Wisconsin, USA carnivorous mammals, camera trap research


This 4 April 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Wildlife Science in Wisconsin

Trout Lake Station

Tim Van Deelen Ph.D. is a professor of wildlife ecology having worked as a researcher in several conservation agencies in the Great Lakes region. His teaching and research focuses on the management of large mammals. These include population estimation and dynamics, hunting, interaction of deer life history and chronic wasting disease—and, not least, the growth of Wisconsin’s wolf population and its effects on white-tailed deer in the Great Lakes region.

Tim currently is investigating the factors that determine the distribution and abundance of the terrestrial carnivore guild in an island archipelago. The Apostle Islands are a chain of 22 islands of varying size in Lake Superior, and may be a model system for studying the effects of island biogeography on the carnivore community. Tim’s group is in their third year of placing camera traps in a rigorous design on the islands. Their current studies are focusing on carnivore richness, occupancy, extinction and recolonization rates, and how these will be affected by climate change.

From the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the USA:

Camera trap study reveals the hidden lives of island carnivores

December 21, 2018

Researchers placed 160 cameras on 19 of the 22 Apostle Islands in northern Wisconsin to see which carnivores were living there. After taking more than 200,000 photos over a period of three years, the team discovered that several mammalian predators are living on various islands in this remote archipelago in Lake Superior.

Reported in the journal Community Ecology, the study reveals a thriving community of carnivores, with some doing better than others on islands that differ in size and proximity to the mainland.

The researchers put motion-activated cameras on each of the islands studied, at a density of one camera per square kilometer. Over time, the camera traps recorded 10 of 12 Wisconsin land carnivores, including American martens, black bears, bobcats, coyotes, fishers, gray foxes, gray wolves, raccoons, red foxes and weasels. The cameras also captured images of semiaquatic carnivores mink and river otters, as well as raptors, small rodents, squirrels, songbirds and waterfowl.

“This is one of the first studies to focus on the carnivore community in an island system,” said Illinois Natural History Survey wildlife ecologist Max Allen, who led the new research with Morgan Farmer and Tim Van Deelen at the University of Wisconsin, and Erik Olson from Northland College. “The area is remote and difficult to access, with rough water in summer and variable ice conditions in winter, so the carnivore community had never been studied.”

The INHS is a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The research offers new insights into a phenomenon known as island biogeography, which describes the distribution and diversity of species in territories with distinct boundaries that can act as obstacles to inward and outward migration.

“Most research on island biogeography has been conducted in tropical marine systems that have innately high levels of biodiversity and few carnivores,” Allen said. The new study is unique in that it examines carnivores in a remote island system in a temperate locale, he said.

“We were surprised to find an intact carnivore community — including gray wolves and American martens — on these islands,” Allen said. “We found more carnivore species on islands that were larger and/or closer to the mainland.”

Black bears were found on 13 of the islands examined. They appeared to prefer bigger islands that were closer to other islands. Gray wolves, however, were seen only on one of the 19 islands studied. These differences may have to do with the animals’ diets and habits. Bears tend to be solitary and eat a variety of foods, while wolves are social, with more specialized diets. The latter tend to prey on ungulates like deer.

The researchers were surprised to find that some smaller carnivores, such as weasels and American martens, appeared to prefer life on islands further from the mainland.

The carnivores may swim from island to island or use ice bridges that form in winter between the islands. Documented declines in the duration of lake ice as a result of climate change may hinder the movement of carnivores between islands and to and from the mainland, Allen said.

“The study offers a first glimpse of the top predators making a living on the Apostle Islands,” Allen said. “It’s pretty exciting to be the first to document species in an area, especially a wild and remote piece of land in the National Park Service.”

Scientists have explored to what extent camera trap data are suitable to assess subtle species interactions such as avoidance in space and time: here.

New scat study provides clues to puzzling existence of Humboldt martens in Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area: here.

