This broad category encompasses fish. It is further divided on the main menu with tags for mammals, insects, amphibians, birds, mussels, invaders and endangered wildlife.

Recent Stories

Rattlesnake bite triggers advisory


We recently reported on a snakebite incident in lower Michigan. A young, barefoot visitor to an Ann Arbor botanical garden was bitten by an Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake, the only rattlesnake native to Michigan. The young girl was hospitalized and recovered. The incident has triggered an advisory from a group of Michigan naturalists of the risk of an encounter with this species of snake in our state. Current State’s Mark Bashore speaks with Steven Parrish, a Restorative Ecologist at the Matthei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor, to learn more about the potential risks of rattlesnakes in Michigan. Continue Reading →

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Photo Friday: An emerald on the beach

Kennedy's emerald dragonfly. Image: David Marvin

Note: This image and explanation is by David Marvin. Kennedy’s emerald dragonflies (Somatochlora kennedyi) tend to be fairly shy dragonflies when it comes to being photographed. This female Kennedy’s Emerald got caught in a quickly moving cold front along Lake Superior that caused it to land on the sandy beach, creating a rare occasion to photograph one without first capturing it. Its wings and body have dew that formed when the front arrived and the fog rolled inland. Kennedy’s Emerald dragonflies are related to other members of the Striped Emeralds of the Somatochlora genus, including the endangered Hine’s Emerald (Somatochlora hineana). Continue Reading →

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Mosquitoes triple

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If you live in Michigan it seems like every summer is a time to complain about the mosquitoes being really bad this year, but how bad are they, really? Current State talked with Ned Walker about this year’s mosquito crop and some of the issues connected to mosquito-borne illness. He’s a professor in MSU’s Department of Entomology and the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Continue Reading →

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Great Lakes exports mussels, advice and reporter to Texas

A clump of invasive zebra mussels. (Photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

Clean, drain, dry is common advice among the Great Lakes boating community. Now it’s delivered with a southern drawl. The watercraft maintenance practice limits the spread of invasive species between lakes. And now it is used in Texas to limit the further spread of a Great Lakes menace threatening lakes in that state. Zebra mussels are again the target.  They entered the U.S. through the Great Lakes aboard freighters that inadvertently transported them from Eurasia. Continue Reading →

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Photo Friday: Map turtle

This map turtle made an appearance in a garden in Williamston, Mich. Image: Dan Slider


Here’s what Great Lakes Echo reader Dan Slider has to say about capturing this image in late May:

Our backyard slopes down to the Red Cedar River in Williamston (Mich.)  When our border terrier mix, Roari, and I started our usual evening stroll, we heard something rustling in the garden bed behind us and discovered this beautiful turtle with a glossy green shell.  The terrier kept a curious eye on the turtle while I ran back into the house for my camera.  My wife looked up Michigan turtles online and identified it as a map turtle. A week later, a neighbor knocked on my door to tell me there was a large turtle laying eggs by the curb down the street.   He wondered if it could be the same turtle I had seen. Continue Reading →

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Finding a balance in Lake Huron’s fishery

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About a decade ago, Lake Huron’s fishing was not very abundant because of a steep decline in fish numbers. To see how the lake is doing now, Current State’s Melissa Benmark spoke with David Fielder, Fisheries Research Biologist for the Department of Natural Resources and a doctoral student at Michigan State University. Fielder explained that the decline ten years ago was due to ecological changes after the invasion of zebra mussels, quagga mussels and a higher predator abundance. Continue Reading →

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