Associated Press

White-nose syndrome taking toll on Wisconsin bat population

MANITOWOC, Wis. — The number of bats in Wisconsin is dropping, and environmentalists blame the sudden loss on white-nose syndrome, a fatal disease that is passed bat to bat. The deadly disease traveled east to Wisconsin around 2014, and some counties have lost an estimated 90 percent of their bat population, The Herald Times Reporter reported. Manitowoc County also has…

Despite signs of comeback, fishers to remain on Washington state’s endangered list

(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)PORT ANGELES, Wash. — The rare, weasel-like fisher will remain on Washington state’s endangered species list, despite signs that it’s making a comeback since being reintroduced. The Peninsula Daily News reports that the state Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 6-0 Friday to retain state-specific protections for the small mammal following a meeting in Port Angeles. Fishers…

Michigan Senate votes to cut fees for breakwater walls on Great Lakes

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan would cut state fees assessed on homeowners who have wave-reducing break walls near the Great Lakes shoreline under legislation a divided Senate approved Wednesday. The vote came 15 months after Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed another bill that would have lowered the payments. The sponsor, Republican Sen. Tom Casperson of Escanaba, said he has since reached an…

More groups sue to restore Yellowstone grizzly protections

HELENA, Mont. — Three more conservation groups are suing to restore federal protections to grizzly bears living in and around Yellowstone National Park. The complaint filed Wednesday by Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Western Watersheds Project and Native Ecosystems Council brings the total number of lawsuits to at least five opposed to the U.S. government’s decision to remove grizzlies from…

Wanted by Rhode Island researchers: bobcats

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Have you seen a bobcat in Rhode Island? If so, researchers at the University of Rhode Island want to hear from you. Research associate Amy Mayer wants the information for ongoing studies of the habitat usage, distribution and population of the state’s only wild cat. Mayer says bobcat numbers appear to be on the rise, based…

Idaho racing to combat deadly bat fungus

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Officials are scrambling to slow a deadly fungal disease that has killed millions of bats before it eventually spreads to Idaho. The Times-News reports the Idaho Department of Fish and Game is partnering with National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Idaho Power Co. and Idaho National Laboratory to monitor for the fungus….

Illinois sees fewer West Nile cases, still advises caution

(Wisconsin Department of Health Services)SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois public health experts say they’re seeing fewer human cases of the West Nile virus this summer but still asking residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites, which cause the infection. Fewer pools of mosquitoes and fewer dead birds across Illinois are testing positive for the virus this year compared to last year,…

Wisconsin enterprise combines indoor fish farm, greenhouse

The one-acre fish farm can produce up to 120,000 pounds of Atlantic salmon – as well as 40,000 pounds of rainbow trout – each year.NORTHFIELD, Wis. — A new fish farm and greenhouse operation in western Wisconsin is trying to change the seafood industry with its indoor aqua-hydroponics system. Fish farm-greenhouse enterprise Superior Fresh in Northfield opened its indoor Atlantic salmon farm Thursday, The Leader-Telegram…

More rare ferrets released on Wyoming ranch

(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)MEETEETSE, Wyo. — Biologists have released 13 more black-footed ferrets on a ranch where scientists more than 30 years ago rediscovered the slinky predators after they were thought to have gone extinct. One young ferret raised in captivity in Colorado didn’t take kindly to roaming free Monday. She growled and refused to leave her cage, then…

Scientists: Drones may help to spot harmful algae blooms

GLOUCESTER POINT, Va. — Scientists in Virginia say that drones may help them spot algae blooms that are harmful to the environment and to human health. The Daily Press reported that biologists at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester Point have traditionally used boats and special sunglasses. They have already been working with NASA on ways to identify…

Buffalo could roam on Denver airport property

DENVER — A plan is in the works to allow bison from the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge to roam on 200 acres belonging to the Denver International Airport, airport officials said. The deal, if it goes through, would bring the bison right up to Pena Boulevard, the road that travelers take to the airport’s white-tented terminal, the Denver…

National parks in Michigan see increase in tourism

Isle Royale National Park on Lake Superior saw almost 16,000 visitors as of July, a nearly 20-percent increase when compared to the same time last year. (National Park Service)DETROIT — Federal data show that tourism to Michigan’s national parks has increased. Figures from the National Park Service show that tourism is up more than 5 percent at the state’s national…

Emerald ash borer beetle epidemic could spell end of ash trees in Decatur

(U.S. Forest Service photo)DECATUR, Ill. — The emerald ash borer epidemic that hit central Illinois five years ago is still going strong and could spell the end of ash trees in the community of Decatur. Decatur Park District Horticulture Supervisor Josh McGrath told the Herald & Review that the community will be “pretty much cleaned out of ash trees” in…