Young entangled squirrels saved


This 17 September 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Squirrels separated by vets after tails become entangled with strips of plastic waste

Five young [gray] squirrels in Wisconsin are recovering from a procedure to separate them, after their tails became entangled in a “Gordian knot” with strips of plastic.

The animals were found by a passerby, hopelessly struggling to separate themselves. It is believed that they tied themselves together in the nest, getting caught up in strands of grass and plastic that their parents had used to create their home.

The authorities were alerted, and the squirrels taken to the wildlife rehabilitation center at the Wisconsin Humane Society, where veterinarians found the animals to be “unruly” and “nippy”.

“You can imagine how wiggly and unruly (and nippy!) this frightened, distressed ball of squirrelly energy was”, the centre wrote on its Facebook page. “Our first step was to anaesthetise all five of them at the same time.”

Vets then began unravelling what they called a “Gordian Knot” – a reference to the legend of Phrygian Gordium, associated with Alexander the Great – of tightly tangled tails and nest material.

All of the squirrels sustained some degree of tissue damage to their tails, but after around 20 minutes of snipping with scissors they were freed.

“Now, one day later, they are all bright-eyed, and three of the five are ‘bushy-tailed’”, the centre said. “But we’ll need to monitor all of them for a couple of days to watch for tail necrosis caused by impaired blood flow.”

Young Amerikan kestrels fledge, videos


This video from the USA says about itself:

American Kestrel Chick Fledges! – July 14, 2018

One of the American Kestrel chicks fledged first thing this morning! Watch one of the younger male chicks take his first flight at 6:05 AM on July 14. At least one male chick remains in the nest after two chicks likely fledged sometime on July 13.

The American Kestrel cam is a collaboration between the Cornell Lab or Ornithology and the Raptor Resource Project. Four downy American Kestrel nestlings are tucked into a gravel-bottomed nest on private property near Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. The nest box is located on the side of a traditional limestone-footed barn, overlooking a rolling grassland that slopes away into folded hills and forests. Our partners at the Raptor Resource Project have watched kestrels breed at this site for over 25 years, and the wonderful combination of grassland, forest, and water that surrounds the property is an excellent example of the habitat that kestrels need to survive and thrive.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Last Kestrel Chick Takes Flight From The Nesting Box! – July 14, 2018

Nearly five hours after its sibling left the box at 6:05 AM, the final American Kestrel chick took wing at 11:44 AM and joined its siblings in the wild world outside of the nesting box! All four chicks have now fledged, and the nesting box is empty. The age of the chicks at fledging ranged from 26–29 days post-hatch. Thanks to our partners at the Raptor Resource Project and to everyone for watching and learning along with us as these tiny falcons grew from fluffballs to fledglings. Good luck out there little ones!

American kestrel baby at play


THis video from the USA says about itself:

Kestrel Chick Plays With Feather And Pounces On Rocks – July 3, 2018

With the American Kestrel chicks now 15–19 days old, they are over the halfway point of the nestling stage (kestrels typically fledge at 29–31 days old).

Here, one of the chicks returns from the nest box patio and shows off an erupting set of juvenile feathers while stretching its wings, playing with a feather, and practicing its pouncing skills.

Watch the cams live at www.allaboutbirds.org/cams

The American Kestrel cam is a collaboration between the Cornell Lab or Ornithology and the Raptor Resource Project.

Four downy American Kestrel nestlings are tucked into a gravel-bottomed nest on private property near Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. The nest box is located on the side of a traditional limestone-footed barn, overlooking a rolling grassland that slopes away into folded hills and forests.

Our partners at the Raptor Resource Project have watched kestrels breed at this site for over 25 years, and the wonderful combination of grassland, forest, and water that surrounds the property is an excellent example of the habitat that kestrels need to survive and thrive. Watch cam.

The young birds began hatching out of their eggs on June 14th, and the remaining egg in the nest is unlikely to hatch at this point. Over the next 3-4 weeks the nestlings will transform from downy bobbleheads to sleek, dull versions of their parents on a diverse diet of invertebrates, small mammals, and birds. After fledging, the young will continue to be cared for by their parents, remaining near the nest as they learn to hunt and master flight.

