The following is reprinted from the WDNR Weekly On-Line News, dated April 10, 2018:

Celebrate eagles’ comeback by buying a license plate to fund the next conservation success

Eagle plate - Photo credit: DNR
Wisconsin residents can celebrate the continuing comeback of bald eagles and help fund the next conservation success by buying a bald eagle license plate.

Wisconsin residents can celebrate the continuing comeback of bald eagles and help fund the next conservation success by buying a bald eagle license plate. License plate sales and donations to the Endangered Resources Fund account for 25 percent of funding for work by DNR’s Natural Heritage Conservation staff with endangered species and natural areas.

Learn more about Endangered Resources Fund and the on-the-ground conservation work it supports at dnr.wi.gov, keywords “Endangered Resources Fund.”

Wisconsin Conservation Congress Spring Hearings – Neonics

2018 Wisconsin Conservation Congress Spring Hearings flyer. (WDNR)

Each second Monday of April, the Wisconsin Conservation Congress holds their spring hearings. There are 54 questions this year concerning a myriad of conservation issues. One of great importance to natural landscaping enthusiasts is advisory question 45 on the use of neonicotinoids:

“Should the Conservation Congress work with the DNR, NRB and Wisconsin Legislature to take up the ‘Saving Wisconsin Pollinators Act,’ and include specific language to ban the use of neonicotinoid insecticides (dinotefuran, clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam) regardless of application method on all state owned agricultural and forest lands, and establish limited use guidelines for continued use on commercial and private agricultural lands? Yes or No?”

“The question relates to banning the use of neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics) on state owned agriculture and forest land. “Neonicotinoids are a widely used class of insecticides. They are neurotoxins that are present throughout all parts of the plant once applied, including the leaves, pollen, and nectar. They can also contaminate water resources and soils as well. Studies show that pollinators are endangered through acute poisonings by coming into contact with these toxins. It has been widely reported that we are currently experiencing a large loss of pollinators.”

Doug Tallamy says a Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) pair brings 390-570 caterpillars to their young per day for 16 days. Photo by Doug Tallamy.

In essence, although neonics are effective against a variety of insect pests, they also kill non-target insects such as pollinators, and can have an equally unhealthy indirect effect on birds, bats and other insect-eating wildlife in the chain of life.

Wisconsin Conservation Hearings

The hearings will be held in each county of Wisconsin on April 9, 2018 at 7:00PM. Everyone attending has a chance to speak on behalf of any of the questions — pro or con. Everyone attending has the opportunity to cast their vote — yes or no — on each question. These citizen advisory ballots are then presented to the Natural Resources Board (NRB) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

If you are not able to attend the hearings personally, your comments should be submitted to the Wisconsin DNR no later than April 9, 2018. Send your comments to:

•Fisheries Rule Coordinator, Scott Loomans, 101 South Webster St. PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, (608) 266-5206, scott.loomans@wisconsin.gov

•Wildlife Rule Coordinator, Scott Karel, 101 South Webster St., PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, (608) 267-2452, scottr.karel@wisconsin.gov

Please send your comments to the WDNR. Let’s get the use of neonics under control here in Wisconsin.

Hearings Questionnaire

Hearings Locations

Background on Neonic Insecticides by Wisconsin Society for Ornithology

New Idea to Save Birds from Tall Objects

As part of research conducted by Auburn University, trainers and a veterinarian are trying to develop radar and visual systems to help stop birds from striking wind turbines. In one experiment, researcher Jason Roadman and veterinarian Seth Oster release a Bald Eagle from a lift to track how it flies toward turbines. The work is being done with U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). Photo: Dennis Schroeder and John de la Rosa/NREL/Flickr CC (BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

According to the USGS, wind turbines collisions kill between a quarter to a half million birds annually. Researchers from the College of William and Mary, however, have built a warning system they call the Acoustic Lighthouse. This invention emits a high-pitched sound which warns birds to look ahead and slow down or stop before they impact with the wind turbine. This device could be used on tall buildings and other towers like those used for storm warnings and cell phones.

Geeese taking off from Horicon pond in spring. Photo by Jack Bartholmai

I for one would be grateful to have these devices placed on the 86 wind turbines that stand just two miles from the 11,091 acres that make up Horicon Marsh here in Wisconsin.

See also Save the Eagles International