Posts Tagged ‘wildlife’

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Pitcher Plants Turn Food Chain Upside Down

pitcher plant As a kid, I was fascinated and terrified by the idea of carnivorous plants. Growing up in suburban New Jersey, my only exposure to this particular subset of the plant kingdom was the ravenous, larger-than-life Venus fly trap in Little Shop of Horrors.

If I stumbled upon a carnivorous plant in real life, I wondered, would it have teeth? If I ventured too close, would it grab on to my finger and never let go? » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 15, 2019

Trout Stream Management Meetings Planned

spawning lake troutThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is developing a new plan for inland trout stream management based on updated scientific information and public meetings held across the state in 2017.

Prior to completing the draft plan, DEC fisheries managers would like to meet with trout stream anglers to explain the proposed approach, answer questions, and solicit feedback. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 8, 2019

A Good Year For Monarch Butterflies

monarch pupates in the relative safety of a firewood pile by Richard Gast If you’ve noticed a lot of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) lately, you’re not alone. From my own observations and from what people have been telling me, this summer appears to have been a very successful one for them; at least in this part of the northeast.

Monarchs have four life stages; egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa, and adult (butterfly). The caterpillars feed only on milkweed leaves and seed pods. And, for this reason, adult Monarch females lay their eggs only on milkweed. In fact, the search for milkweed is the sole reason for monarch migration; perhaps the most remarkable migration in nature. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 7, 2019

Wet, Wild and Wonderful Bogs and Fens

bog by adelaide tyrol“Squish, squash.” I was walking gingerly on a soft, spongy carpet of sphagnum moss in a northern Vermont bog. Magenta blossoms decorated the sheep laurel shrubs that lined the edge of the open wetland – beyond them the pointed spires of balsam fir and black spruce reached towards the sky. Ahead of me, the white tufts at the ends of cotton grass waved in the breeze. I took another step. There was a sucking sound, and a cold, wet feeling as my right foot suddenly sank a couple of feet into the bog. It was challenging to get it out without falling in entirely, but I finally extricated my muddy boot and vowed to buy some high rubber boots for future wetland exploration. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Near-Term Threats To Forest Health

spotted lantern flyIf you’re tired of hearing about new invasive forest pests, I’m right there with you. Seems they arrive at an ever-increasing pace, and the harm potential ratchets up with each newcomer. At this rate maybe we’ll get a wood-boring beetle whose larvae explode, which would put things in perspective. As distasteful as it is to peer at the cast of ugly new characters, it’s better to know what we’re up against.

Novel pests put everyone on a steep learning curve. For the species below, key questions remain unanswered, and some of what we “know” will undoubtedly be proven wrong. Still, it’s worth the effort to take stock of the near-term threats to our woodlands. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Water Pennies Have A Unique Approach to Survival

Water pennies Imagine for a moment that you travel on all fours like other self-respecting quadrupeds. Extend your imagination yet a little more, and with it your body, so that a large dome-shaped shell-like structure extends out to cover you in all directions.

From above, a predator would see only a disk with a snug fit to the ground on all sides. Now shrink dramatically and move into the nearest fast-flowing stream: you are well on your way to becoming a water penny beetle larva. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 25, 2019

Insect Apocalypse: What We Don’t Know May Bite Us

insects around the world by adelaide tyrolLast February you might have seen news stories about an impending insect apocalypse.

“Huge global extinction risk.” “Plummeting insect numbers threaten collapse of nature.” “Insects are dying off at a scary rate.” And those were just the headlines on online articles from New Scientist, The Guardian, and Fortune.

Whew. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Science of Amphibian Regeneration

Red Backed Salamander A few times a year, I bring groups of people into the woods to search for red-backed salamanders in the damp netherworld that is the forest floor. Last spring, it was 8th graders.

They did their best to follow the cardinal rule of middle school social interaction – thou shalt not appear “uncool” by expressing interest in anything whatsoever that an adult is asking of you – but the salamanders exposed the chinks in their armor. Crouched low over small wooden boards we’d set out to mimic the rotting logs that red-backeds prefer, the students murmured with excitement. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

North American Invasive Species Conference Set For Saratoga

NAISMA ConferenceThe 2019 North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) conference has been set for September 30th through October 3rd, in Saratoga Springs. Conference sessions, presentations, and workshops will bridge the geographic divide between West to East and North to South, connecting terrestrial and aquatic invasive species management, research, policy, and outreach initiatives and opportunities across North America. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Pool Owners, Others Should Report Invasive Beetles

Adult Asian longhorned beetle in a poolNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is encouraging New York pool owners to participate in the Division of Lands and Forests’ annual Asian Longhorned Beetle Swimming Pool Survey during the month of August.

This is the time of year when Asian longhorned beetles (ALB) emerge as adults and are most active outside of their host tree. The goal of the survey is to look for and find these exotic, invasive beetles before they can cause serious damage to our forests and street trees. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Spotties: Sandpipers That Like Lakes

Spotted Sandpiper by Adelaide TyrolIf there’s one place you’d expect to see a sandpiper, it’s on the sand. However, there is one member of this family of shorebirds that prefers streamside to surfside.

Almost any time you go for a paddle, you are likely to see small brown birds skimming low across the water with stiff, rapid wingbeats. As they walk along a branch or log, or a muddy stretch of shore, they have a characteristic rear-end bob that never quits. In flight, their calls are an ascending ‘weet-weet-weet.” » Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 11, 2019

DEC Plans Changes to Deer, Moose Policies

Adirondack moose 2 (DEC Photo)New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that they are proposing several regulatory changes in an effort to protect New York’s wild deer and moose from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

CWD is a fatal and untreatable nervous-system disease affects deer, elk, and moose and is believed to be caused by abnormally shaped proteins called prions. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 8, 2019

A Renewed Fight to Protect Migratory Birds

bird covered in oil courtesy USFWSDuring the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the use of feathers in women’s hats was all the rage.

To meet fashion industry demand for their elegant plumage, several North American bird species (e.g. egrets, herons) were hunted to near-extinction. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 8, 2019

Injured Bear Cub Rescued Along Route 3

tranquilized bear cub courtesy DECAccording to a press release issued by DEC, on July 28th, a motorist called DEC to report that he had struck a bear cub on Route 3 in the town of Franklin.

ECO James Cranker reported that he responded and located the cub in a tree alongside the busy highway. The cub seemed dazed and was favoring an injured front leg. ECO Cranker said he followed the bear a short distance into the woods, while being alert for the presence of an adult bear in the vicinity. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

10th Annual Great Adirondack Moose Festival Planned

Moose At Helldiver PondThe 10th Annual Great Adirondack Moose Festival has been set for the weekend of September 28 and 29, 2019. Held in Indian Lake, the Moose Festival offers visitors of all ages a uniquely Adirondack experience.

Visitors to the Indian Lake region for the Moose Festival can enjoy programs, games, contests, exhibitions, guided tours, shopping – all in the theme of the Moose.

The half-ton mammal is making a comeback in the Adirondacks, so you may even spot one during the weekend. The Annual Great Adirondack Moose Festival is sponsored by the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce and a host of regional and local business sponsors. » Continue Reading.