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Points North

Points North, Ep. 17: Protecting endangered wildlife

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Piping plover in flight.

This week on Points North, we look at animals and the threats they face. Great Lakes piping plovers were on the verge of extinction in the 1980s, but recently they’ve been making a comeback. Still, their slow recovery is hindered by absent-minded beach walkers, high water levels and racoons.


Biologists try a new tactic to bring back endangered piping plovers

Credit Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio
Interlochen Public Radio
Pat Laarman, a biologist for the National Forest Service, tosses cobble on a Lake Michigan beach. He and his team are trying to entice migrating piping plovers to nest here for the first time in 10 years.

The piping plover is one of the most endangered species in the Great Lakes region. Experts say they could be one natural disaster away from extinction. Wildlife biologists are working to increase the population, but they have to fend off new threats each year.

Hear more about their efforts and the piping plover.


Volunteers count frogs for annual DNR survey

Credit Cheryl Bartz / Interlochen Public Radio
Interlochen Public Radio
Kathy Gray records species of frogs and toads she hears. She is a volunteer for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Frog and Toad Survey.

Frogs and toads are highly sensitive to habitat degradation, making them a good measure of environmental health. In the spring, volunteers for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources do listening surveys throughout the state to determine the presence and abundance of species of frogs and toads.

Hear more about the work of frog and toad surveyors.

And see link to DNR’s reports from past years.


We want to hear from you:

As school wraps up, we’re asking listeners to talk about their teachers. Who was your favorite teacher growing up? And what did they do to impact your life? 

Call us with a comment at 231-276-4444, email a voice memo to ipr@interlochen.org or comment below.

Morgan Springer is a contributing editor and producer at Interlochen Public Radio. She previously worked for the New England News Collaborative as the host/producer of NEXT, the weekly show which aired on six public radio station in the region.