Category Archives: Endanged Species

Status Report: Border Country Birds

The loon’s famous song, echoing across wilderness lakes, makes solitude audible. It simply sounds like wilderness. Many other bird species also find the habitat they need to breed amid the forests, lakes, rivers, and wetlands of the Boundary Waters, giving unique voice to the wild landscape. Here, a tongue of Canada’s boreal forest creates ideal conditions for an array of bird species—for a few months each year. Continue Reading

Moose Calves Dying at an Alarming Rate

In one of the most innovative moose research studies ever, in May of 2013, 49 moose calves in northeast Minnesota were fitted with GPS transmitting collars. Just four months later at least 35 are dead. This is significantly outside of the norm. Worldwide studies indicate that on average, in areas where predators are present, a…

Fond du Lac Band Suspends Moose Hunt

As has been reported in Wilderness News Online, the moose population in northeast Minnesota has dropped from 8,800 moose in 2006 to 2,760 in last winter’s survey. Even more alarming is a 35% decline in just the last year. As a result, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources suspended moose hunting for the 2013 season.…

MN DNR Updates Endangered and Threatened Species Lists

For the first time since 1996, the Minnesota DNR has updated the list of endangered and threatened animals and plants in the state, adding over 180 species. Listed species are categorized as either endangered, threatened or of special concern. The list is based on scientific field studies and public hearings held over the past year.…

Wolf Hunt Quota Lowered Due to Population Decline

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will allow 180 less wolves to be killed during the 2013 hunting season than last year. The new quota was announced after the DNR said earlier this month that Minnesota’s wolf population had declined by about 25 percent in the past five years. “The changes are a management response…

Wolf Numbers Decline, Range Increases in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the first survey of the state’s wolf population since last fall’s inaugural hunting season shows the population remains strong. Estimates of wolf numbers have declined by 710 since the last survey, in 2008. Despite the smaller numbers, the DNR says the population remains strong and the area of…

Ontario Endangered Species Act Weakened

The Ontario Provincial Cabinet announced May 31st its approval of several exemptions for industry under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA).  Many environmental organizations are incensed at the this government action. They fear it is an abdication of public government’s responsibility to protect Ontario’s endangered plants and animals. Specifically, the exemptions for the forest industry…

Longtime Sawbill Resident and Wilderness Advocate Bill Hansen YouTubes Two Lynx

Bill Hansen, whose parents began Sawbill Canoe Outfitters in 1957 and who has built his outfitting business into one of the most respected in the BWCAW, had the pleasure of spotting two conversing lynx last week while driving down the Sawbill Trail. Lynx are seclusive but iconic predators of the boreal forest and rarely seen…

Cormorant Control Approved for Lake Vermilion

According to the Ely Timberjay newspaper the DNR recently announced their decision to kill up to 10% of the Double Crested Cormorants on Lake Vermilion, in Minnesota, this summer. In addition, cormorant eggs will be spread with vegetable oil to prevent them from hatching and at the same time not stimulate the birds to renest.…

Early Reports on Minnesota Moose Study Inconclusive

The Minnesota moose population has plummeted by 50% in just two years. In an attempt to discover what is causing this dramatic decline, this winter the DNR began an aggressive research study by attaching sophisticated GPS-equipped transmitters to 111 moose. The collars transmit a message when a moose is dying, and the hope was that…

The Minnesota Wolf Hunt: A Spiritual Perspective

The most visible opposition to the recently completed new Minnesota wolf hunting season was ecological. How could a animal go from the endangered list to the target of sport hunters in a such a brief span of time? The Minnesota DNR presented compelling evidence that a tightly regulated hunting season would not threaten the species…

Minnesota Moose Population Drops by a Third in One Year

According to Saint Cloud Times reporter Glenn Schmitt, MN DNR aerial survey results last month indicate a 35 percent drop in the northeast Minnesota moose population from the previous year and a 52 percent decline from 2010. The current estimate of the moose population is 2,760 animals down from 4,320 animals in 2012. Although DNR…

Climate Change and the Quetico Superior Wilderness

The St. Paul Pioneer Press warns that climate change will have a serious impact on the Midwest. Because the Quetico-Superior region is at a crossroads of forest communities: the boreal forest to the north, the broadleaf deciduous forest to the south and the oak savanna to the west, affects of climate change to ecosystems may…

Russians Plan a Draconian Wolf Hunt

On January 15, 2013, the Russian Siberian republic of Yakutia will begin a war on wolves. Of the estimated 3,500 wolves in the area, the Republic plans to kill 3,000 of the animals. Monetary rewards will be paid to the top hunters and trappers. This effort is in dramatic contrast to Minnesota DNR wolf management…

Texting to Help DNR Study Minnesota Moose

A new study will give researchers a better chance at determining when and where Minnesota moose are dying. The species was selected for added protection by the DNR at the end of 2012, and now the DNR wants to use GPS technologies and implants to study the animal closer. According to stories on MPR News…

Increased Protection for Moose Does Not End Hunting

The Department of Natural Resources’s recent announcement that the moose will be listed as a “species of special concern” comes with a certain irony: the lowest designation on the Endangered Species List does not limit hunting of the animal. According to the Regional Roundup at the Pilot Independent, moose hunting will only be impacted if…

Moose Targeted for Extra Protection

Minnesota’s moose population has dropped by about half since 2005–a rate of decline that could lead to the animal disappearing from the state in 20 years. That’s earned the moose on a list of 591 animals, plants and insects deemed “species of special concern.” According to an article in the Star Tribune, it’s a potential…

