Although few see them, coyotes are a common urban and suburban resident in many areas. They are the largest predator in the area, though that is mostly leg (they are only marginally heavier than a big raccoon). For me, they are a breath of wild in tame Fort Wayne, but for others they are cause for concern, and although they pose virtually no danger to us, they do take small pets on occasion. And, like raccoons, they will partake of any pet food left outside, and get into trash that is not properly secured.
Responding to these kinds of concerns, the Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife will present a panel to discuss “Living with Coyotes”, covering topics such as coyote biology, behavior and options for dealing with urban coyotes. The panel will include a variety of state biologists and an animal control operator.
The event will be held February 25 at the downtown branch of the Allen County Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, from 6-8 PM.
Although the event is free, registration is required by February 24. To do that, go here.
For further information, contact Diane Day, (317) 234-8440, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The USDA has announced that its program, “State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement,” will fund the conversion of nearly 10,000 acres of Indiana farmland into habitat more suitable for endangered bats and birds such as the bobwhite quail and American woodcock. Farmers are paid annually for 10-15 years to not farm the land, and receive money for maintenance such as erosion control. The program has already funded nearly 14,000 acres since 2008.
The construction of an earthen berm in Eagle Marsh will resume work this spring to prevent the invasion of Asian carp and other aquatic nuisance species from entering the Great Lakes or Mississippi River. The work, which commenced this fall, succeeded in clearing vegetation and trees from the existing berm and installing an erosion-controlled fence. The fence will prevent reptiles, amphibians, and other wildlife from getting into the construction site. If this fence was not completed by October 31 and wildlife had gotten into the area, construction would have been delayed until August 1st of next year, according to bid specifications. Officials wanted to avoid disturbing overwintering reptiles and amphibians or their reproductive and emergence habits in spring. Construction next year will continue to build up the earthen berm on the east and south sides of Graham-McCulloch Ditch.
Turns out that salamanders are pretty good predators. In consuming substantial numbers of insects and their larvae (many of which release carbon by shredding leaves), salamanders play a role in carbon regulation. Though there’s debate on the extent of this role, it is clear that much remains to be learned about these creatures.
Persistent cold temperatures this winter led to record ice covers of the Great Lakes. Normally, the lakes have enough exposed water to allow piscivorous (fish-eating) waterfowl to access minnows as a food source, enabling them to survive winters. However, this year there was a spike in bird mortalities because of frigid temperatures and ice cover in the region.