May 11, 2018
Former McGraw Researcher Prepares for the Next Step
By Shane McKenzie/McGraw Research
McGraw Photo
For many of McGraw’s researchers, their time at the Foundation is life changing. For Evan Wilson, one of our most recent graduate-level students, it was doubly so.

“It is where I learned what it meant to do good scientific research and finally yet importantly, where I met my wife,” said Evan, who married Jennifer Thieme, also a past McGraw researcher, in the fall of 2016.

Today, Evan is completing his PhD at the University of Wisconsin, and will soon join the ranks of McGraw researchers who worked and learned under Dr. Stanley Gehrt and then began making their own mark on wildlife research.
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Bad Bunny: Invasive Rabbits Ravage Remote Islands
By Joel Achenbach/Washington Post
Photo by Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar/flickr
The Kerguelen Islands are at the end of the world. They're in the southern Indian Ocean, halfway between Madagascar and Antarctica. A few dozen researchers inhabit a lonely field station. There's no airstrip. The boat trip from Reunion Island takes 15 days. The climate is harsh, and few plants thrive in the rocky, windswept landscape.

What the place does have, in problematic abundance, is rabbits.

The rabbits, like the human residents, are not native to the islands, which are territories of France. They came in 1874, brought to the Kerguelens by scientists who picked the remote archipelago as a perfect place to observe the  transit of the planet Venus  as it passed in front of the sun. They stocked an observatory on the 93-mile-wide main island, Grande Terre, with five rabbits as a potential future food source.

When the researchers left, the rabbits stayed, and did what rabbits do, and eventually there were many rabbits and no native predators to keep them in check. And then everything went ecologically haywire — rapidly.
Why One River Delta is Thriving While the Other is Dying
By Alisha Renfro/National Wildlife Foundation
Photo by NatalieMaynor/flickr
To understand the issues of land loss affecting Louisiana’s coast and the restoration solutions needed to address it, one needs only compare two neighboring basins on the coast. In the Atchafalaya Basin, lush, green fingers of land push out toward the Gulf of Mexico, building more and more acreage every year. In the Terrebonne Basin to the east, land is rapidly disappearing at one of the highest rates on the planet.

Why are there such stark differences between these two basins that are geographically so close together? What can these basins teach us about efforts to restore Louisiana’s coast?

The key to successful, ongoing land-building in the Atchafalaya Basin is the steady flow of sediment and fresh water the area receives from the Atchafalaya River and the Wax Lake Outlet. In contrast, there is little fresh water and almost no sediment input to most of the Terrebonne Basin, contributing to continued and severe land loss.

As it always has, rivers and their freshwater and sediment are key to building and sustaining land across coastal Louisiana. Finding ways to use rivers to restore the coast will be essential to maintaining the region.
How This Iconic Photo Helped Launch American Conservation
By Philip Dray/Time
Wikimedia Commons photo
The studio photograph of Theodore Roosevelt in a buckskin hunting costume, rifle at the ready, remains one of the most iconic images of the American conservation movement. That he looks ready to kill something is no affectation; Roosevelt was a gung-ho hunter all his life. Yet his legacy is so much larger, as was the principled example he lived, of the compatibility of hunting wildlife and the protection of wildlife and wilderness. It was a synthesis that would define not only his efforts, but the nascent conservation movement that he came to symbolize.

Born in 1858 in New York City, he was the son of Theodore Roosevelt Sr., a founder of the American Museum of Natural History; the museum charter was approved in 1869 in the front parlor of the family brownstone on East Twentieth Street. Theodore’s father, in response to his son’s childhood asthma, urged the boy toward an outdoor, athletic life. The son was duly swept up by the works of James Audubon, William Bartram, and Alexander Wilson, as well as the boy-hunter novels of Mayne Reid, and came to know the books of Frank Forester, although he looked askance at Forester’s aristocratic fussiness about purebred hounds, cognac and the nomenclature for groups of ducklings.

Roosevelt, by contrast, would cultivate the twin modes of frontiersman and exacting naturalist.
Wisconsin Launches New Rules to Stop CWD – But Is It Too Late?
By Jessie Opoien/Cap Times
Photo by Miles Hennis/flickr
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has directed state agencies to implement "aggressive" new rules aimed at stemming the  spread of chronic wasting disease .
Two measures would impose additional regulations on deer farmers, while another would address deer killed in the wild that test positive for the fatal ailment that destroys the nervous systems of cervids.

"We need to protect Wisconsin’s hunting traditions and long-standing heritage by working together to contain the spread of chronic wasting disease in deer," Walker said in a statement.

Under the new rules, hunters will be barred from removing deer carcasses from CWD-affected counties unless the carcass is delivered to a licensed taxidermist or meat processor. Hunters may still quarter the deer within the county it was harvested and take the meat to other parts of the state, but the spinal cord must remain in the original county.
"We have become great because of the lavish use of our resources. But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils have still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields and obstructing navigation.”

-   Theodore Roosevelt

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