Rhinelander, WI, United States
Rhinelander, WI, United States

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Evers D.C.,Biodiversity Research Institute | Williams K.A.,Biodiversity Research Institute | Meyer M.W.,07 Sutliff Avenue | Scheuhammer A.M.,Environment Canada | And 6 more authors.
Ecotoxicology | Year: 2011

Much of the Laurentian Great Lakes region is a mercury-sensitive landscape, in which atmospheric deposition and waterborne sources of mercury (Hg) have led to high concentrations of bioavailable methylmercury (MeHg) in predatory fish and piscivorous wildlife. Efforts since the early 1990s have established the common loon (Gavia immer) as the primary avian indicator for evaluating the exposure and effects of MeHg in North America. A regional Hg dataset was compiled from multiple loon tissue types and yellow perch (Perca flavescens), a preferred prey fish species for loons. Hg exposure in loons and perch was modeled to develop male and female loon units (MLU and FLU, respectively), standardized metrics that represent the estimated blood Hg exposure of a male or female loon for a given loon territory or water body. Using this common endpoint approach to assess loon Hg exposure, the authors demonstrate spatial trends in biotic Hg concentrations, examine MeHg availability in aquatic ecosystems of the Great Lakes region in relation to landscape-level characteristics, and identify areas with potentially significant adverse reproductive impacts to loons and other avian piscivores. Based on 8,101 MLUs, seven biological Hg hotspots were identified in the Great Lakes region. Policy-relevant applications are presented. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Anich N.M.,501 Golf Course Road | Worland M.,07 Sutliff Avenue | Martin K.J.,801 Progress Road
Wilson Journal of Ornithology | Year: 2013

Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis) are listed as threatened in Wisconsin, and the boreal habitats in which they occur are likely to be threatened by changing climatic conditions. However, the limited information available on Spruce Grouse in the Upper Great Lakes region makes it unclear which habitat features are important for Spruce Grouse nesting in Wisconsin. We radiotracked 30 female Spruce Grouse in northern Wisconsin from 2007-2012 and located 25 nests. Eighteen of 25 nests were beneath black spruce (Picea mariana) trees. Only three nests were in upland, and only one in a stand of jack pines (Pinus banksiana), in contrast to studies from Michigan and Ontario. Overall concealment was a good predictor of nest sites for Spruce Grouse, but not a good predictor of nest survival. Nest survival was associated with moderately dense and uniform 0-0.5 m lateral vegetation cover. Seventeen of 25 nests were successful, with a daily survival rate of 0.985, overall productivity of 1.0 young/female, and 1.9 young/successful nest. Annual survival of adult males was estimated at 54%, adult females at 40%, and juvenile survival at 14% and 24% by two different methods. Estimates of λ of 0.65 and 0.67 suggest a declining population, but the upper confidence limit exceeds 1, not ruling out a stable or slightly increasing population. Protecting black spruce swamps will protect important nesting habitat for Spruce Grouse in Wisconsin. © 2013 by the Wilson Ornithological Society.


Anich N.M.,501 Golf Course Road | Worland M.,07 Sutliff Avenue | Martin K.J.,801 Progress Road
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2013

Spruce grouse (Falcipennis canadensis) habitat use varies widely across their range and is not well-understood near the southern extent of their range. Threats to conifers from climate change make understanding habitat use at the southern edge of the range increasingly important. We obtained habitat information on 55 radiocollared spruce grouse in northern Wisconsin, USA from 16 May 2007 to 10 July 2012. Black spruce (Picea mariana) and tamarack (Larix laricina) were the most common habitat components. Some of our findings differed from previous reports, including little use of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) or northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis), use of tamarack in summer more than any other tree species, and winter roosting and feeding in red pine (Pinus resinosa), especially where jack pine (P. banksiana) was not available. Male display points contained fewer small broadleaf saplings (x = 652 trees/ ha), greater percent conifer (87%), more jack pine (x = 148 trees/ha), and denser canopy (x = 65% closure) compared with random points (3,288 small broadleaf saplings/ha, 70% conifer, 7 jack pine/ha, and 51% closure). Dense ground cover was the best predictor of brood points, although brood points were similar to random points. Winter flock points were typified by dense canopy cover (x = 76% closure) and more jack pine (x = 407/ha). Management should be focused on areas with extensive conifer, especially near black spruce-tamarack swamps. Retaining or establishing closed-canopy coniferous uplands, especially jack pine stands 15-30 years old, adjacent to lowland conifer swamps should benefit spruce grouse populations. © 2013 The Wildlife Society.


