A study published in the journal Science reveals that since 1970, bird populations in the United States and Canada have declined by 29 percent, or almost 3 billion birds, signaling what has been considered a widespread ecological crisis.
The results show tremendous losses across diverse groups of birds and habitats — from iconic songbirds such as meadowlarks to long-distance migrants such as swallows, and backyard birds such as sparrows. More research is needed to pinpoint primary causes for declines in individual species. » Continue Reading.
Dr. Nina Schoch, Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer at the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation and conservation biologist, zoologist and photographer Larry Master will be banding saw-whet owls at the John Brown Farm during October.
This banding is part of Project Owlnet. Project Owlnet facilitates communication, cooperation and innovation among a rapidly growing network of hundreds of owl-migration researchers in North America and abroad. » Continue Reading.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is planning to expand the list of animals regulated as “dangerous” in New York State.
Skunks, raccoons and bats would be added to the Dangerous Animals List, joining a much expanded list of more dangerous species of reptiles and mammals. The revised list adds all other non-endangered or threatened primates, and Canid and Felid species, except domestic dogs and cats and fennec foxes to the list of animals which cannot be kept as pets. » Continue Reading.
Erik Schlimmer’s new book Color Remote: Bushwhacking the Adirondack Mountains (Self Published/Beechwood Books, 2019) looks back at his nearly 1,000 peaks and more than 10,000 miles hiked in the Adirondack Mountains through
Schlimmer grew up in Poughkeepsie until 1985, when he was 12 years old. “At the time,” he says, “moving to the North Country seemed like a very bad idea. I thought I was being dragged to the Tibetan plateau.”
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.
The 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.
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.
“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.
If 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.
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.
Last 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.
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.
The 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.
New 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.
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