Don’t miss the outside view! A second camera has been installed to give views of the nest box opening from the outside so viewers can observe the kestrels’ comings and goings, as well as the nestlings once they begin peering outside. To toggle between the two camera views, click the “switch camera” icon in the lower right of the livestream player, next to the settings wheel.

Fundamentalist Christian racist terrorist kills himself by mistake


This 6 April 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Wannabe White Terrorist Accidently Blows Himself Up

“Beaver Dam resident Benjamin Morrow was killed when his apartment blew up. Inside, rescue workers found a “homemade explosives laboratory” where he made the explosive out of peroxide. A newly uncovered search warrant for electronic records says that Morrow had documents “concerning white supremacy groups.” He also had two rifles, a scope, a handgun, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and a bullet-proof helmet and vest.”

Read more here.

From the Daily Beast in the USA:

CLOSE CALL?

Suspected White Supremacist Died Building ISIS-Style Bombs

Friends and family say Ben Morrow was a Bible-toting lab worker. Investigators say he was a bomb-building white supremacist.

Kelly Weill

04.13.18 5:02 AM ET

Benjamin Morrow was found dead with white supremacist literature and the ingredients for a notorious bomb known as the “Mother of Satan.”

Morrow, 28, died in an explosion in the kitchen of his Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, apartment on March 5. His home was filled with bomb-making substances so volatile that firefighters chose to destroy the 16-unit apartment block in a controlled blaze, rather than let Morrow’s neighbors continue to live in the building. A search warrant unsealed last week revealed that Morrow kept white supremacist literature in his home. Investigators’ application for a second warrant suggests that Morrow had plans, announcing that he was clearing out a rented storage locker just hours before his death.

Kevin Heimerl of the Wisconsin Department of Justice called Morrow’s apartment a “homemade explosives laboratory.” When they responded to reports of an explosion at the home, investigators passed “a one gallon metal container of acetone,” an investigator told a judge in a newly unsealed warrant application.

Acetone is an explosive substance and ingredient in the “Mother of Satan”: a volatile bomb used by terrorists in ISIS attacks in Manchester, England, and Paris, France, in recent years.

Also sitting in plain sight where two white cardboard boxes stamped with the words “mix it, shake it, shoot it”, and three more packages labeled “sonic boom”, Heimerl testified, adding that he suspected the boxes contained materials that would explode when combined. Investigators also found pipes and pipe caps in the apartment.

When they entered the kitchen, investigators found Morrow dead in front of a still-lit stove. An “overpressure blast” had destroyed much of the room, blowing out the doors and windows and burying Morrow under the collapsed ceiling. Containers with more chemicals were spilling out an open refrigerator door.

The scene was so volatile that authorities barred the rest of the apartment building’s residents from re-entering their homes, and burned the entire building to the ground in a 1,600-degree controlled blaze overseen by 100 firefighters. Residents left their valuables inside. One of Morrow’s neighbors told the Wisconsin State Journal he planned on digging through the rubble to find a dead relative’s World War II dog tags, which had been left inside to burn.

At the time of the fire, the contents of Morrow’s apartment remained a mystery. But an unsealed warrant describes Morrow as building a terrifying arsenal.

In addition to more bomb-making materials, Morrow also had a collection of guns and accessories including a rifle scope, masks, vests, a ballistic helmet, and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Morrow also had “white supremacist material” in his bedroom, the warrant said. …

In an application for a search warrant, Heimerl raised the possibility that Morrow had worked with or been inspired by others, pointing to the white supremacist literature when a judge asked about “propaganda that raises concern for this kind of collaborative work.”

The investigator who swept Morrow’s room described the literature as relating to white supremacist groups that “will involve multiple members” in potentially violent activities. He did not specify which groups were named in the literature.

