Wildlife Blog

Announcing the 2015 Regional Award Nominees

Congratulations to the 2015 regional award nominees! These programs, made possible by dedicated members, volunteers and partners, demonstrate excellence in the areas of wildlife habitat enhancement and restoration, and conservation education. Winners will be announced at the Huron to Erie Habitat Celebration on June 4. Regional Corporate Habitat of the Year nominees: DTE Energy St. Clair Power Plant ITC Transmission Right-of-Way at Woolcott Mill Metropark Ontario Power Generation Lambton Generating Station Seedling Corporate Habitat of the Year nominees: GM Drayton Warehouse ITC Transmission Belleville Warehouse ITC Transmission Right-of-Way at Tomlinson Arboretum

A Breakthrough Discovery About White-Nose Syndrome

The fuzzy white substance on the muzzle, ears, and wings of these bats are indicative of white-nose syndrome. Source: New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

By Colleen Beaty, Conservation Writer, Wildlife Habitat Council  |  May 12, 2015  | Finally, there is some hopeful news in the battle against white-nose syndrome! Last week a team of researchers from UC San Francisco and Brown University published a ground-breaking study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences about white-nose syndrome. This disease, which is caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans, has devastated cave-dwelling bat populations across eastern North America. It causes bats to prematurely wake from hibernation during the winter – this uses up their limited energy stores and results in starvation. The researchers discovered that [more…]

WHC & BGE Host Event for Local Middle Schoolers

WHC BGE Event

By Katie Basiotis, Wildlife Biologist, and Rebecca Culler, Education Specialist, Wildlife Habitat Council  |  May 8, 2015  | The Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) held an event for Patuxent Valley Middle School students in cooperation with Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) on April 8, 2015.  Three WHC employees and 12 BGE employees participated, along with 24 students, three teachers, and two parents.  The Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Stream Challenge Grant supported the event, and the Izaak Walton League of America generously loaned two stream sampling kits. Groups of 8 students rotated between three stations during the event: Station A was [more…]

Soils in All the Colors of the Rainbow

soil layers - South China Normal University

By Colleen Beaty, Conservation Writer, Wildlife Habitat Council  |  April 30, 2015  | “A rainbow of soil is under our feet; red as a barn and black as a peat. It’s yellow as lemon and white as the snow; bluish gray. So many colors below. Hidden in darkness as thick as the night; the only rainbow that can form without light. Dig you a pit, or bore you a hole, you’ll find enough colors to well rest your soil.” — A Rainbow of Soil Words by F.D. Hole, 1985 In my introductory post about the Year of Soils, I explained [more…]

WHC Introduces Project WET to MD Teachers

Masonville Cove-Poison Pump

By Robert Campbell, Education Specialist, Wildlife Habitat Council | April 29, 2015 | With the help of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR), the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) recently organized two teacher training workshops that introduced educators in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area to the Project WET Foundation and the organization’s award-winning water resource education materials for grades K-12. On Monday, April 6, Sandy Spring Friends School of Montgomery County, MD hosted the first of these all-day events, which served to familiarize their own staff, as well as other educators in the County, with engaging water-related educational activities that [more…]

Get Outdoors this Spring with Citizen Science!

Bird surveys are a common and enjoyable way to contribute to citizen science. Photo courtesy of Lafarge.

By Colleen Beaty, Conservation Writer, Wildlife Habitat Council  |  April 17, 2015  |   Now that it’s finally spring and things are warming up and beginning to grow, it’s a great time to get your employees and your local community engaged in outdoors activities as part of your corporate conservation program. One great way to do this is by participating in a citizen science project. Citizen science is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by non-scientific professionals. Citizen science projects are designed to be user-friendly for amateurs, and typically involve training to ensure everyone participating is comfortable with [more…]

The Soil is Alive!

The eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus) is just one of many species that lives in the soil ecosystem.  Source: National Science Foundation.

By Colleen Beaty, Conservation Writer, Wildlife Habitat Council  | April 15, 2015  |   This is the second in a series of blog posts about soil. We often think of soil as nothing more than “the dirt beneath your feet,” but soil is much more complex than that. There’s a whole other world of living creatures beneath our feet! Soils provide habitat for a rich, dynamic ecosystem for organisms ranging from microscopic bacteria and protozoa, to fungi and plant roots, to insects, worms, mites, and other invertebrates, and even subterranean vertebrates like moles. Most soil organisms live in the top few inches of [more…]

Pheasants Forever’s Youth Pollinator Habitat Program Aims to Help the Birds, Bees and Butterflies

Photo courtesy of Pheasants Forever.

By Drew Larsen, Habitat Education Specialist, Pheasants Forever, Inc. and Quail Forever |  March 26, 2015  |   WHAT IS THE YOUTH POLLINATOR HABITAT PROGRAM? Pheasants Forever (PF) and Quail Forever’s  (QF) Youth Pollinator Habitat Program provides support to over 750 grassroots chapters and their partners across the country to engage youth groups, families and communities in establishing pollinator habitat projects. The program’s objectives are to increase awareness about declining pollinator populations, educate the general public on the importance of habitat for pollinators and establish quality pollinator habitat across the country. The program will provide tools for chapters and their partners to work [more…]

2015 Huron to Erie Habitat Celebration

Photo courtesy of General Motors Company.

The Wildlife Habitat Council’s regional Huron to Erie Habitat Celebration is coming up June 4, 2015. This year, attendees will have a chance to explore the 2014 Seedling Corporate Habitat of the Year at General Motors Company’s  GM Milford Proving Ground. The event will honor the achievements of 16 corporate wildlife and education teams from 4 organizations in southeast Michigan and southwest Ontario. Of these, two will receive special recognition as the Seedling Habitat and the Regional Corporate Habitat of the year.  Participants will include corporate habitat volunteers, other executives, conservation professionals, and community leaders. The day will include engaging presentations [more…]

Reports of Reptiles and Amphibians Help Shape Michigan Management Strategies

Photo courtesy of DTE Energy.

By Mary Bohling, Michigan State University Extension, Sea Grant Program; and David Mifsud, Herpetological Resource and Management, LLC |  March 23, 2015  |   The Michigan Herp Atlas Program is seeking assistance from people who observe reptiles and amphibians (collectively known as herpetofauna) in their natural habitats across Michigan. According to Program Administrator David Mifsud, volunteer observations are critical to the success of the project. More than 60% of Michigan’s amphibians and reptiles are listed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources as Species of Greatest Conservation Need. These imperiled species are important indicators of the quality of our natural resources and [more…]