Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Few photographers have taken so many quality photos of the diversity of Idaho's wildlife as Bill, as is apparent in his new book from Farcountry Press, Idaho Wildlife Impressions. The true diversity of Idaho's wildlife is captured, with photos ranging from fish and reptiles, to a wide range of Idaho's birds, to the popular big game species.
Looking through the book, one can't help but think that Idaho is undersold as a wildlife watching destination. It's a state with grizzlies, wolves and lynx that also offers premier raptor watching. There's unique desert wildlife like burrowing owls and sage grouse, but also big-water species like pelicans and grebes. They're all here in the book, often captured with close-up, striking action shots.
The book not only includes the photos, but also biological tidbits about all the species featured. It is a great celebration of Idaho's incredible biodiversity.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
'Day at Silver Creek'
Join us for a day at Silver Creek!
Saturday July 28th, 2007
Events start at 8:00 a.m.
Come earlier if you are a true bird enthusiast!!
8:00-10:00 bird watching
9:00-11:00 and 11:00-1:00 and 1:30-3:30 Canoe floats (you must pre-register)
9:30-10:30 Scavenger hunt
9:00-10:30 and 11:00-12:30 Nature walks
12:00-2:00 barbeque lunch
1:00 Announcement of t-shirt contest winner!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
2. Assess the interrelations among nutrients, algal biomass, and stream metabolism, defined as the gain and loss in dissolved oxygen associated with photosynthesis and plant and animal respiration.
3. Determine the transport, chemical transformation, and retention of nutrients (referred to as "nutrient cycling") in the water column and surrounding sediments.
4. Test existing ecological indicators of nutrient enrichment and develop new models for the prediction of ecological effects.
Monday, July 16, 2007
The striped skunk, historically, was not so common around Idaho. Despite its formidable defenses, skunks fare poorly when matched against large predators. The same goes for raccoons and red foxes--two other critters that I now know as neighbors. In fact, before European settlement, no red foxes were found in the state. The suburban habitats and farm edges are to the fox's liking, much more so than wilderness.
As fragile as nature may at times seem, many species are also amazingly resilient. Of course, there are plenty of species that need the big, wide-open spaces. But others thrive near humanity. While we may complain about city park geese, or downtown pigeons, these species also present the most likely scenario for daily interactions with wildlife. When I find bits of pigeons scattered downtown--the remains of a successful peregrine falcon hunt--I thrill the wildness to be found even amidst the largest city in our state.
India, quite apart from a place like Idaho, is a country with more than one billion people. And how is wildlife faring there? Not as bad as you might expect, reports Nature Conservancy lead scientist Sanjayan in his latest column. In fact, Indians have learned how to live with wildlife in many places--including free-roaming monkeys at the Presidential Palace. Indians have found ways to live alongside wildlife, even while humans survive at incredible population densities.
If biodiversity is to exist outside national parks, we must learn to reconcile humanity's coexistence with wildlife. While I covered up the skunk diggings in my backyard to prevent further incursions, I'm also glad to share my neighborhood with such critters--provided they keep their stink to themselves.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
A presenter from the nearby Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center also brought by a golden eagle and other birds of prey for an evening presentation.
Even if you can't attend an evening lecture, there is a spotting scope at the visitor's center to look across the Henry's Lake Flat and enjoy the wildlife common to the area, including pronghorn, sandhill crane, osprey and curlew.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Meet a Karelian bear dog at The Nature Conservancy's Flat Ranch Preserve--located just north of Macks Inn off Highway 20--at 7 pm Wednesday, July 18. Jennifer Pils of the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone will introduce the audience to Jewel, a Karelian bear dog retired from active use. The event is free to the public and is great for children.
The preserve is located just 15 miles west of the West Yellowstone entrance to Yellowstone National Park.
Karelian bear dogs were originally bred in Finland and Russia to hunt bears and other large mammals. Fearless and intelligent, these canines are now being put to a new use: to scare off problem bears from areas used by humans. Combined with other averse conditioning such as pepper spray and rubber bullets, Karelian bear dogs help teach bears which areas are off limits, so the bears can continue to live and thrive in Yellowstone country.
The event is part of Flat Ranch's summer speaker series, which also includes natural history programs on various area wildlife, fly tying demonstrations, bird walks, geology lectures, book readings and more.
Make Flat Ranch a part of your summer Yellowstone vacation!
Photo courtesy Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone.