wildlife

Environment
2:33 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Kentucky Wraps Up Third Year of Controversial Sandhill Crane Hunting Season

Kentucky’s third annual sandhill crane hunting season wrapped up yesterday and Fish and Wildlife officials are calling it a success.

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Environment
5:23 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Study Finds 2007 Eastern Kentucky Fish Kill Likely Caused By Natural Gas Fracking Fluid

Blackside dace minnows
U.S. Fish and Wildlife

A joint study by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is pointing to natural gas fracking as the cause of widespread death of fish in an Eastern Kentucky stream.

The report found that hydraulic fracturing fluids—which are used to help extract the gas from the ground—spilled from a natural gas well site near Acorn Fork in 2007. After that, scientists saw a sharp decline in aquatic life in the stream. One of the species affected—the Blackside dace—is federally threatened.

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Environment
2:45 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Unusual Birds Nesting in St. Matthews

Mississippi Kite.
Courtesy Pam Spaulding

Today in St. Matthews wildlife: a pair of birds that aren’t native to the region have built a nest and hatched a chick in a neighborhood off Chenoweth Lane. Mississippi Kites are part of the raptor family—like hawks and eagles—but mainly eat insects.

The birds usually nest in the southern Great Plains, and along the Mississippi and lower Ohio Rivers, and this year marks the first confirmed nest in Louisville.

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Environment
7:23 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Butterfly Count, Release Planned for Next Weekend

Richiebits Wikimedia Commons

Whether  it’s counting butterflies or just watching them, upcoming events aim to connect Louisville residents with nature. There’s both a butterfly census and butterfly release planned for next weekend.

On Saturday, fifty butterflies will be released in a community garden at Blackacre Conservancy. The butterflies are in a cold-induced sleep, and will be shaken into children’s hands to slowly warm up before they’re released.

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Environment
4:08 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Indiana Reports Banding Record Number of Peregrine Falcon Chicks

One of the peregrine falcon chicks born in Louisville this spring.
Erica Peterson WFPL News

Indiana state biologists have banded a record number of peregrine falcon chicks so far this year.

The once-endangered species has been making a comeback in the region. Until 1999, peregrine falcons were on the federal endangered species list. Populations were decimated due to the widespread use of pesticides like DDT, which decreased reproduction rates. The birds also lost a lot of their natural habitat…like cliffs and steep slopes.

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Environment
9:30 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Kentucky to Get $47,000 to Study White Nose Syndrome

Marvin Moriarty USFWS

The federal government is giving Kentucky $47,500 to study a fatal bat disease. In total, 28 states will get more than $950,000 in grants for projects designed to track and research White Nose Syndrome.

The disease has been decimating bat populations in 22 states—including Kentucky—and 5 Canadian provinces for the past seven years. Bats are essential in keeping insect populations under control, and are an important part of the ecosystem.

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Environment
3:22 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Louisville Zoo's Oldest Polar Bear, Arki, Dies

Arki
Kyle Shepherd Louisville Zoo

Louisville Zoo officials say the zoo's oldest polar bear passed away today from unknown causes.

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Environment
5:20 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Regulators Investigating Second Fish Kill in Two Weeks in Harlan County Creek

For the second time in two weeks, fish have been found dead in an eastern Kentucky creek, and state regulators aren’t sure what factors are to blame for the fish kill.

This time, hundreds of dead fish were found in Catrons Creek, in Harlan County. The dead fish range from more than a foot long to minnows.

But no one knows what caused the fish kill yet. People living near the creek reported seeing black water, and the culprit could be some kind of discharge of chemicals upstream from a coal mine or other industry.

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Environment
3:24 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

LG&E's Falcon Chicks Are Growing Up

It's only been a little more than a week since I was down at Mill Creek, watching several fluffy white peregrine falcon chicks being banded. But already, visible on the live webcam, you can see that those fluffy feathers are nearly gone and the chicks are getting ready to learn to fly.

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Environment
3:22 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Look at Mill Creek's Peregrine Falcon Chicks!

It's a peregrine falcon chick!
Erica Peterson WFPL

The peregrine falcon chicks that hatched in a nesting box at Louisville Gas and Electric’s Mill Creek power plant are one step closer to leaving home.

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