69 Wolves Taken During First Three Days of Hunt

Estimates show that 69 wolves were taken during the first three days of the inaugural wolf hunting season. According to the Star Tribune, 32 wolves were killed Saturday, 18 on Sunday and 16 on Monday. Hunters are allowed to take up to 200 wolves during the early season, which coincides with deer hunting season, and…

Wolf Hunt Starts Saturday

Minnesota’s first wolf hunting season begins this Saturday, November 3. More than 23,000 people applied for wolf hunting licenses, and according to the DNR, 6,000 hunters received licenses. They’ll be allowed to take up to 400 of the state’s 3,000 wolves over two general hunting seasons and one trapping season. According to a Kare11 article,…

Four Wolves Killed First Day of Hunting

Four wolves were reported killed during the first day of hunting in Wisconsin this week. The hunt runs through February but will be ended early if hunters hit the limit of 116 wolves. The hunt is the first of its kind in the region in decades, and Minnesota follows suit in November. In Michigan, a…

Groups Sue to Stop Wolf Hunt

The Humane Society of the United States and the Fund for Animals are filing a suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in an attempt to halt wolf hunts in Minnesota and Wisconsin. According to a press release by the Humane Society, the motion came on the first day of the first public wolf hunt in the…

Moose Population Continues Decline

The number of moose dwelling in Minnesota continues to decline according to the latest Minnesota Department of Natural Resources survey numbers, putting this fall’s moose hunt into question.Continue Reading

Wolf Commnet Period Re-Opened

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is re-opening the comment period on its proposal to remove endangered species protection from gray wolves in the western Great Lakes states.Continue Reading

Minnesota Changes Wolf Hunting Plans

The state environmental bill signed into law this morning by Minnesota governor Mark Dayton changed the the state’s wolf management plan by allowing establishment of a hunting season as soon as the gray wolf is removed from the federal Endangered Species List.Continue Reading

USFWS Concerned About Stricken Bats

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced yesterday that bats stricken with white nose syndrome may warrant federal protection as threatened or endangered species. One of the species, the northern long-eared bat, is a northeastern Minnesota resident.Continue Reading

Interior Secretary Announces Wolf Plan

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar formally announced his department’s plan to remove the eastern gray wolf from federal protection under the Endangered Species Act and return management of the animal to state and tribal governments by the end of this year.Continue Reading

Klobuchar Calls for Wolf Delisting

Minnesota U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar wants gray wolves removed from the federal Endangered Species List, calling for the state, environmental groups, and others to work together on management of the predator.Continue Reading

Feds Again Propose Wolf Delisting

Federal officials will once again try to remove the gray wolf from protection under the Endangered Species Act, saying populations of the animal have recovered in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.Continue Reading

Cut in Moose Hunting Permits Likely

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials are likely to cut the number of moose hunting permits in half next fall due to the continued decline in the population of moose in northeastern Minnesota.Continue Reading

Moose Decline Continues in NE Minnesota

The number of moose in northeastern Minnesota continues to fall, according to aerial survey results released by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The current population is now estimated at 4900 animals, down from the 5500 estimated last year.Continue Reading

GPS-Collar Moose Study Underway

In an on-going effort to understand the reasons behind decline in Minnesota’s moose population, a study using global positioning system technology to track the massive ungulates in underway.Continue Reading

Wolf Lawsuit Stayed Until June

A lawsuit brought by two Minnesotans and joined by the state’s Department of Natural Resources calling of removal of Upper Midwest wolves from the federal Endangered Species List has been stayed until June.Continue Reading

Feds Will Try Again to Delist Wolves

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will try again to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The USFWS has tried three other times return wolves to state and tribal management, only to be stymied in court.Continue Reading

Petition Asks for Continued Wolf Protection

A petition by the Center for Biological Diversity asks the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to continue endangered species protection on wolves in the Great Lakes and Rocky Mountains until the predators have expanded their territory to more of the United States.Continue Reading

PolyMet Impact Statement May Be Redone

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may redo their Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the PolyMet copper-nickel mining operation proposed near Babbitt. The original Draft EIS was declared “environmentally unsatisfactory-inadequate” by the federal Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year.Continue Reading

Eagle Nests Prompt Voyageurs Restrictions

Voyageurs National Park announced the closure of three developed campsites and three undeveloped areas due to the presence of active bald eagle nests. The restrictions come under the auspices of the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Management Act.Continue Reading

Wolf Delisting Suit Filed

As anticipated, a suit to remove Minnesota wolves from the federal Endangered Species List and to return management of the animals to the state has been filed in federal district count.Continue Reading

Minnesota Wants Gray Wolf Delisted

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has filed the petition with the U.S. Department of the Interior arguing that the gray wolf should be immediately removed from the federal government’s endangered and threatened species list and returned to state management.Continue Reading

Chorus Grows for Wolf Delisting

A growing chorus in favor of removal of the eastern gray wolf from the federal Endangered Species List could culminate in a lawsuit to force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to turn management of the species over to state agencies.Continue Reading

Gray Wolves Back on Endangered List

Grey wolves in Minnesota were recently put back on the federal endangered species list. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a notice last week formally re-establishing the animals’ protected status.Continue Reading

Columnist Concerned About Moose

A northern Minnesota resident writes about her concerns over the declineing moose population in northeastern Minnesota. She outlines the steps moose experts believe are needed to support one of the Quetico-Superior’s signature species.Continue Reading

Wolves Back on the Endangered Species List

Two weeks ago, five wildlife protection groups filed a complaint against the removal of Great Lakes Wolves from the Endangered Species List. Today, wolves are back under federal protection as the result of a court ordered settlement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the protection groups. According to Associated Press coverage on WCCO,…

Groups Sue Over Wolf Decision

Five wildlife protection groups have filed a complaint in Federal District Court challenging the removal of federal Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the Upper Midwest.Continue Reading

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