*Two 30 minute presentations.
A Frog Was in My Boot This Morning
Frogs are familiar to everyone, but did you know some can freeze solid and then come back to life? Frogs engage people in many ways, and not just for their funny looks, they eat a tremendous amount of bugs. Yet frogs are in decline worldwide, and face many challenges in a warming world where lakes and wetlands are under increasing pressure. Some Wisconsin species are declining, others expanding. I will discuss the natural history of these fascinating creatures in Wisconsin, the monitoring programs underway, results of urban frog studies, and measures landowners can take to maintain and enhance local frog populations.
Gary Casper, Associate Scientist, UW-Milwaukee Field Station
Bobcat Ecology in Northern Wisconsin
Bobcats are an important carnivore in Wisconsin, providing ecological benefits as well as sustainable consumptive use opportunities. Since 2014, the Wisconsin DNR, with cooperation from citizen trappers and landowners, has fitted over 50 bobcats in Northern Wisconsin with GPS monitoring collars to gain a better understanding of the status and ecology of bobcats in this region. Data collected from 32 collared animals revealed an average home range size of 17 mi2, and the home ranges of 22 of those bobcats overlapped with the range of at least one other monitored bobcat. Within their home ranges, bobcats chose wetland habitat and areas within 500 feet of water (lakes, streams, or rivers), while avoiding upland deciduous forests, grasslands, and agricultural areas. Bobcats are an integral part of Northern Wisconsin wetland ecosystems and a better understanding of bobcat space and habitat use will aid managers in continuing to sustainably manage bobcats.
Catherine Dennison, Carnivore and Furbearer Research Assistant, WI Department of Natural Resources