Saturday, December 31, 2016

Wisconsin Osprey Nesting

According to the 2016 Wisconsin Bald Eagle and Osprey Survey Report, record number of occupied osprey nests were observed in the state during 2016.

Osprey nests were found in record numbers: 558 occupied osprey nests were observed in Wisconsin, up from 542 in 2014.

At present, 75 percent of Wisconsin osprey nests are built on artificial platforms erected on utility poles, cell phone towers, and other tall structures.

Osprey populations in Wisconsin declined dramatically from the 1950s to early 1970s.

source: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Friday, December 2, 2016

National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count 2016-2017

The 2016-2017 annual National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count is coming soon.

Between December 14th and January 5th, tens of thousands of bird-loving volunteers will participate in counts across the Western Hemisphere.

The Christmas Bird Count is the longest-running wildlife census in the world. Each individual count takes place in a 15-mile-wide circle and is led by a compiler responsible for organizing volunteers and submitting observations to Audubon. Within each circle, participants tally all birds seen or heard that day.

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is a citizen science project organized by the National Audubon Society.

There is no fee to participate and the quarterly report, American Birds, is available online. Counts are open to birders of all skill levels.

For more information, visit

source: National Audubon Society

Friday, November 18, 2016

Beaver Creek Public Access (Maryland)

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently acquired 6.5 acres along Beaver Creek in Washington County.

“This acquisition will provide anglers enhanced and improved access to Beaver Creek, a unique spring-fed creek environment that supports an excellent fishery for wild brown trout,” said Fishing and Boating Services Director David Blazer. “The limestone stream provides an excellent year-round fishery for residents and visitors alike.”

Located downstream from the Albert M. Powell State Fish Hatchery in Hagerstown, the new area will provide public access to Beaver Creek for catch and release fly-fishing.

The Program Open Space acquisition provides increased public access to nearly half of the current one-mile special trout management area, which was previously private land.

Beaver Creek is a tributary to Antietam Creek.

source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Monday, October 31, 2016

Nature Pattern Leggings

Nature pattern leggings are popular throughout North America. Legging designs include floral prints, animal patterns, and other artwork. Nature prints are available as all-over designs, random patterns, repeating patterns, and other styles.

Classic animal prints are generally offered in all over styles. Popular animal prints include zebra, tiger, leopard, cheetah, jaguar, giraffe, and other designs that mimic natural animal patterns. Animal prints are popular in black and white, natural, and bright colors.

Patterns consisting of nature themed icons are also popular. Common designs features mammals, birds, fish, herps, and other creatures found in the wild.

Floral, plant foliage, and tree bark patterns are often found on leggings. Countless floral designs can be found on leggings, ranging from lifelike photo patterns to classic illustrations. Camo style prints are also popular.

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Oaxaca Cave Sleeper

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and Louisiana State University have identified a new genus and species of cavefish from Mexico, the Oaxaca cave sleeper (Caecieleotris morrisi).

The species is the first cave-adapted sleeper goby to be found in the Western Hemisphere. The fish, identified from museum specimens, has not been seen alive in more than two decades and lives in a cave system threatened by damming.

The Oaxaca Cave Sleeper occurs in a single cave system beneath Presa Miguel Alem├ín reservoir, which is formed by a dam on the Tonto River, a tributary of Mexico’s second largest river.

There are only 13 known individuals, all collected at the same time. Thomas L. Morris, a renowned cave diver and cave biologist who works to protect caves and their inhabitants, collected the fish in 1995.

Morris gave the specimens to the Florida Museum of Natural History where Stephen Walsh, now a researcher with the USGS, recognized the distinctiveness of the new species while in the process of conducting taxonomic research and digitizing the museum’s fish collection.

Walsh and colleague Prosanta Chakrabarty of Louisiana State University compared the specimens to other sleepers, and determined that they represent a new genus and species.

The researchers gave the Oaxaca Cave Sleeper the scientific name Caecieleotris morrisi to honor Morris for his discovery and his dedication to conservation.

Discovery of the new species afforded an opportunity for the USGS to partner with the natural history museum community in designating a scientific name for this unique cavefish.

The paper, A new genus and species of blind sleeper (Teleostei: Eleotridae) from Oaxaca, Mexico: first obligate cave gobiiform in the western hemisphere, was recently published in the journal Copeia, a widely-cited journal that publishes original research on fishes, amphibians and reptiles.

source: U.S. Geological Survey