Piper W.H.,Chapman University | Palmer M.W.,Oklahoma State University | Banfield N.,8 Rainbow Circle | Meyer M.W.,07 Sutliff Avenue
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2013

The study of habitat selection has long been influenced by the ideal free model, whichmaintains that young adults settle in habitat according to its inherent quality and the density of conspecifics within it. The model has gained support in recent years from the finding that conspecifics produce cues inadvertently that help prebreeders locate good habitat. Yet abundant evidence shows that animals often fail to occupy habitats that ecologists have identified as those of highest quality, leading to the conclusion that young animals settle on breeding spaces by means not widely understood. Here, we report that a phenomenon virtually unknown in nature, natal habitat preference induction (NHPI), is a strong predictor of territory settlement in both male and female common loons (Gavia immer). NHPI causes young animals to settle on natal-like breeding spaces, but not necessarily those that maximize reproductive success. If widespread, NHPI might explain apparently maladaptive habitat settlement. © 2013 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society All rights reserved.


White H.B.,Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies | Decker T.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | O'Brien M.J.,Natural Resources Canada | Organ J.F.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Roberts N.M.,07 Sutliff Avenue
International Journal of Environmental Studies | Year: 2015

Furbearer Management in North America maintains wild furbearer populations at sustainably harvestable, scientifically determined and socially acceptable levels. Furbearer management impacts numerous wildlife populations and habitats, and human health, safety and property. Achieving balance in the management of furbearers is not always an easy task partly because regulated trapping, a controversial management technique, plays a critical role in this balance. Steps have been taken by wildlife professionals to improve the humaneness of trapping through the development of international standards used to evaluate traps. These efforts will ideally preserve trapping and the many roles it plays in furbearer management and wildlife management in general. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.


PubMed | U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Canada, 07 Sutliff Avenue and Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The International journal of environmental studies | Year: 2015

Furbearer Management in North America maintains wild furbearer populations at sustainably harvestable, scientifically determined and socially acceptable levels. Furbearer management impacts numerous wildlife populations and habitats, and human health, safety and property. Achieving balance in the management of furbearers is not always an easy task partly because regulated trapping, a controversial management technique, plays a critical role in this balance. Steps have been taken by wildlife professionals to improve the humaneness of trapping through the development of international standards used to evaluate traps. These efforts will ideally preserve trapping and the many roles it plays in furbearer management and wildlife management in general.


Van Deelen T.R.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Dhuey B.J.,801 Progress Road | Jacques C.N.,801 Progress Road | McCaffery K.R.,07 Sutliff Avenue | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2010

Effective management of wildlife populations often requires motivating hunters to harvest sufficient numbers of animals of prescribed sex and age classes to meet management goals. For cervids, it is convenient to design harvest regulations relative to presence (male) or absence (young and female) of antlers because harvest of females has a larger effect on population growth. We used regression techniques to evaluate effects of 2 supplemental hunting programs based on additional days of hunting opportunity and an additional incentive used to complement additional days on harvest of antlered and antlerless deer in Wisconsin, USA. Earn-a-buck regulations, an incentive-based program that requires hunters to register an antlerless deer before being authorized to harvest an antlered deer, were associated with an average increase of 2.04 deer/km2 in antlerless harvest and a 0.60 deer/km 2 decrease in harvest of antlered deer. Providing more opportunity for hunting of antlerless deer in the form of 4- and 8-day supplemental firearm seasons was associated with 1.10 deer/km2 and 1.32 deer/km 2 increases, respectively, in antlerless harvest with trivial (0.02 deer/km2 and 0.09 deer/km2) decreases in harvests of antlered deer. Our analysis suggests that extra days of hunting opportunity coupled with the earn-a-buck incentive was 5688 more effective at increasing antlerless harvest relative to additional days of hunting without the incentive. Use of the earn-a-buck incentive resulted in decreased harvest of antlered deer and was disliked by many hunters. Quantifying these relationships is important for helping managers predict the costs and benefits of various hunting programs. © 2010 The Wildlife Society.


