Spring 2011
Vol. 19 No. 1

Spring is a natural resurrection, an experience in immortality -Henry David Thoreau

In this issue...

Reflections from the President

Habitat for Learning

Celebration for the Gibraltar Bay Unit of the Detroit River International Refuge

Gibraltar Bay Fish Survey

Colina Grant

2010 GI Conservationist of the Year Award

Second Sundays at the Wildlife Refuge/Nature Area

Sunday at the Wildlife Refuge

Freshwater Futures Grant

Michigan Amphibians and Mudpuppies Survey

Annual Meeting

Honors & Recognitions

Lifetime Achievement Award

Stewardship Corner

Land Acquisition

Memorials & Honorariums


Small Machines - Big Polluters

Did you know?

Upcoming Events...

May 1
Earth Day

1PM to 4PM
Centennial Farm
Contact Liz Hugel

May 13
Habitat for Learning Workday
8AM to 4PM
Parke Lane Elementary
Contact Courtney Solenberger-McNeill

Nature Area Open
Every Sunday
1-4PM, May 8 to Oct. 30

May 15
Interpretive Nature Walk
1PM to 4PM
Nature Area
Contact Courtney Solenberger-McNeill

November 5
Annual Meeting
10AM to 11:30AM
Centennial Farm


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Michigan Amphibians and Mudpuppy Surveys

Marcy Sieggreen, Curator of Amphibians at the Detroit Zoo, presented an informative program at the annual meeting. She is responsible for overseeing all operations including animal care, conservation programs, guest interaction activities and research at the Detroit Zoo’s National Amphibian Conservation Center. The 12,000-square-foot research facility, and education and breeding center opened in 1997.

Marcy brought us up-to-date on the Detroit Zoo’s Mudpuppy Surveys, which have been going on at several locations on Grosse Ile. Native to the Detroit River, mudpuppies are rarely seen. They are the second-largest salamander in the western hemisphere, but never developed air-breathing lungs like other salamanders. They live their entire lives in the water, moving to deep water in the summer, but staying in shallow water, like Gibraltar Bay during cooler months. In this study, scientists measured and weighed and implanted mudpuppies with microchips to track their travels. They are considered an indicator species of the health of the ecosystem. Anyone finding a mudpuppy should report it to the Zoo.

Marcy was recently in the news because of the zoo’s 3 newborn mountain chicken frogs. She said, “It is very exciting and significant that we have bred these unusual frogs, as they are extremely difficult to breed.” These creatures have been nearly wiped out in their native Caribbean, because they are hunted for food, exposed to disease and have lost habitat. The Detroit Zoo is one of only five U.S. zoos that has this species, designated as “critically endangered.”

See Marcy’s slides on our web site, under the Education page. Note the photo of the longnose gar yearling that was found while trapping mudpuppies in Gibraltar Bay. Marcy noted that it was “quite a find. Not typically...in this area and [the Bay] appeared to be a nursery with numerous healthy fish.”