Wildlife Matters

Did you know that a chipmunk can throw its voice? Or that Wisconsin has a venomous mammal? What about the answer to the question: can porcupines throw their quills?

Every Monday on WXPR at 7:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m., the Masked Biologist answers questions just like these about living here in the Northwoods.

You can keep track of Wildlife Matters and all of WXPR's local features on the WXPR Local Features podcast, wherever you get your podcasts.

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You may have heard of some invasive wildlife species here in the Northwoods, but do you know our native species have invaded some other countries as well?

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist looks at one of our more insidious invasive species here in Wisconsin, as well as species of our that have invaded Europe.

Ben Pierson / Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources

When you ask people what they like most about autumn, usually the beautiful fall colors are near the top of the list.

In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist examines the science behind the beauty of autumn leaf colors.

Ryan Hagerty / Wikimedia Commons

We all need a hint or a pointer now and then.

In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist shares some insight as he discusses the annual influx of requests for good places to hunt.

PxHere / Wikimedia Commons

What is it with dogs and playing fetch?

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist relates his own dogs’ fetching instincts to their ancestral roles and the masters they served.

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Have you ever seen a cradle knoll? Do you know how they form, or their importance on the landscape? That is the subject of this week’s episode of Wildlife Matters.

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Do turkeys eat grouse? Why are some areas that used to have more grouse seeing more turkeys and less grouse?

In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist tackles these questions.

I have often heard people blame turkeys for reduced grouse numbers in Wisconsin. Are turkeys rampaging across the countryside, gobbling up any other game birds in their path? Or could there be another explanation?

Greg Schechter / Wikimedia Commons

From time to time, the Masked Biologist gets a question from a listener that inspires him to delve deeper into the topic and share his findings with us.

One such question was about salamanders and it's the focus of this week’s Wildlife Matters.

Are G Nilsen / Wikimedia Commons

Everyone is familiar with Wisconsin’s white-tailed deer, maybe our reintroduced elk herd, and our occasional observed moose – but did you know at one time we may have had reindeer too?

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist delves into the questionable history of the woodland caribou.

The Masked Biologist

Did you ever find yourself in a situation where you really wished Lassie was there?

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist looks at the legacy and the impact of a dog that was too good to be true.

naturespicsonline.com / Wikimedia Commons

Summer is in full swing, but believe it or not, the first of our fall hunting seasons are only a month or so away.

In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist looks at one of our state’s newer hunting seasons, the mourning dove season.

Herbert Lange / WI Dept. of Natural Resources

Wisconsin may have an increasing number of cougar observations, but at this time there is only one confirmed resident feline species that occupies the state and reproduces here on an annual basis.

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist discusses the bobcat.

MDuchek / Wikimedia Commons

If you worked in the woods, do you think you would want to be armed to protect yourself from dangerous animals?

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist talks about the topic, and shares that size isn’t everything.

When I give talks, especially about my decision to become a biologist or what it is like to work in natural resources, there are some recurring questions I have to answer. One of the most common themes involves safety around dangerous animals and whether I carry a firearm to protect myself.

John James Audubon / Wikimedia Commons

Aldo Leopold famously said “to keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering” when talking about preserving threatened and endangered species. When a species is lost, though, should we try to re-create that cog or wheel?

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist introduces us to de-extinction and an ambitious project to bring the passenger pigeon back from the dead.

Darren Swim / Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes animals can be so common that they can be taken for granted, what we call the tragedy of the commons.

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist expresses his appreciation for the very common blue jay.

I have shared in previous writings my affinity for members of the Corvid family. Corvids are a group of birds that include crows, ravens, jays, and magpies. Of all the birds in that family, I would say Blue Jays are my favorite.

US Forest Service / Wikimedia Commons

Frequently our encounters with wildlife are completely safe, but there are always risks for injury or disease if bitten or scratched.

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist talks about the prevention and presence of rabies.

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