nature

People in the eastern United States are getting a treat this spring - if you consider more cicadas than usual a treat. Five different cicada broods have emerged instead of the one that was expected.

Moving up three spots from last year, Cincinnati's parks rank fifth among the nation's largest 100 cities by the Trust for Public Land.

Spring wildflower season is in full blossom across the Tri-State region. Though many places are closed due to stay-at-home orders, most area parks and forests are open for hiking, walking and flower spotting.

Tech Tuesday: Saving Disappearing Species

Feb 25, 2020
The ground pangolin in South Africa.
David Brossard / Flickr

Transformative technologies expand the ways that wild animals can be tracked and monitored, providing new hope for conservation efforts.

Bald eagles were once almost wiped out of Ohio. Now, the state has more than 220 nesting pairs.
Jim Kaftan

On a recent weekday morning, Ohio Division of Wildlife biologist Laura Kearns used her binoculars to spot a bald eagles’ nest high in the tree branches on Columbus’ Northwest Side.

The Appalachian Trail – the 2,200-mile hiking stretch that goes from Georgia to Maine — is at the center of a legal battle that has risen to the Supreme Court.

The case involves a proposed pipeline that would connect natural gas fracked in West Virginia to population centers in Virginia and North Carolina. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would cross the Appalachian Trail within the George Washington National Forest in Virginia, and some environmental groups are challenging the legality of the permit the U.S. Forest Service issued allowing that to happen.

U.S. Forest Service Fisheries Research Biologist Wendell R. Haag holds a pimpleback mussel and a purple wartyback mussel to show the differences in the species.
Carrie Blackmore Smith / PublicSource

“Will one of these fit?” Wendell R. Haag asks, holding out a couple pairs of well-worn creeking shoes he’s pulled from the back of his pickup, both decidedly larger than a ladies size 8. Haag is taking me to see an aquatic wonder, and I’ve worn the wrong shoes.

Over the past 41 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been buying up land on the lower Texas-Mexico border to protect one of the most biologically diverse regions in North America from developers and farmers.

But the Rio Grande Valley of Texas is a hotspot for illegal immigration and drug smuggling, as well as biodiversity. That's why the Trump administration is planning to build 110 miles of border wall through the valley (which is actually a river delta).

Birds And Climate Change

Dec 30, 2019
White-throated sparrow
MIKE'S BIRDS / Flickr

Nearly two-thirds of North America’s birds could be at risk of extinction due to climate change.

According to a report from the National Audubon Society, if the global temperature rise by 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2100, 389 species of birds around the continent will be at risk for extinction. 

Brutus, an Eastern screech owl, shown off at an Audubon event on Oct. 10, 2019.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

New research from the National Audubon Society finds two-thirds of North American birds are at risk of extinction due to climate change.

Biologists were called to the Veterans Affairs building in Lincoln, Nebr., last week to evict an unusual visitor. A 20-pound bobcat somehow found its way into the VA but was quickly caught in a cage and relocated back to the wild. While that's unlikely to happen in Greater Cincinnati, the namesake of Ohio University's mascot is back on the prowl in Southwest Ohio.

Over the past half-century, North America has lost more than a quarter of its entire bird population, or around 3 billion birds.

That's according to a new estimate published in the journal Science by researchers who brought together a variety of information that has been collected on 529 bird species since 1970.

Bird Rescue And Rehabilitation In Ohio

Sep 19, 2019
Dick Daniels / Wikimedia Commons

Naturalist, artist and writer Julie Zickefoose in May 2017 took on the role of savior to a sick and orphaned baby Blue Jay.

In her new memoir, Zickefoose recalls the process of saving and then releasing the Jay, and also how the Jay she named Jemima saved her back. 

Today on All Sides with Ann Fisher: Julie Zickefoose talks about her new book, "Saving Jemima: Life and Love with a Hard-Luck Jay." 

  

Guests:

In a move that critics say will hurt plants, animals and other species as they face mounting threats, the Trump administration is making major changes to how the Endangered Species Act is implemented. The U.S. Department of Interior on Monday announced a suite of long-anticipated revisions to the nation's premier wildlife conservation law, which is credited with bringing back the bald eagle and grizzly bears, among other species.

A new hybrid bird species has been spotted around parks in northeast Ohio.

The bird is a type of warbler resulting from mating between Cerulean Warblers and Northern Parulas.

Park Ranger Ryan Trimbath was the first to spot the bird in 2014 while he was working for the Summit Metro Parks in Deep Lock Quarry.

He says the experience has opened his mind to when people claim to see new species.

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