Saturday, February 22, 2014

reconciliation ecology

I have come back, over and over, to Professor Michael Rosenzweig's work on "reconciliation ecology". This subdiscipline tries to build up, promote, or enhance biodiversity in the landscapes we have already altered, anywhere we live on Earth.  This is based on the theory that there is not sufficient area for biodiversity conservation to be effective within the areas set aside as nature reserves. The science is grounded in the ecology of trends in land-use and the study of species-area relationships. Aspects of this emerging subdiscipline exist in a variety of places, but there are ongoing challenges.

I continue to find other practitioners engaging in similar work:

Jeff Schaeffer at the USGS Great Lakes Science Center has published this powerpoint online:

The development of a biodiversity park in the UK follows these concepts:

Francis, R, A. & Lorimer, J. (2011) Urban reconciliation ecology: The potential of living roofs and walls Journal of Environmental Management. 92: 1429-1437.

Some of Dr. Rosenzweig's work continues:

A few selected publications from Dr. Rosenzweig:

Rosenzweig, M.L. 2003. Reconciliation ecology and the future of species diversity (Oryx Vol.37,No 2 April 2003)

Rosenzweig, M.L. (2003).Win-Win Ecology: How Earth’s Species Can Survive in the Midst of Human Enterprise.. Oxford University Press, New York. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

river in winter - diving ducks

The Menominee River, upstream from the city of Milwaukee's Lake Michigan harbor and Milwaukee Bay, has an array of diving ducks and gulls right now, including some species that are not often found here. This White-winged Scoter is in fact one of four I saw today, and the first of this species I have ever found on the river. This is undoubtedly due to the extensive ice build-up found in the harbor at this time, forcing some diving ducks to move around in search of open water. Other species included (in the order they are displayed on the page) Hooded Merganser, Common Goldeneye, Greater Scaup, and many gulls, (mostly Herring Gulls). Not pictured but also found were Common and Red-breasted Merganser, and Lesser Scaup.

Friday, February 14, 2014

yet another facinating book

I'm blown away by the emerging new work that goes beyond sustainability. Christopher Uhl's 2nd edition of Developing Ecological Conciousness lays bare some ideas that many of us have clung to, but are not wholly truthful.  Like Charles Eisenstein's recent work (see my post here ), Uhl's book is honest in ways that may be unsettling - and according to David Orr, "a reminder that the world is still rich in possibilities". Check it out.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Long Walk for Birds 2014 - news

The Natural Resources Foundation of WI staff, the Great WI Birdathon Team and I are continuing to work together for an expanded "Long Walk for Birds" in 2014. Anyone can participate, and can do their chosen/assigned part of the route on any date in May.

The route will start near the IL/WI border in Kenosha County, head north near the lakeshore to Two Rivers, then northwest to Green Bay, then north along the west shore of GB to Marinette.
Photo by Paul Smith
Individuals have already chosen sections of the route in Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Manitowoc, Brown, Oconto, and Marinette counties, but there will be many sections yet to be covered.

Go to my page:

Or the team page:

to learn more. Please get in touch with me if you're interested in participating.

William Mueller
Director, Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory
WGLBBO online:
cell: 414-698-9108

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

illegal trade in wildlife

In learning about wildlife conservation, it's important to be aware of  an increasing problem -- the international illegal trade in wildlife, and black market trade in wildlife body parts.

Quoting from the website of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES):

Ph. from Wikim. Commons
"Annually, international wildlife trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars and to include hundreds of millions of plant and animal specimens. The trade is diverse, ranging from live animals and plants to a vast array of wildlife products derived from them, including food products, exotic leather goods, wooden musical instruments, timber, tourist curios and medicines. Levels of exploitation of some animal and plant species are high and the trade in them, together with other factors, such as habitat loss, is capable of heavily depleting their populations and even bringing some species close to extinction."

For people especially interested in birds, there is extensive illegal international trade in parrots, macaws, and related birds; songbirds; and falcons and other birds of prey. 

Here are some sources to learn more:


WWF - Illegal Wildlife Trade:



Trade in falcons:

Trade in the Saker Falcon: