Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

Wildlife Ecology

The Wildlife Ecology program provides scientific information to UMESC's partners to support the conservation and management of terrestrial (primarily amphibian and reptile) and aerial (birds and bat) species.

Filter Total Items: 15
Date published: January 18, 2018
Status: Active

Wildlife Toxicology

The team's long term goal is:

  • Examine the causes, fates, exposures, biological accumulation, and adverse effects (including sublethal effects) of environmental contaminants on animal (largely bird) populations.
Date published: January 17, 2018
Status: Active

Common Loon Migration Study

Common loons often migrate several hundred miles to reach coastal waters during fall migration. Information about this part of the loon's life history is not well known.

The use of satellite telemetry allows biologists to track loon movements through distant migrations and during winter. A transmitter attached to a radiomarked loon periodically sends a signal which is detected by a...

Contacts: Kevin P Kenow
Date published: January 11, 2018
Status: Active

Birds as Indicators of Contaminant Exposure in the Great Lakes

Story Map: Utilizing Tree Swallows as Indicators for Contaminants in the Great Lakes Area

Use tree swallows and colonial waterbirds in the Great Lakes to evaluate contaminant

  1. Exposure (geographic and spatial);
  2. Trends through time(temporal)
  3. Effects (
  4. ...
Date published: July 17, 2017
Status: Active

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Comprehensive Conservation Plan

The Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has been entrusted to manage our nation’s critical wetland resources. Due to conversion in industrial, residential, and agricultural uses, these wetlands have been disappearing at an alarming rate over the last one-hundred years. In order to better care for these resources, all of the refuges are developing long-term Comprehensive Conservation Plans (CCP...

Contacts: Larry Robinson
Date published: May 19, 2017

Waterbird Distribution and Foraging Patterns on the Great Lakes with Respect to Avian Botulism

The Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC) in La Crosse, Wisconsin is studying the distribution and foraging patterns of sentinel fish-eating waterbirds through aerial surveys, and by tracking migration movements coupled with foraging depth profiles of common loons equipped with archival geo-locator tags and satellite transmitters. The results of this work are expected to...

Date published: May 19, 2017

Boater Compliance with Established Voluntary Waterfowl Avoidance Areas on the Upper Mississippi River

Disturbance to resting and feeding waterfowl on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Refuge) is of utmost concern to refuge managers. Voluntary Waterfowl Avoidance Areas (VWAA) have been established to reduce boating disturbance to migratory waterfowl on Navigation Pools 7 and 8 of the Upper Mississippi River.  Ongoing boater compliance with the VWAA programs has been...

Contacts: Kevin P Kenow
Date published: May 19, 2017

Species Distributional Modeling and Spatial Patterns in Genetic Introgression: the Case of Golden-winged Warblers and Blue-winged Warblers

The Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) is a species of considerable conservation concern in North America, primarily due to widespread population declines attributable to habitat loss (Confer et al. 1992, Buehler et al. ) and displacement by the Blue-winged Warbler (V. pinus) in areas of sympatry (Gill 1980, 2004; Will 1986).  Recent research highlighted an important mechanism in...

Date published: May 18, 2017

Assessing the Potential for Climate Change Impacts on the Suitability of Inland Glacial Lakes for Lake-Dependent Biota in the Great Lakes Region

Climate change models predict warmer temperatures, changes to precipitation patterns, and increased evapotranspiration in the Great Lakes region. Such climatic changes have altered, and are expected to further alter hydrological, chemical, and physical properties of inland lakes. Lake-dependent wildlife are often sensitive to changes in water quality, and are particularly susceptible to lake...

Contacts: Kevin P Kenow
Date published: May 18, 2017

Modeling the Distribution and Relative Abundance of Mammalian Predators in the Prairie Pothole Region of Minnesota

Mammalian predation is a major factor influencing waterfowl productivity in the Prairie Pothole Region. Rates of predation of waterfowl nests differ by predator species, so understanding landscape or spatial patterns in predator density are desired by many natural resource managers. Spatial predictions for the occurrence and relative abundance of predators would allow natural resource managers...

Date published: May 18, 2017

Evaluating the Possible Effects of Wind Power Development on Refuging Waterbirds in the Great Plains, Upper Midwest and East Front of Northern Rocky Mountains

We will address the question of whether wind farms can be built near refuges for large concentrations of waterbirds and not cause mortality or critical habitat avoidance. Much is known about many waterbirds (waterfowl, cranes, shorebirds and others) and the places where they concentrate (refuge) during migration. The primary areas of uncertainty in placing wind turbines in relation to the...

Contacts: Eileen M Kirsch
Date published: May 16, 2017

Decision Support Partnership for Assessing Bird Movements and Habitat Use in Interior Landscapes and the Upper Great Lakes

Wind energy development is emerging as one of the major controversial issues facing migratory bird management, especially in light of the public’s growing perception of wind energy’s potential detrimental effects on birds, and the rapid growth of the industry. Three DOI bureaus, the Fish and Wildlife Service, Geological Survey, and National Park Service, have recently recommended that research...

Date published: May 16, 2017

Dynamic Occupancy Models: Improving our Understanding of Animal Populations and Survey Techniques using Computer Simulations

Humans often look at wild places and guess animals are either abundant because they see large numbers of animals or animals are limited because they observe low numbers or little sign of activity. In reality, our estimates of animal numbers may be limited because of our inability to accurately detect animals and predict habitat occupancy or persistence over different seasons. Scientists and...