WNR magazine NEWS & REVIEWS May 2018

May mast

News & Reviews

May 2018

Kirtland's warbler


Kirtland's comeback success

With Kirtland’s warbler numbers strong, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has proposed removing the bird from the federal list of threatened and endangered species — a huge conservation success story. A comment period on the proposal is open until mid-July, and FWS has until next spring to make a final decision. The Kirtland’s warbler was listed as endangered more than 40 years ago when its numbers dropped precipitously due to habitat loss and nest predation from brown-headed cowbirds. Now on the rebound, the bird is mostly found in lower Michigan, but Wisconsin hosts a population that continues to grow, expanding from mainly Adams County to include Marinette and Bayfield counties. For now, the bird will continue to be listed on the state’s endangered species list. Habitat management efforts have played a major role in the recovery, with areas of young jack pine forests needed to support the species. Also, a unique project — involving playing a recording of the Kirtland’s song to attract the birds — has shown promise in northern Wisconsin. Read about that and more on the Kirtland’s recovery in the Summer issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine, coming in mid-June.

WBBA logo

Birders needed for WBBA II

Entering the fourth of five seasons, the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II project is seeking volunteers to help report the birds they see around them engaged in breeding behavior. This can include such activity as carrying nesting materials, male birds singing or females incubating eggs. The goal is to document all bird species that breed in the state. "We need more volunteers to survey priority areas so we get a complete picture of what's going on with our bird populations and how we can help them moving forward," said Nick Anich, Breeding Bird Atlas coordinator for the DNR. Observations are entered in an easy online process and are reviewed by Anich and other ornithologists from organizations leading the project: the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology, the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative and the DNR. When complete, data will be published in hard-copy book form and online.

MORE FOR BIRDERS: The Great Wisconsin Birdathon 2018 fundraiser, a joint effort of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative is happening now through June 15. Put together your team and pick a day to go out and look for birds, pledging money for species you see. Proceeds benefit bird conservation projects throughout Wisconsin. Click here for details.

Friends calendar

photo contest

The 2018 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks photo contest is open. Users of state properties are encouraged to enter images of beautiful scenery and visitors enjoying activities at a state park, forest, trail or recreation area. Horizontal images only; all entries must be uploaded online. Deadline is Aug. 31. Winning photos will be featured in the 2019 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Calendar. Check the Friends website at fwsp.org for details and a link to enter.


Fishing season opens Saturday

Time to get that Gone Fishin’ sign ready! Wisconsin's regular fishing season opens every year on the first Saturday in May — that's May 5 this year — and the DNR is counting down the hours. Be ready to go by checking out all you need to know about the upcoming season including license information, complete season dates and species regulations, details on places to fish and much more at dnr.wi.gov, keyword “fishing.” For license purchases, see the GoWild site, gowild.wi.gov.

Waterfowl stamp

Calling all
wildlife artists

Wildlife stamps are a historic part of the hunting license sales process in Wisconsin, with funds generated from the sale of those stamps contributing to habitat restoration and management efforts statewide. The artwork used for the stamps is a tradition in itself, and submissions are now being accepted for the 2019 Wild Turkey, Pheasant and Waterfowl Stamp design contests. The deadline to enter original artwork is July 16. First-place winners in the contest for 2018 stamps were Caleb Metrich, waterfowl stamp (image above), and Robert Leum, wild turkey and pheasant stamps. For details on how to enter this season’s contest, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords “wildlife stamps.”

Earth Day logo

More for Earth Day

A variety of Work Play Earth Day events continue at state properties on May 5 and May 11, with volunteers needed for tasks such as planting trees, clearing brush and other plant debris, picking up litter, installing fire rings and more. For a list of events, check dnr.wi.gov, keywords “Work Play Earth Day.”