Biologists have known for a long time that Maine’s vernal pools are important breeding grounds for amphibians. But even after decades of study, the pools that are raucous with frog calls in early spring and dry by late summer are still revealing their secrets. Now, researchers are studying one of their lesser-known denizens. Murray Carpenter reports.
Armed with $5.5 million in funding, U.S. conservationists are trying to protect four ‘resilient landscapes’ as ecological strongholds in the face of global warming.
Vernal pools in Maine are an important breeding spot for one amphibian in the spring. And now, a University of Maine researcher is leading a study to keep these bodies of water protected for the Blue Spotted Salamander.
YORK, Maine — Signs are up in York, South Berwick and Wells warning motorists to be aware of turtles — slowly — crossing the road.
Motorists encountering the turtle warning signs are encouraged to reduce their speed. Late May through July is the critical time for female turtles to cross roads to get to nesting areas, according to Caroline Hailey, a spokeswoman for Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.
Kyle Ravana has spent the past month settling into his new job as the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s top deer biologist.
Aiding him in that transition is this fact: The man who previously held that job is just a few steps away, ready to answer any questions he may have. Lee Kantar is still in the same office, but has been given the opportunity to focus solely on managing the state’s moose herd. Up until Ravana was hired, Kantar split his time between deer and moose, two of the state’s most beloved and charismatic critters.
Open Spaces Institute
Interview with Mac Hunter
Malcolm L. “Mac” Hunter, Jr., is a professor of wildlife ecology at the University of Maine and a member of the science committee advising OSI’s Northeast Resilient Landscapes Initiative. Hunter’s research has focused mainly on forest ecosystems and the maintenance of their biological diversity. He spoke recently with OSI’s Abby Weinberg about species adaptation, habitat connectivity and resiliency.
UMaine Researchers Find Wood Frogs May Transport Mercury into Food Web
Juvenile wood frogs emigrating from their birthplaces in vernal pools into the terrestrial ecosystem may transfer mercury they accumulated during larval development into the food web, according to a team of University of Maine researchers.
The team, led by U.S. Geological Survey and UMaine wildlife ecologist Cynthia Loftin, conducted its study at four short-hydroperiod (likely to dry by mid-June) seasonal woodland pools in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine.
Linda M. Ilse, passed away Feb. 1, 2013, at a Bangor hospital. S he was born in Phoenix, the daughter of James and Marie (Rollins) Ilse. Linda had a long time passion and connections with the natural ecosystems of Maine and The University of Maine. After switching from a successful career in the Telecommunications Industry, Linda was an outstanding undergraduate student at UM from 1988-1990 and earned her B.S. degree in Wildlife Management in December 1990. During that first stint at UM, Linda worked as a technician on studies of deer, coyotes, and red foxes in Acadia National Park. After completion of her B.S. degree at UMaine, Linda relocated back to her home state of Texas where she studied the interactions between feral hogs and native javelinas, earned her M.S. degree from Texas A&M University, and published 2 important papers on that work in the Journal of Mammalogy. She continued her research while earning a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University where she studied ecological interactions between host plants, bark beetles and porcupines in west Texas. After completing her graduate studies, she served as an Adjunct Professor at Southwestern University before returning back to Maine to fulfill her dream of living in a small rural Maine community and working at The University of Maine. After returning to The University of Maine in 2008, Linda worked as a Research Associate; as an Adjunct Professor instructor in 3 courses, and as the primary instructor in the Ecology from 2008-2011; and most recently, in the role of Assistant Research Professor. Linda continued her research interests with porcupines by studying populations on the Schoodic peninsula within Acadia National Park. Linda was very active in many facets of her home community of Burlington, Maine, and with natural research conservation, education, and research, and will be sorely missed by her friends, students, and colleagues at The University of Maine.
Many towns in Maine are contending with a common dilemma: how to grow in ways that don’t diminish the very things that people cherish about their community, like open space, wildlife and special landscapes. A research team is using local vernal pool conservation as a model to examine how towns can plan future development in ways that benefit people and wildlife alike.