WMC Conservation Newsletter Spring 2018- Endangered Species of the Month

Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis)

By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters – Indiana bats
Uploaded by Dolovis

From US Fish and Wildlife Service: The Indiana bat was listed as endangered in 1967 due to episodes of people disturbing hibernating bats in caves during winter, resulting in the death of large numbers of bats. Indiana bats are vulnerable to disturbance because they hibernate in large numbers in only a few caves (the largest hibernation caves support from 20,000 to 50,000 bats). Other threats that have contributed to the Indiana bat’s decline include commercialization of caves, loss of summer habitat, pesticides, and other contaminants, and most recently, the disease White-Nose Syndrome.

Indiana bats are quite small, weighing only one-quarter of an ounce (about the weight of three pennies) although in flight they have a wingspan of 9 to 11 inches. Their fur is dark- brown to black. They hibernate during winter in caves or, occasionally, in abandoned mines. During summer they roost under the peeling bark of dead and dying trees. Indiana bats eat a variety of flying insects found along rivers or lakes and in uplands. Click here for more information on endangered species in Illinois.

Continue reading: WMC Conservation Newsletter March 2018

By: Kate Keets, WMC Conservation Chair, Class of 2021

Star-Gazing Red-Shouldered Hawk

Student blog by: Dana Clark (Class of 2019, volunteer team leader)

Presentation: A red-shouldered hawk presented to the Wildlife Medical Clinic on February 11, 2018. On physical exam, the patient was initially dull, but perked up with continued handling. Star-gazing was seen, as well as an inability to stand. The patient was appropriately conditioned (no signs of nutritional deficiency). No other abnormalities were found on physical exam, other than wet feathers. When the patient was placed in a cage, it became dorsally recumbent (laid on its back) and was either unable or unwilling to right itself.

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What You Can Do to Help Wildlife in the Winter

By Sarah Wright, VM2

Now that we are in the depths of winter, many of you may be wondering how to help your local wildlife. It is important to recognize that winter places an environmental stressor on wildlife and different species of wildlife use various methods to adapt to this stress. Although it is typically best to avoid directly interfering with wildlife, there are steps you can take to indirectly help Illinois wildlife survive the winter. The best ways to do this are to provide access to native habitat and native food and to provide water year-round.

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