Custer T.W.,U.S. Geological Survey | Custer C.M.,U.S. Geological Survey | Thogmartin W.E.,U.S. Geological Survey | Dummer P.M.,U.S. Geological Survey | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2012

The primary objective of this study was to determine whether tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) demonstrate similar responses to lake pH and mercury (Hg) contamination in northern Wisconsin as do common loons (Gavia immer). Similar to common loons, Hg concentrations in the blood of tree swallow nestlings were higher, Hg concentrations in eggs tended to be higher, and egg size tended to be smaller at low (<6.2) pH lakes. In contrast to common loons, tree swallow nestling production was not lower at low pH lakes. Based on modeling associations, Hg concentrations in tree swallow eggs and nestling blood can be used to predict Hg concentrations in common loons without the invasive or destructive sampling of loons. Mean concentrations of cadmium, manganese, and mercury in nestling livers were higher at low pH lakes than neutral pH lakes. Concentrations of cadmium, chromium, mercury, selenium, and zinc were not at toxic levels. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Kenow K.P.,U.S. Geological Survey | Hines R.K.,U.S. Geological Survey | Meyer M.W.,07 Sutliff Avenue | Suarez S.A.,U.S. Geological Survey | Gray B.R.,U.S. Geological Survey
Ecotoxicology | Year: 2010

Behavioral effects resulting from exposure to dietary methylmercury (MeHg) have been reported in studies of several wildlife species. However, quantifying the impact of contaminant exposure on wild populations is complicated by the confounding effects of other environmental stressors. We controlled confounding stressors in a laboratory study to quantify the level of dietary MeHg exposure associated with negative effects on the fitness of captive-reared common loon (Gavia immer) chicks. We evaluated the effect of MeHg on loon chick behavior by employing several assays, including measures of righting reflexes, responsiveness to taped parental calls, reaction to frightening stimuli, and estimates of time activity budgets. Evidence suggested that as chicks aged, those exposed to nominal dietary dose levels of 0.4 and 1.2 μg Hg/g wet-weight in food (average estimated delivered dietary level of 0.55 and 1.94 μg Hg/g, respectively) were less likely (p < 0.01) to right themselves after being positioned on their backs during outdoor trials (≥37 days old) compared to chicks on the control diet. We detected differences (p < 0.05) in several response variables with respect to source of eggs. Chicks from nests on low-pH lakes tended to spend more time on resting platforms, spent less time in the shade, were more likely to walk across a platform upon release and do it quicker, were less responsive to a frightening stimulus, and exhibited less intense response to parental wail calls than did chicks from neutral pH-lakes. Rapid MeHg excretion during feather growth likely provides loon chicks protection from MeHg toxicity and may explain the lack of behavioral differences with dietary intake. Lake source effects suggest that in ovo exposure to MeHg or other factors related to lake pH have consequences on chick behavior. © 2010 US Government.


Steinhoff S.G.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Van Deelen T.R.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Martin K.J.,801 Progress Road | MacFarland D.M.,07 Sutliff Avenue | Witkowski K.R.,University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
Journal of Mammalogy | Year: 2012

Southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) use multiple nest trees for foraging and protection, but nest trees can become scarce following harvests of hardwood forests. In northern Wisconsin, the Managed Old-growth Silvicultural Study tested techniques to remediate logging impacts on forest-dependent wildlife. Three types of canopy treatments were applied (multicohort harvest 0.4-ha and 1.2-ha irregular group shelterwoods, medium gaps 18-m- and 24-m-diameter gaps, and small gaps 11-m-diameter gaps). To evaluate the effects of treatment on nest tree selection by southern flying squirrels, we tracked 33 radiocollared southern flying squirrels once a week for 5 weeks in late summer, locating 82 nest trees (X̄ 2.73 nest trees per southern flying squirrel 95 confidence interval: 2.283.18 nest trees). Canopy treatments were important predictors of nest tree switching. Probability of switching differed by canopy treatment (listed from lowest to highest probability): multicohort harvest: 0.29 (0.170.42), medium gaps: 0.44 (0.320.56), control: 0.57 (0.410.73), and small gaps: 0.73 (0.610.85). Lower nest tree switching in the multicohort harvest compared to the small gaps likely reflected availability of habitat resources. Spatial arrangement of canopy gaps and associated effects on southern flying squirrels should be considered when planning timber harvests in northern hardwoods. © 2012 American Society of Mammalogists.

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