Natural Resources

Meager Food Available
9:47 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Birds Face Shrinking Winter Food Supply

Robins returning in time for spring may be unprepared for wintry conditions.
Credit Marc Evans

Deer aren’t the only wildlife having a hard time finding food this winter.  

Wildlife rehabilitator Marge Gibson of the Raptor Education Group says she’s worried about many of the region’s birds.  She says the rehab center near Antigo is seeing birds like red-tailed hawks, chickadees and even robins.    

“What is unusual is the way that they’re coming in.  People are finding them really not moving very much – they’re kind of in a hypothermic state.  Their breathing is slowed, their heartrate is slowed, and they go into almost a torpor state.” 

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Not Well Adapted
3:02 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Wild Turkeys Face Difficulty Finding Food in Severe Winter

Wild turkeys have a hard time finding food in deep snow.
Credit Robert Engbert

Many wild turkeys may be struggling to survive the harsh winter in northern Wisconsin.

Bird expert Laura Erickson says in an average winter, turkeys are protected by their fat reserves.  But a severe winter like this one is another matter. 

“The problem is that they need a lot of food.  And with the deep snows we’ve been having, it’s virtually impossible for them to find the acorns or other food items that they would normally get on the ground.”   

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New U.S.G.S. research
11:39 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Research: Wolf-Coyote Mating is Possible

Credit commons.wikimedia.org

A new report finds that female coyotes can give birth to mixed wolf-coyote pups. The study could have implications in the debate regarding placing wolves on the endangered species according to one researcher.

Three groups, including the U.S. Geological Society did the research.

U.S. G. S.'s Dr. David Mech says the study adds a bit of information to an on-going debate among geneticists about whether eastern gray wolves are a unique species from it's western U.S. counterpart....

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Wildlife Matters
9:38 am
Thu February 27, 2014

How Wildlife Cope in Winter

Ruffed grouse are one of many species that have adapted to survive in winter.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Next on his commentary "Wildlife Matters" DNR biologist Jeremy Holtz says there are critters in the woods that can adapt to winter, just like humans.

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Northwoods birders involved
1:28 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

GBBC Reaches An International Audience

Credit en.wikipedia.org

They didn't all fly south, as a local bird watcher says good numbers of birds were seen in the Northwoods during a recent count.

The Great Backyard Bird Count has grown to an international event says Bob Dall of Rhinelander. He says with the global reach of the Internet, birders can go online and watch as data comes in, collected two weekends ago across the planet....

 

"....in our own county, Oneida county, I think 43 checklists were turned in. More than 200 birds were observed with 22 species, from just those folks who participated...."

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Wildlife Matters with Jeremy Holtz
7:50 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Humans Not The Only Mammals Who Slalom

This slider also has a skin-tight suit.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Today we debut a new feature: "Wildlife Matters" with DNR wildlife biologist Jeremy Holtz. The commentary looks at the animals that call the Northwoods home, and how we interact with them.

With the Olympics underway in Russia, Jeremy says  humans aren't the only ones who like to slalom.

DNR wildlife biologist Jeremy Holtz. Listen for his commentaries in upcoming weeks.

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Critical time for wildlife
5:11 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

People Mimic Wildlife In Winter Habits

Newborn black bear cubs
Credit en.wikipedia.org

The winter has been a rough one for wildlife, but a DNR biologist says they find a way to cope.

Jeremy Holtz says the extended cold and deeper than recent winters snow totals place a challenge on wildlife....

 

"....every late winter they've struggled through the cold and the snow and the lack of food. Just like people, they're ready for spring...."

He says deer are specially adaptive to the winter...

 

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No other CWD deer reported
5:03 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Fencing Around Eland CWD Deer Without Problems

A healthy fawn
Credit fr.wikipedia.org

A DNR spokesperson says they have worked standard protocols to contain Chronic Wasting Disease from a deer at a farm south of Antigo.

81 deer from Wilderness Whitetails shooting preserve near Eland have been quarantined by the state. A five year old buck at the preserve tested positive for CWD after it was shot last November.

DNR Wildlife Section Chief Tami Ryan says they checked the fences at the farm at Eland and a related farm in Portage county and the fences were in good shape....

 

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A Changing Pattern
4:00 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Great Lakes and Little Lakes: Rise and Fall Are Linked Together

Tim Meinke and Carl Watras prepare to visit a groundwater monitoring well near the UW Trout Lake Station.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

A new study from the University of Wisconsin’s Trout Lake Station links the rise and fall of Northwoods lakes with the rise and fall of the Great Lakes.  

It also shows some troubling signs of falling water levels in the past twenty years - that break the cycle of the last seventy.  And it’s not clear what’s driving these changes.  

 “So here’s one with a lid that’s coming off relatively easily.  And so now with the lid off and our well open..." 

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Road Construction No Longer Needed
5:45 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

GTac Set to Begin Bulk Sampling

Gogebic Taconite plans to do bulk sampling at three sites in the Penokee Range.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Gogebic Taconite could begin bulk sampling in the Penokee Range at any time.  The DNR has finished reviewing the sampling plan and has no further questions or requirements.

GTac’s original plan involved building a new road to provide access to some of the sites.  DNR mining project lead Larry Lynch says the company submitted a revised plan last week, since frozen roads make that access easier. 

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