Wildlife Matters

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There seem to be more red foxes than usual this year across northern Wisconsin. In this week’s Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist takes an in-depth look at these fascinating canines.

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One of the benefits of having experts like the Masked Biologist as a WXPR contributor is that you get the latest breaking wildlife news, good or bad. Unfortunately, this week’s Wildlife Matters has some bad news, and the Masked Biologist is asking you to keep your eyes open for birds with their eyes pasted shut.

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Are we ready to give our children the tools they will need to face environmental challenges in the future, or are the tools we’ve always used good enough for them? The Masked Biologist tackles the toolbox question in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

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Here in Wisconsin, almost all our snakes are non-venomous, and rely on deceptive defense measures to scare off potential threats. The eastern hognose is one such snake and has slithered onto center stage in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

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In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist looks at a news story from the west coast that involved bears, dogs, people, and at least one bad decision.

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Although still somewhat unusual, sightings of sandhill cranes in fields, meadows and wetlands of the Northwoods are increasingly common. Sandhill cranes are currently a nongame species, but could that change?

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In recent days, a report titled “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful” was released in response to one of President Biden’s first Executive Orders. The Masked Biologist pulls this report apart and shares some highlights in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

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A common resident of the Northwoods, the porcupine is often the source of much frustration and consternation for forest managers and homeowners. The Masked Biologist wants to help you get to know the porcupine and maybe share some tips or tricks to reduce porcupine damage in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

On a recent family outing, we noticed that wildlife is on the move taking advantage of what’s shaped up to be an early spring. We also noticed that one animal that seemed to be bad at safely crossing roads was the porcupine.

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Do you have a favorite axiom or indicator that tells you spring has arrived? As usual, the Masked Biologist has much to say on the topic in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

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A strange otter encounter, not once but twice, resulted in a Curious North question for the Masked Biologist, who talks about the North American river otter in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

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One of the surest signs of spring here in the Northwoods is the arrival of flocks of Canada geese. You may not have given it much thought, this year or any year, but Aldo Leopold did. 

I thought I heard geese honking recently. Above the din of the noisy road outside, and the noisy family inside, I strained my ears to make sure. One of my boys saw me concentrating, appearing puzzled. “I think I hear geese” I told him. He replied that he had heard geese the day before.

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Different animals use different strategies to get through the winter. Some are more obvious than others. What about turtles? The Masked Biologist gives us a glimpse into their lives in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

Recently a large snapping turtle garnered some attention on social media by doing what turtles do—swimming around slowly under water. What was a little unusual, at least for the photographer, is that the turtle swam right under where they were standing—there were a couple of inches of clear ice between them.

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News is just coming to light about a momentous wildlife management event from last December. It involves a little black-footed ferret named Elizabeth Ann, who along with a horse named Kurt, inspired this week’s Wildlife Matters.

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Did the recent cold snap help us in our fight against invasive species? The Masked Biologist says “yes and no” in this week’s Curious North-inspired edition of Wildlife Matters.

Recently, listener Bill Boldon went onto Curious North at WXPR and asked the question: Is the extended cold period long enough to help kill invasive species?

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If you’ve ever attended a public meeting to testify, you probably have noticed there is a broad range of testimony types that yield varying results. The Masked Biologist gives a few pointers for effective testimony.

I have been watching a lot of meetings lately about natural resource issues, from wildlife hunting seasons to land acquisition or sale. Meetings have been a big part of my life in a career as a public servant, and it occurs to me that there are numerous simple ways that people can make their brief time testifying at the podium more effective. Here are a few.

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