Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Volunteers us sonar to 'hear' and track bats for the DNRSubmitted: 06/27/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


MANITOWISH WATERS - Farmers and anyone who hates mosquitos should be VERY thankful for bats. The journal ‘Science' estimates they provide US farmers with 3.7 billion dollars in pest control.

In nearby states though a fungal infection called White Nose Syndrome is killing them by the thousands. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is working on a plan for our bat population, but first they have to find them.

Bats are small, hard to see, and mostly silent to the human ear. However, with special sonar equipment we can hear them, and track them. The DNR wants to use this technology to study Wisconsin's four bat species most at risk.

"Those are the hibernating bats and those are the bats that are susceptible to White Nose Syndrome because it is a cold loving fungus that attacks and gets the bats during hibernation," said Licia Johnson with the North Lakeland Discovery Center, "Some do leave the state and go down to Illinois to hibernate where there has been White Nose Syndrome found in caves."

North Lakeland Discover Center has trained 80 volunteers so far to use sonar equipment to track bats. All the information they gather goes to the DNR's database.

"If we ever were to have an issue with our bat population, white nose syndrome infecting our bats and getting a large amount we would know baseline information of how many bats we had where they were located throughout the state, so if there ever was a reintroduction program necessary they would have that information."

For more information about the North Lakeland Discovery Center or the bat monitoring program, click the links below.


Related Weblinks:
North Lakeland Discovery Center
Wisconsin Bat Monitoring Program

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/26/2016

- We'll give you a Wausau chiropractor's reaction to a proposed state bill that would allow chiropractors to write prescriptions for narcotics.

- Plus, we asked Governor Scott Walker for his reaction to the transgender directive for which the Obama administration is being sued by several states including Wisconsin.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

AMHERST - The small town of Amherst recently broke ground to replace their aging dam.

The dam was built on the Tomorrow River decades ago for power to the local feed mill.

The Wisconsin DNR believes the structure does not meet it's 500 year flood criteria.

This designation gave the town residents a choice.

"The determination of the DNR that the dam had to meet the 500 year flood lead us to the idea that we had to be able to release more water. The DNR basically brought this to the forefront and the village responded then," says Amherst Village President Michael Juris

This close knit town of just over 1000 residents took the decision very seriously.

"The residents of the village really had the opportunity to speak on what they wanted the vision of their village to be for the future. Whether to maintain the dam and the pond or to take it out and rehab it," says Juris.

Residents chose to keep the dam and thus the millpond.

With the decision made, the bidding process moved quickly and work has just started.

The new improved structure will use parts of the current one.

"Basically the stop plug structure of the dam is going to remain as it is because we found that in order to meet the 500 year flood requirements of the DNR we're going to be able to use the water that flows through the generating station," states Juris.

There were many options on the table and some that were just too expensive.

"It's been our determination that to dredge the millpond would be an expense that the taxpayers of the village at this time aren't going to be able to shoulder," says Juris

Still, bracing the structure to meet the DNR's strict 500 year criteria does not come cheap.

"We spent a fair amount of time in discussion before this decision was made because this is an expensive decision for a community our size. The original estimate was around 1.2 million dollars," says Juris.

Work moves quickly in Amherst as a completion date is set for this September.

"We expect that the substantial completion will be towards the end of August and with final completion early in September," says Juris.

+ Read More

MEQUON - Authorities say remains found in the Milwaukee River have been identified as those of a Mequon woman who disappeared in November.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office used dental records to identify 53-year-old Jacquelyn Ranallo.

+ Read More

MADISON - The state Department of Natural Resources board has unanimously approved shrinking the number of counties where hunters can shoot only bucks this fall.

The board signed off Wednesday on a fall season framework that makes 10 northern Wisconsin counties buck-only. That number is down from 19 counties in 2014 and 12 last year.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - North Central Health Care blames an "undetermined device failure" for the alarm and lock down in Wausau earlier this month.

A statement released Wednesday said the internal investigation ruled out human activation or remote activation of the emergency alarm.

Earlier this month, emergency crews locked down the hospital and surrounding area after a "Dr. Black" emergency was triggered. That alarm indicates a dangerous person with a weapon. After searching the facilities, no sign of an armed person was found anywhere in the hospital.

+ Read More

Play Video

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - When John Siewert hears the phrase "Thank you for your service," he always responds with a phrase of his own.

"The pleasure really was mine," the U.S. Navy veteran said with a smile.

Siewert served during World War II, supporting the D-Day invasion in 1944.  Wednesday morning folks thanked Siewert, not with their words but instead with a hug.

+ Read More

Play Video

LANGLADE COUNTY - Langlade County wants to become the new home for the state's forestry headquarters.

Lawmakers have asked the DNR to consider moving the department's headquarters from Madison to northern Wisconsin.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here