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17 July 2005
Michigan's Kirtland's Warbler population at a record high

Kirtland's WarblerA July 11 MIDNR press release indicates that Michigan's Kirtland's Warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii) population is growing and numbered over 1400 singing males during the 2005 census carried out by the MI DNR, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the US Forest Service, MI Department of Military Affairs and lay volunteers. This is the largest number counted since the survey began in 1951. The population reached a low point in the 70's and 80's when minimum counts of 167 males were observed. The 2004 census counted 1348 singing males.

Singing male warblers were observed in 11 lower penninsula counties and a few were observed with females in 5 upper penninsula counties.

The Kirtland's warbler depends on young jack pine stands from 4 to 20 years old for nesting. With fewer natural forest fires today, young jack pine forests must be created with managed burning, clearcutting, reseeding and replanting. The organizations involved replant and reseed over 3000 acres in Michigan each year to provide a continuous habitat resource for this population. Additionally, special programs such as cow bird trapping and removal helps to keep warbler populations growing by reducing nest parasitism pressures.

Other good news from MI DNR - Michigan's Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) population continues to increase:

Department of Natural Resources officials today announced results of the most recent wolf survey, which indicates at least 405 wolves are now roaming Michigan's Upper Peninsula, a 13 percent increase from the 360 animals counted in 2004. The survey was conducted during the winter months when wolf numbers are at their lowest.

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