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wildlife

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With colder weather upon us, everyone is looking for a warm place to spend the winter, including some insects.

Fishermen up and down the New England coast say it has been decades since they’ve been able to catch so many Atlantic bluefin tuna, so fast. Once severely depleted, populations of the prized sushi fish appear to be rebuilding.

The Northeast has more than 200,000 dams and culverts, what U.S. Fish and Wildlife's Cathy Bozek described as "barriers to water flow." She said many of the dams no longer serve their original purpose, and many of the culverts need work. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Long Island Sound has a new guardian of sorts. Earlier this year, biologist Bill Lucey was named soundkeeper of the Northeast estuary.

This hour, the Connecticut native stops by our studios.

We learn more about his role and talk about efforts to improve life in and around the Sound.

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It’s breeding time for deer in Connecticut, which means biologists and hunters are paying close attention to two things: car collisions and acorns.

Betsy Kaplan / WNPR

In 1955, Connecticut experienced catastrophic flooding that killed more than eighty people. Two back-to-back hurricanes  - Connie and Diane - dropped over two feet of rain across Connecticut. The rains overwhelmed the Naugatuck, Farmington, and Quinebaug Rivers and their tributaries too quickly for many to escape its wrath. After the flood, Connecticut enacted flood control measures that led to several new dams. 

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Oily and smelly - Atlantic menhaden are one of the least sexy fish imaginable. But this humble fish, also called “bunker” or “pogie,” has deep roots off the coast of New England. 

Michael Hunter / Wikimedia Commons

The Emerald Ash Borer, the Asian longhorn beetle, now the Southern Pine Beetle. This hour, we learn about the newest in a series of pests and diseases decimating species of trees in New England.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Pine forests in New England could soon be at the mercy of an incredibly destructive insect. The southern pine beetle is making its way north. And a new study says climate change could speed up its migration.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Connecticut’s monarch butterflies are now making their annual migration thousands of miles south to Mexico. 

A new wave of forest loss is underway in New England, at a rate of 65 acres a day. That's the conclusion of a new regionwide study spearheaded by a Harvard University forest research group. And the authors say New England could lose more than a million acres of forest cover over the next half-century.

In New England, 22 percent of the region's native plants are considered rare. Some of them are on the federal list of endangered species. Biologists worldwide and locally have been saving crop seeds, and seeds from other plants important to the ecosystem. 

This summer, scientists in California are releasing 20 million mosquitoes in an effort to shrink the population of mosquitoes that can carry diseases.

It sounds counterintuitive. But the plan is to release millions of sterile male mosquitoes, which will then mate with wild female mosquitoes. The eggs the females lay won't hatch, researchers say.

Progressive Animal Welfare Society / Creative Commons

Bats eat an enormous amount of bugs. It’s the kind of feeding that keeps pests down and agriculture stable.

But a newly updated report from the Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality says the cave-dwelling bat population is down, and that’s a reason for concern.

She was the alpha female of a wolf pack in Yellowstone National Park, sought after for photographs because of her unusual white coat.

Hikers found her suffering from severe wounds last month. The animal was euthanized by park staff shortly after.

The park now says the recognizable wolf suffered a gunshot wound, based on preliminary results of a necropsy by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The animal likely was shot sometime between April 10 at 1 a.m. and April 11 at 2 p.m. on the north side of the park, near Gardiner, Mont.

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