Despite the rabbit’s reputation for prolific breeding, the New England cottontail is being considered for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, and is listed as state-endangered in Maine and New Hampshire. This rare rabbit requires dense, shrubby thickets for protection from predators. These habitats, often referred to as early-successional habitats, are becoming increasingly rare in New England. Concern over the decline in New England cottontail populations has sparked a range-wide, multi-state collaboration to help recover the species and preclude federal listing. In this presentation we’ll introduce you to the biology and habitat requirements of the New England cottontail. We’ll also discuss the challenges we’ve faced (and some lessons learned) in recruiting interested landowners, funding habitat management on private and public lands, and working collaboratively across local and state boundaries.
Many plants that are highly invasive in natural areas are still sold at nurseries throughout the Midwest. Consumers often buy these plants without realizing the impacts that these species have on native ecosystems. In 2007, the Midwest Invasive Plant Network (MIPN) created a brochure called, “Landscape Alternatives for Invasive Plants of the Midwest,” which has been popular with master gardeners, county Extension staff, native wildflower societies, and homeowners across the region. With help from the University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, MIPN has created a new smart phone application that will allow users to access information on alternatives to invasive plants while they are shopping. The app will make it easier for consumers to make good choices and avoid bad ones when selecting plants for their property.
Recruiting and working with volunteers can be as easy as 1-2-3... as long as your volunteer program is looking for problems and resolving them. A series of volunteer engagement best management practices will be highlighted as we learn a framework for creating and improving volunteer programming. The main focus of this of this session will be on recruitment, but will also touch on other aspects of volunteer management. Time will be allocated for you to work on your own volunteer recruitment and retention needs, while learning from others.
Isle Royale is a remote wilderness island, isolated by the frigid waters of Lake Superior, and home to populations of wolves and moose. As predator and prey, their lives and deaths are linked in a drama that is timeless and historic. Their lives are historic because we have been documenting their lives for more than five decades. This research project is the longest continuous study of any predator-prey system in the world. The purposes of this project are to better understand the ecology of predation and what that knowledge can teach us about our relationship with nature. Much of what we have learned is associated with having been patient enough to observe and study the fluctuations in wolf and moose abundances. John will present an overview of over 5 decades of research.
The topic of this month’s webinar is on mute swans in Michigan. It includes the history of mute swans in the state, their impacts on native birds, the environment, and people, and the management strategy of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). The MDNR has a policy in place to allow landowners to manage the mute swan populations on their property by obtaining a permit. The application process will be discussed. Also, a stakeholder who has gone through the process of obtaining a permit for his lake, will be online to provide a perspective from the landowner’s point of view.
This webinar will review and recap the latest applications and lessons learned by Applied Ecological Services, Inc. (AES) in aerial imagery, remote sensing and aerial photo interpretation. AES is using a Leica RCD 30, high-resolution, multi-spectral camera, as a cost effective means of monitoring and evaluating lands for comprehensive restoration planning. By combining the imaging technology with AES’ acute understanding of seasonal phenology and vegetation response to changing conditions image applications have focused on the seasonal calendar of opportunity. You will see a number of example applications and how they are tied to the seasonal calendar. You will also gain an understanding of how image resolution and utilization of the infrared data contribute to mapping things like: aquatic and terrestrial vegetation types, storm damage, ownership boundary encroachment, hydrologic change, farmed wetlands, point/non-point source impacts, invasive species distribution, impervious cover, tree canopy, agricultural crop production and much, much more.
Biocontrol of Invasive Plants: procedures, safety, and effectivenessInvasive plants pose a threat to the ecological integrity of natural and restored ecosystems. Depending on the plant and its state of invasion, appropriate techniques for control range from hand pulling to herbicide sprays. But what do you do when conventional controls have failed and tens of thousands of acres are infested? This webcast will focus on the science and practice of weed biocontrol, i.e. the use of a plant’s natural enemies (herbivores, pathogens) to control its population growth and spread. The presentation will review the research, decision-making, and regulatory processes with an emphasis on evaluating the environmental safety of biological control. We will also update participants on the status of purple loosestrife, garlic mustard, and spotted knapweed biological control efforts in Michigan.
In 2009 three townships, three conservancies, and a county park system came together under the umbrella of a local Stewardship Network Cluster to begin mapping and managing invasive swallow-wort on protected and private lands of ecological significance within the Shiawassee Basin in Oakland County, MI. Several field seasons, land-owner outreach sessions, and grant applications later, we share our lessons learned. Presented by Heather Huffstutler, Stewardship Director, Six Rivers Regional Land Conservancy, and Brittany Bird, Natural Resources Planner, Oakland County Parks and Recreation.