Members of Morrow’s church community have pushed back on the idea that Morrow built the bombs in his bedroom and kitchen, for which investigators found handwritten instructions.

“I’d love to defend Ben because he has been described as a bomb maker and he’s not a bomb maker”, Rev. Jerry Marsden, the pastor who conducted Morrow’s funeral told the Associated Press. “He wasn’t a recluse as some have said he is. He was far from that.”

In an obituary, Morrow’s family described him as a religious man, who grew up homeschooled and later studied pre-pharmacy, math, and chemistry at Pensacola Christian College in Florida. The search warrant revealed Morrow had a Bible among his white supremacist literature and bomb-making material.

When he wasn’t building bombs, he worked as a quality control technician at Richelieu Foods, according to his LinkedIn profile. His coworkers told investigators Morrow sometimes came to work with an unpleasant smell on his clothes.

“Some of those co-workers reported that it was common for Benjamin Morrow to arrive for work and he had an odor emitting from his person that co-workers described as smelling like moth balls”, Heimerl told a judge in an application for a second warrant. “Those co-workers further stated that they had made comments to Benjamin Morrow about the fact that they could smell moth balls on him.”

Mothballs are made of flammable chemicals, which may explain the smell.

The second warrant application reveals that police were interested in the contents of a storage unit Morrow rented. On the morning of the fatal explosion, Morrow visited the storage company “and notified the business that he would be moving his personal property out of the storage unit by the end of March”, Heimerl told the judge in the warrant application, speculating that Morrow might have rented the storage unit to keep strong-smelling chemicals from his home.

The second warrant, the findings of which are not public, also extend to Morrow’s computers, flash drives, and phone. The records could reveal where Morrow received the white supremacist literature—and whether he was acting alone.

“I am aware that a person could work solely to connect this type of manufacturing homemade explosives themselves”, Heimerl said. “But I am also equally aware that individuals oftentimes communicate, inspire and engage with other persons to manufacture homemade explosives.”

Black Lives Matter smeared as ‘tools of Russia’


This video about Wisconsin in the USA says about itself:

16 August 2016

The family of Sylville Smith [killed by police] wanted to set the record straight. They revealed Sylville won a lawsuit against the police. After his courtroom victory the police started to harass him daily. They also revealed he wasn’t a felon and he called his mother during the police chase.

By Will Morrow in the USA:

The Russians are tweeting! The Russians are tweeting!

22 March 2018

Did you recently take part in a demonstration against police violence in the United States? If so, you may be the latest dupe of Russian president Vladimir Putin and his army of tweeters.

This is the implication of a March 15 report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which claims that Russian-linked Twitter accounts were “stoking the flames of racial division” in August 2016 as hundreds of youth in Milwaukee, Wisconsin engaged in angry protests against the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Sylville Smith by a police officer.

The article has been trumpeted by Democratic and Republican politicians alike as the latest evidence that Russian “hacking” was responsible for the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Based on their hysterical statements, all taken from the same CIA talking points, one would think that the otherwise placid state of Wisconsin had fallen under virtual Russian control.

Former US attorney general under the Obama administration, Eric Holder, while on a campaign visit in the state capital Madison on March 16, claimed that the discovery of less than three dozen tweets by accounts linked to Russia posted in August 2016 “really shows the sophistication” of Russian efforts to “influence racial tension in a state in our nation to have an electoral effect.”

Holder ominously suggested “looking into people in the country who might have possibly helped” the Russians, and called for Congressional hearings and an investigation by the FBI.

A spokeswoman for Republican governor Scott Walker stated that it was “outrageous that any foreign interests would try to cause disruption in our communities and [we] hope the federal government will spend time looking into this interference.”

Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin declared that Putin “directed an attack on our democracy” and called for federal legislation to provide states with cybersecurity grants. Democratic State Senator for Milwaukee LaTonya Johnson tweeted that “we were trying to help keep peace in the community…while these fools [Russia] were sowing seeds of racism and hatred.” She claimed that “we’re still vulnerable to these tactics.”

