Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory

Past Projects

State Wildlife Grant for Bat Education and Bat Surveys (WDNR funding)

A State Wildlife Grant (SWG) for 2010-2012 was obtained by WGLBBO to assist with bat surveys and public workshops/presentations. Almost 30 workshops were held at nature centers and state facilities around eastern Wisconsin in 2012. Bat surveys (using the ANABAT acoustic monitoring device) were conducted by an array of volunteers, as well as by a cadre of paid surveyors conducting water-based survey routes for the WI DNR Batlas project.

Western Lake Michigan Off-shore Long-tailed Duck Study (internal)

UW-M senior and WGLBBO intern Andrew Limmer successfully completed a study using off-shore waterfowl survey, Christmas Bird Count, and harvest data to review the current situation involving the Long-tailed Duck, one of Wisconsin's sea ducks that breeds in the Arctic.

Window Screening at FBMP Clubhouse (foundation funding + internal)

While some day-time events have been held in the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust's conference center at FBMP, the large unscreened windows make presentations difficult to enjoy. These windows will be screened, and new shades will also be installed in the Observatory's office on the ground floor in 2013.

Schuchardt Farms Wildlife Assessment (contract)

In summer of 2011, the Observatory was contracted to perform a wildlife assessment and field survey of the Schuchardt Farms property in the City of Sheboygan as part of a Conservation Plan being prepared for this 205-acre property. Observatory biologists Bill Mueller and Seth Cutright performed four wildlife surveys in August. Important wildlife habitats identified were mature deciduous forest, oldfields, shrub-dominated thickets, and an old, oxbow wetland with several plant communities. Habitat connectivity was identified as being important to the site's wildlife as the property is developed, managed, and restored. Control of invasive plant species also was identified as being important to preserve the integrity of the natural plant communities. See: Wildlife Assessment and Field Survey

Milwaukee River and Little Menominee River Breeding Bird Point Counts (contract)

WGLBBO ornithology technician Seth Cutright did point count surveys for breeding birds as part of two river projects during summers of 2011 and 2012.

State Highway 49

State Highway 49, where it crosses the northern end of Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, is an area that has experienced a high level of wildlife mortality caused by vehicle collisions. Various groups have worked to address this issue over the years, and a newer effort is currently underway, with a list of agency, private and NGO partners. The following paper is the result of a student project from UW-Milwaukee's Conservation and Environmental Science program, in a course involving Dr, Neal O'Reilly, Dr. Glen Fredlund, and their students. It presents an overview of the road mortality issue at this location, along with a variety of possible solutions. For further information:  Wildlife Migration Plan and Highway 49 Alternative Crossings.

The US Fish & Wildlife Service contracted with the Western Transportation Institute, a group of ecologists at the Montana State University who specialize in road ecology issues to work on the problem of road mortality on Highway 49 in the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge.