Category Archives: Environment

Collaboration: The future of environmental rehabilitation

Central-Michigan-University-seal.svgScientist’s aren’t known for sharing the glory of an extraordinary discovery, but some researchers working on Great Lakes restoration are trying to change that publish-or-perish mentality. Read more

Pioneering Great Lakes research miles from the shore

Although Winter is well on its way, water researchers at CMU don’t plan on slowing down.

Smack dab in the center of the Lower Peninsula, miles from the shores of the Great Lakes, lies a somewhat unexpected but active participant in the restoration and protection of Michigan’s waterways. Read more

Invasive snail kills birds with parasitic help

Photo taken by Amy Benson

Photo taken by Amy Benson

In a scientific supermove U.S geologists and Michigan biologists are combining their power to map out areas impacted by invasive species.

In an ironic twist on the food web, an invasive snail has become a bird killer.

The faucet snail is a half inch brown or black creature. It’s also the carrier of a lethal parasite.

Dr. Don Uzarski is a biologist at Central Michigan University. He says this snail is bad news.

“It’s an intermediate host for a parasite. What happens when waterfowl consume an infected snail, the adult trematode then attacks the internal organs of the duck, ultimately killing the organism.”

In an attempt to control the faucet snail populations, biologists from CMU and geologists from the United States Geological Survey have combined efforts to map out known habitats.

Uzarski says so far efforts to kill the snails have not made a dent in their numbers.

At this point the parasite is only known to effect waterfowl.

Geminid meteor shower expected to wow this weekend

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If you love the night sky, try to set some time aside over the next several evenings for one of the best meteor showers of the year, the geminids.

The geminid meteor shower will be taking place over the next few days, with astronomy experts predicting it to peak Saturday and Sunday.

Mary Adams is the Director of the International Dark Sky Park in Emmet County.

She said this meteor shower is one of the most prolific meteor showers of the year, and one you won’t want to miss.

“The estimate is that there can be between 120 and 160 meteors per hour, so that’s more than one per minute. That’s a lot of activity.”

Adams said despite the shower’s greater quantity of meteors, some light pollution from the moon may hinder peak viewing hours.

She said, “We are at the last quarter moon when the meteor shower comes to it’s peak, and the last quarter moon can still shed a great deal of light into the sky. So we might not be seeing those numbers just because of the light of the moon, but it still should be a magnificent show this year.”

She said since the geminid typically appears earlier in the evening, anytime after 10pm should be fine for viewing.

The next meteor shower, Ursid, takes place around the winter solstice December 21st.

DNR officials: Deer harvest numbers dropped compared to last year

Snow may be a great joy for snowmobilers and skiers, but for deer hunters in the Upper peninsula, the snow was a problem this year.

DNR officials said smaller deer populations, more snow, and a late corn harvest contributed to a low firearm deer harvest this year.

Michigan DNR officials said the firearm deer harvest across the state is down this year. Read more

Muzzleloader season opens today in Michigan

One shot, one deer. The single shot deer hunting season kicked off Friday, Dec 5th.

Brent Rudolph is a deer specialist from the Michigan DNR. He said it’s important to remember the differences between hunting zones.

“Ya know we have different zones in the state that we use for a variety of different species actually. So zone 1 is upper peninsula, that’s pretty easy to identify. Zone 2 is from Muskegon over to Bay County. And we use those different areas because there’s a little different climate, there’s different habitat. And so any variety of our species there’s a need to manage a little bit differently according to those boundaries.”

There are three zones in Michigan. Zones one and two are both open until Dec 14th, while zone three affords hunters an extra week to bring home the venison.

Rudolph said zone three is open longer because there tends to be larger deer concentrations in that area.

For more information on hunting zones, or anything else season related, visit the DNR here.