Black bears waking up in northern Michigan

Apr 17, 2015
National Park Service

Black bears are coming out of hibernation in northern Michigan. Wildlife experts advise residents to remove anything from their homes that might attract bears – like bird feeders or garbage.

DNR Wildlife Biologist Kevin Sweeney says spring is a stressful time for bears.

“Bears are moving right now, obviously," says Sweeney. "They’ve emerged from their dens in most areas. We’ve got new cubs at that time. The sows and boars are very hungry so they travel quite a bit in the spring.”

New York Department of Environmental Conservation

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has put the northern long-eared bat on the “threatened” species list. The agency stopped short of saying the species is in danger of being wiped out by white-nose bat syndrome. The fungus has already killed millions of bats across the country.

Dan Kennedy is an endangered species expert with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He says the decision gives state wildlife officials more time to plan while the bats hibernate.

Fish populations native to Michigan such as lake sturgeon, walleye, and lake whitefish have been declining in recent years.

As a result, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has built spawning reefs in rivers around Michigan, including the St. Clair River.

A spawning reef is a crevice-filled rock bed designed to mimic the natural limestone reefs that previously existed.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

A Michigan Tech biologist says wolves should be brought to Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior if officials want to save island vegetation.

John Vucetich heads a study of the predator-prey relationship in the park between wolves and moose. He says more wolves would help keep the moose population under control. He says, if left unchecked, moose will over-browse and decimate the island’s vegetation.

Vucetich says this is the point where scientists must ask themselves what the purpose of a protected area is.

The 45-day wolf hunting season that began November 15 inflamed passions, both pro and con.

Now that the first-ever wolf hunt is wrapped up, what were the results?

John Barnes explored the impact of the hunt in a recent piece for MLive, which breaks down the ages of the 22 wolves killed over the course of the hunt. He joined us on Stateside today (you can listen to the audio above).

Devastating Disease Found In Michigan Bats

Apr 10, 2014

A disease devastating bats throughout the American northeast has now spread to Michigan. White-nose syndrome has been confirmed in three Michigan counties: Alpena, Mackinac and Dickinson. 

Bats play a critical role for farms and forests by eating insects, lots of them.

“Bats in Michigan had an economic benefit of $528 million to $1.2 billion dollars for farmers,” says Bill Scullon, the statewide bat program coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The campaign to stop wolf hunts in Michigan says it has more than enough petition signatures to get a referendum on the November ballot. This would be the second ballot challenge to a wolf hunt because the state’s first wolf hunting law was blocked by a petition challenge that will also go before voters in November.

The Legislature got around that by passing a new law that’s the target of this ballot drive.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

A group hoping to end wolf hunting in Michigan says a law banning out-of-state petition circulators is unconstitutional. It filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court challenging the law.

Right now, only Michigan residents are allowed to collect signatures for ballot campaigns and voter initiatives.

Nearly a hundred years ago a small animal that most people have never heard of was wiped out of the northern forest.

In the mid-1980’s, wildlife biologists reintroduced the pine marten in two locations in the Lower Peninsula. They thought the population would take off and spread but it hasn’t.

And now researchers are trying to find out why.

A case of moose poaching in the Upper Peninsula has turned out to be a hoax.

The head of a freshly killed moose was left on a rock beside a road near Ishpeming last October. Next to the moose head was a sign that said "wolfs won't get this one".

State conservation officers investigated a possible illegal killing of the moose, but they found a hunter had legally taken it in Canada. He kept the antlers and meat and left the carcass, including the head, with a butcher in Negaunee.

Managing Michigan's Wildlife

Sep 16, 2010

Russ Mason knows managing wildlife is not just about science. Mason runs the state's wildlife division. It's his job to make sure we don't have too many deer, but not too few. He's also trying to keep wild pigs from overrunning Michigan's forests and fields. He says the state needs to be able to shoot wolves that are causing problems but his federal counterparts have failed to take the animal off the endangered species list three times. Mason joins us this week on Points North. Live Friday morning at 9 a.m.

Since Monday, up to a million gallons of crude oil has been working its way down the Kalamazoo River, which runs to Lake Michigan. And volunteers in the City of Battle Creek have been helping to find and report wildlife injured by the spill.  

Feds Cautious About Effort
People from as far away as Muskegon and Detroit gathered in a parking lot at the Battle Creek Police Department Thursday afternoon, saying they were determined to do whatever they could to help wild animals affected by the oil leak.