ecology

The Environment Report
5:05 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Biologists expect the worst for Michigan's bat population

Credit Ryan Von Linden / New York Department of Environmental Conservation

Allen Kurta, PhD, talks about discovering bats with white-nose syndrome.

Bats with white-nose syndrome have been found in Mackinac and Dickinson counties in the Upper Peninsula and Alpena County in northern lower Michigan.

The fungal disease has killed more than six million bats in 27 states and five Canadian provinces since 2006.

Allen Kurta is a biology professor at Eastern Michigan University. He’s one of the researchers who found the infected bats. I spoke with him for today's Environment Report (you can hear him talk about white-nose syndrome above).

Kurta compares the discovery of white-nose syndrome in Michigan bats to "every member of your extended family receiving a terminal diagnosis."

“I think that this is one of the worst wildlife calamities ever in the history of North America. You’re looking at potential extinction of multiple species of bats.”

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Stateside
3:55 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

The Beaver is back in southeast Michigan

steve wikipedia

It has been nearly 150 years since the beaver has made its presence known along the Detroit and Rouge Rivers.

The hardy little critters were done- in by trappers and toxic water.

Beavers played a major role in Detroit's early history. The beaver and the coureur des bois who traded their pelts and helped the Great Lakes region grow.

Lucky for today's beavers, there's no demand for those shiny men's hats that were in fashion in the 1800s.

There have been encouraging signs that the beaver and other species are enjoying a resurgence in Michigan.

John Hartig is with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and he seems pretty happy about the news.

He calls this, "one of the most dramatic ecological recovery stories in North America."

What does this tell us about efforts to clean up our waters and the tenacity of animal species?

Hartig tells us about the signs showing that beaver are coming back to southeast Michigan and the evidence of "beaver life."

To hear the full report, click the link above.

Environment & Science
4:28 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Stateside: Scientists draft a National Climate Assessment

Emily Fox Michigan Radio

Professor Rosina Bierbaum spoke about Michigan's changing climate.

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

More than 240 scientists contributed to a new draft report of the National Climate Assessment. The report addresses the country’s changing climate and is the third federal climate review since 2000.

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Environment
10:39 am
Thu August 18, 2011

"River Gypsies" studying three large Michigan rivers

Dr. Emma J. Rosi-Marshall and technician Dustin Kincaid from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies introduce a mix of nutrients into the Manistee River, so they can track how the river processes the nutrients.
Photo by Tom Kramer

This summer, a group of scientists are studying five large rivers in the Midwest… including the St. Joseph, the Muskegon and the Manistee rivers in Michigan. It’s part of a three year study of how large rivers process fertilizers – and how things like farming and wastewater affect the rivers.

Tom Kramer spent some time with this group that calls themselves “The River Gypsies” - here's his story:

The forecast says there is a 50/50 chance of thunderstorms, but the River Gypsies can’t slow down for a little rain.

This group of 13 scientists, PhDs, grad students and undergrads has had three weeks to study five rivers in two states – packing up and moving to a new campground every three or four days. Picnic tables have become temporary laboratories.

Jennifer Tank, a professor at Notre Dame, says one of her students wasn’t all that prepared for this nomadic lifestyle.

“Now he did bring a Samsonite suitcase that weighs about 100 pounds into the field with him, but I know that next year he’ll have a great dry bag… so he’s learning as he goes along.”

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