“These are enemies of the United States who are trying to sow dissension in our country and on the streets of Milwaukee”, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett exclaimed.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel utilized a database of thousands of tweets, collected by NBC News, originally published by accounts identified by Twitter in January as being somehow connected to Russia.

The Journal Sentinel report claims that on August 14, 2016, in the midst of three days of protests in Milwaukee, fake Russian Twitter accounts published 32 tweets using the hashtag #Milwaukee. The most prominently cited offender is a fake account intended to impersonate the Republican Party in the state of Tennessee named “Tennessee_GOP.”

The report does not indicate why a supposedly “sophisticated” plot to sow tensions “on the streets of Milwaukee” would use as its vehicle a Twitter account impersonating the branch of a major party in another state, nor provide any proof that anyone in Wisconsin actually read any of the automated tweets. Instead, it simply reports that the tweets were retweeted more than 5,000 times.

According to the report itself, though contradicting its premise that the tweets were intended to promote the election of Donald Trump, the Russian-linked accounts “presented themselves as grassroots opponents or supporters of movements like Black Lives Matter”, both “defending police and criticizing them.”

More than 100 mainly young people took part in spontaneous demonstrations on the evening of August 13 in the neighborhood of Sherman Park, following the killing of Smith by 24-year-old police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown. Both the officer and the victim were African American. While Smith had been carrying a gun, he had already thrown it away when Heaggan-Brown fired a fatal shot through the young man’s heart. In the ensuing unrest triggered by the killing, a handful of businesses were looted and several cop cars were set on fire.

Governor Walker responded by mobilizing the National Guard, a section of the military, and placing them on standby in case the police were unable to put down the protests, which continued for a further two days. Heaggan-Brown was charged but later acquitted in the killing.

The residents of Milwaukee did not need Russian bots to “sow dissension.” The real roots of the eruption of social anger on the streets of Milwaukee are to be found in the catastrophic social crisis which wracks the city and the systematic violence and abuse committed by police against workers and youth.

Milwaukee, once known as the “Machine Shop of the World” because of its high concentration of manufacturing jobs, is today the second poorest big city in America after Detroit, littered with abandoned lots and disused factory buildings. The city’s poverty rate in 2014 was 29 percent, and 42 percent for those aged 18 or under. The neighbourhood of Sherman Park where the killing took place has a poverty rate of 43 percent.

The attempt to present the Milwaukee protests as a product of Russian interference should be taken as a serious political warning about the authoritarian character of the Democrats’ anti-Russia campaign.

The Journal Sentinel report is part of a broader campaign to present every manifestation of social and political opposition in the United States, including mass demonstrations against police violence, as the product of Russian interference, rather than stemming from the untenable levels of social inequality, in which three Americans hold the same amount of wealth as half the American population, more than 25 years of unending war, and the brutality and violence of American society, where more than 1,000 people are killed every year by police.

With this bogus anti-Russia campaign the media, Democratic Party and intelligence agencies are attempting to create the conditions for the censorship of social media and the labelling of all forms of political opposition and dissent as the work of “foreign agents”, thereby justifying their immediate suppression by the state.

PROTESTS OVER STEPHON CLARK’S DEATH SHUT DOWN SACRAMENTO KINGS GAME, FREEWAYS “Black Lives Matter activists linked arms and blocked the Golden 1 Center while chanting: ‘Stephon Clark!'” [HuffPost]

The release of footage showing the brutal police murder of 22-year-old Stephon Clark has sparked two days of protests in Sacramento, the capital of California, once again revealing the immense social tensions latent within American society: here.

THE grandmother of an unarmed black man shot dead by police in Sacramento, California, last week has called for change in the way police confront suspects. Sequita Thompson gave a press conference on Monday night and recounted the events of March 18, when Stephon Clark was shot 20 times in the back garden of her house, where he lived: here.