Cooper (Postdoctoral Researcher Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center), and Ashley Hannah (Field Assistant). Joe and Dave are long-time Kirtland’s re-searchers, Genie is an expert on Bahamian plants, Nathan worked on Kirtland’s warblers in Michigan, and Ashley was a 2014 Wisconsin DNR Kirtland’s nest monitor.


Read more »



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Protects Northern
Long-eared Bat as Threatened Under Endangered Species Act

Also Issues Interim Special Rule that Tailors Protections to Eliminate Unnecessary Restrictions and Provide Regulatory Flexibility for Landowners

Northern Long-eared bat

Northern Long-eared bat

Photo Courtesy of Pete Pattavina/USFWS


April 1, 2015


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today it is protecting the northern long-eared bat as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), primarily due to the threat posed by white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has devastated many bat populations.


At the same time, the Service issued an interim special rule that eliminates unnecessary regulatory requirements for landowners, land managers, government agencies and others in the range of the northern long-eared bat. The public is invited to comment on this interim rule as the Service considers whether modifications or exemptions for additional categories of activities should be included in a final 4(d) rule that will be finalized by the end of the calendar year. The Service is accepting public comments on the proposed rule until July 1, 2015 and may make revisions based on additional information it receives.


“Bats are a critical component of our nation’s ecology and economy, maintaining a fragile insect predator-prey balance; we lose them at our peril,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “Without bats, insect populations can rise dramatically, with the potential for devastating losses for our crop farmers and foresters. The alternative to bats is greater pesticide use, which brings with it another set of ecological concerns.”


In the United States, the northern long-eared bat is found from Maine to North Carolina on the Atlantic Coast, westward to eastern Oklahoma and north through the Dakotas, reaching into eastern Montana and Wyoming. Throughout the bat’s range, states and local stakeholders have been some of the leading partners in both conserving the long-eared bat and addressing the challenge presented by white-nose syndrome.


News Release »


Learn More »


White-nose Syndrome »




How Saving One Butterfly Could Help Save the Prairie


Monarch buttflies on flowers.

Monarch butterfly. Photo courtesy of Joel Trick.


February 5, 2015


Winter Seed Prep

People love monarch butterflies. They are big, vibrant and easy for people to watch in their gardens. If monarchs disappeared from the landscape, people would notice.


Don’t think of the monarch as one butterfly, think of it as a mosaic of prairie plants and animals that all need the same things - soil, sun and time to grow. Even in the face of massive habitat loss, we have been making a home for monarchs and species of the the wider prairie ecosystem for decades.


Our prairie restoration is intentional. These acts of conservation are not random and are happening on state, federal and private lands all over the region. This is something that you can help with, even if you live in the city and have only a small curbside boulevard. If you use the right plants, you can attract monarchs to your backyard, providing an essential migration path.


Read More »




Service Announces Annual Endangered Species Youth Art Contest


Sea Otter

Southern Sea Otter


January 30, 2015


Youth across the nation are invited to put their creative skills to work for wildlife in the 2015 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest, an integral part of the 10th annual national Endangered Species Day celebration.


The contest provides school children in grades K through 12 an opportunity to learn about threatened and endangered wildlife and the importance of protecting them, and encourages kids to express their knowledge and support for conservation efforts through their artistic and creative talents. Young artists who are home schooled and participate in youth groups are also eligible to enter.


Bulletin »

Learn More »

Blog: Saving Species with Art »




U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Special
Rule to Focus Protections for
Northern Long-Eared Bat:

Rule Would Apply if Species is Listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act

Northern long-eared bats hibernating in a cave in Missouri.

Northern long-eared bats hibernating in a cave in Missouri.

Photo Courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation


January 15, 2015

In response to the rapid and severe decline of the northern long-eared bat – a species important for crop pest control – the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a special rule under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that would provide the maximum benefit to the species while limiting the regulatory burden on the public.

If finalized, the rule, under section 4(d) of the ESA, would apply only in the event the Service lists the bat as “threatened.” The Service’s proposal will appear in the Federal Register Jan. 16, 2015, opening a 60-day public comment period.

“White-nose syndrome is having a devastating effect on the nation’s bat populations, which play a vital role in sustaining a healthy environment and save billions of dollars by controlling forest and agricultural pests,” said Service Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius. “We need to do what we can to make sure we are putting commonsense protections in place that support vulnerable bat species but are targeted to minimize impact on human activities. Through this proposed 4(d) rule, we are seeking public comment on how we can use the flexibilities inherent in the ESA to protect the bat and economic activity.”


Read More »








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Last updated: June 28, 2019