U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Midwest

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Weekly Wrap-up: February 16 - 22, 2018

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Check out our best stories from around the web and social media. This week features fox food, climbing cats, flying squirrel sightings and more!

Discovery of a new parasite honors scientist’s mother and father

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 08:00
After I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, I always intended to write my parents a card to share my appreciation for all their help and support. With regret, the moment slipped away from me and the card was never completed. Years later I now have the opportunity to make amends. I am pleased to say that a new parasite has been named to honor my father and mother, Michael and Alice. Ligictaluridus michaelalicea is a small parasitic flatworm that measures approximately 1 millimeter in length and lives on the gills of flathead catfish in the upper Mississippi River. While it may fall short of a Hallmark card, it’s the best way I know to express my gratitude for the way my parents fostered the scientist in me from an early age.

Boy Scouts of America launch new monarch conservation program

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 08:00
On February 17, more than 300 boy scouts and their families gathered at the U.S. National Arboretum to kick off a new National Capital Area Council Boy Scouts of America monarch conservation program called “Milkweed for Monarchs”. Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius, who leads the Service’s national effort to conserve the monarch butterfly, set the tone for the event by speaking about the about the importance of monarch preservation and how it relates to broader conservation issues. The event highlighted how milkweed is easy to grow and that everyone can play a part in ensuring a future filled with monarchs. After the opening ceremony, boy scouts helped pot pollinator plants and took home milkweed seed packets, along with a special event monarch conservation patch.

Weekly Wrap-up: February 9 - 15, 2018

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 08:00
Check out our best stories from around the web and social media. This week features outstanding owls, bluebird returns, mink markings and more!

Duff Lake Fen restoration project opens public access in Indiana

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 08:00
The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program assists voluntary landowners to transform unused and degraded property into desirable habitat that provides food, shelter and water for wildlife. These restored areas are often designed to provide a place for outdoor recreation activities. In 2015, the program and LaGrange County Parks and Recreation Department got their boots on the ground to start the Duff Lake Fen Restoration Project in northeast Indiana.

Designing award winning parks for people and wildlife

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 08:00
On February 8, 2018, the O.U.R. Saginaw project was awarded the 2017 Park Design of the Year by the Michigan Recreation and Park Association. The Park Design award recognizes groups and organizations for projects that contain landscape and facility components such as splash pads, outdoor aquatic facilities, sports fields, playgrounds and trails.

Return on Investment: New data collection tool aids in invasive carp effort

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 09:50
Each year we collect between 7,000 and 9,000 water samples as part of the Midwest Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program’s environmental DNA (eDNA) work. The water samples are collected from the Upper Mississippi River, Ohio River, Tennessee River, Chicago Area Waterway System, the Illinois River, and tributaries of the Great Lakes. Following collection, water samples are sent to Service’s Whitney Genetics Lab in La Crosse, Wisconsin where scientists look for the presence of trace genetic material from invasive bighead or silver carps.

Kids Ice Fishing Day at Genoa National Fish Hatchery

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 14:00
On February 3, 2018 staff from Genoa National Fish Hatchery in Wisconsin hosted their annual kids ice fishing clinic. Though the day was chilly, more than 640 people were in attendance. The pond was stocked with rainbow trout, and each child was given a catch limit of three fish.

Beyond football: Big game in the north

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 08:00
As excitement grows for the Big Game, people are journeying north to Minnesota to watch football and celebrate northern culture. In the midwest, football season and hunting seasons overlap and our states draw hunters and anglers from across the country. Here are three of our big game species that are worth the journey north.

Weekly Wrap-up: January 26 - February 1, 2018

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 08:00
Check out our best stories from around the web and social media. This week features frosty fruit, bluebird boxes, wintering whoopers and more!

Attracting people just like pollinators

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 08:00
Designed in the shape of a colorful giant flower, against the stark white frozen Minnesota shoreline, the Monarch Butterfly Migration Shanty is attracting people just like pollinators are drawn to nectar. 

Making memories: Ice fishing on your national wildlife refuges

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 14:35
What brings a woman — reared in the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, with the lilt of her regional roots still in her voice — to ice fish in mid-February at Minnesota’s Winona District, part of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge?

Making memories: Ice fishing on your national wildlife refuges

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 08:00
What brings a woman — reared in the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, with the lilt of her regional roots still in her voice — to ice fish in mid-February at Minnesota’s Winona District, part of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge?

What is R3? Recruitment, retention and reactivation explained

Mon, 01/22/2018 - 08:00
Conservation and outdoor recreation go hand-in-hand. As public land stewards, we face many challenges managing America’s natural resources for recreation. Luckily, hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts have been major supporters of our work. But over the years, fewer people have been participating in traditional outdoor activities, making it harder to achieve our conservation missions. We are looking to maintain current recreation participation while also attracting new audiences, which leads to discussions about the Service’s R3 efforts. But what is R3?

Weekly Wrap-up: January 12 - January 18, 2018

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 08:00
Check out our best stories from around the web and social media. This week features Wisconsin warblers, winter warmth, lark lookout and more!

Eastern prairie fringed orchid recovery efforts continue in Illinois

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 08:00
The eastern prairie fringed orchid, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, depends on its annual seed set to maintain its population. Year after year, the species’ population at the Lone Grove Forest Preserve in Kane County, Illinois, lacked viable seed production even though flowering plants were abundant. Viable seed set occurs when flowers are cross-pollinated. Successful seed production is measured by how many plump (rather than skinny) seed capsules are formed. Plump capsules contain a higher number of seeds, and a higher percentage of those seeds are viable. The skinny seed capsules often contain no seeds at all, or if they do contain any seed, they’re few in number and many are not viable. Another challenge facing these orchids is that their natural pollinators may not be present in enough numbers for successful cross-pollination.

Kirtland’s warblers find Wisconsin a good place to nest

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 08:00
The 2017 Kirtland’s warbler nesting season marked the 10th year anniversary of the return of endangered Kirtland’s to Wisconsin. From only 11 Kirtland’s and three nests found in Adams County in 2007 to 53 individuals and 20 total nests among Adams, Marinette and Bayfield counties in 2017, the population has grown and geographically expanded in our decade of conservation work. Kirtland’s warblers are responding to the efforts from dedicated partners, prompting the continued increase in the numbers of individuals and nests in Wisconsin.

Weekly Wrap-up: January 4 - January 11, 2018

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 08:00
Check out our best stories from around the web and social media. This week features chickadee songs, playful otters, a crane comeback and more!

Restoring wildlife habitat and traditional plants with the Oneida Nation

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 08:00
Over the past several decades, biologists from our Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program have worked alongside the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin to establish wetland and native grassland habitat on tribally owned parcels of land. While the grasslands have increased habitat connectivity for pollinators, grassland birds and other wildlife, they also provide an additional benefit to the Oneida community.

Great Lakes oasis turns 105

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 08:00
Today marks the 105th birthday of a small refuge in the middle of Lake Michigan. For more than a century, we have been managing this remote refuge out of the limelight to protect an oasis for resident and migratory birds. Gravel Island National Wildlife Refuge is made up of 23-acre Spider Island and four-acre Gravel Island and is located off the tip of Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula in Lake Michigan. In honor of their birthday, let’s take some time to learn about what makes this place so special.