Environment

NHPR

As we hunker down for the winter weather, we’re frequently too preoccupied with what is in our front yards that we tend not to notice what isn’t there. The snow and ice have muscled out the grass, and the chilly sounds of the north wind have blown away the dawn chorus that woke us this summer. And short of finding a postcard in your mailbox from a warm exotic location, signed by your friendly neighborhood phoebe , you probably haven’t thought much about the birds that flitted through your yard just months ago.

Here at Something Wild, we’ve been thinking a lot about winter and the different strategies animals use to get through these cold, harsh months. There are quite a few techniques to survive winter if you don’t live in a toasty house with central heating or a roaring wood stove. The top 5 are: Don’t live here: Lots of animals live in the Northeast but many more stay away because of the harsh climate. Die in autumn: Some animals' life cycles are tied to the seasons and for those creatures not...

Smithsonian's National Zoo via Flickr

We’ve been hearing a lot about porcupines this year. They seem to be everywhere! It’s positively a plague of porcupines! So why are there so many? Biologists don’t have an official answer, but Dave Anderson has a hypothesis involving coyotes and fisher cats. The porcupine’s only real predator is the fisher. It takes a tough critter to eat a porcupine. Anecdotally, trackers and hunters are reporting that fisher numbers appear to be down this year, so it makes sense that porcupine numbers are...

Picture yourself in the grocery store. You’ve got an organized list in your hand and you’re looking for the things on that list. And as you go down the aisles you’re whizzing by dozens, maybe hundreds, of things on the shelves until your eye picks out that one jar of peanut butter that you have on your list. It’s an efficiency technique that helps you find what you’re looking for.

Susan Lirakis

With winter weather on the way, NHPR's Chris Martin sat down to talk to meteorologist Tony Vazzano, who specializes in mountain weather and snow. His company, North Winds Weather, provides specialized weather reports to ski areas across northern New England.

A common theme on Something Wild is breeding. (Which is why we always sip our tea with our pinkies extended.) Seriously, though, we talk about the how, when, where because there are a lot of different reproductive strategies that have evolved in nature. Today we take a closer look at two such strategies: semelparity and iteroparity.

mwms1916 via Flickr

As fall comes to a close, winter imminent, there is a quiet that sweeps across New Hampshire. We celebrate the changing of the leaves but once they’ve fallen from the trees there’s really not much to look at before snowfall, right? Of course not! There’s always something waiting to be discovered in your back yard and this time of year is no exception. Head outside and into the woods. The bare trees leave exposed that which was obscured earlier in the year. From stone walls to flora that may...

Among the presidential candidates, environmental issues haven’t gotten much play this campaign season. Here in New Hampshire, that’s not quite the case, especially in the gubernatorial race where issues like Northern Pass, solar and wind energy and high energy costs have helped shape the campaign.

Outside/In: Take the Reins

Oct 21, 2016

In this week’s episode, we look at a controversial method of wildlife management called biocontrol . Then we practice a little biocontrol of our own by cooking and eating an invasive fish that’s terrorizing the ocean, and finally we set sail with just the sun, the stars, and our long lost sense of direction to guide us.

Recently the Something Wild team went for a hike. One thing to bear in mind when walking with knowledgeable biologists like Chris and Dave, is that hikes take longer than they might if you were walking on your own.

Moose Munching
AL_HikesAZ / Flickr Creative Commons

Fall is a busy time for Kristine Rines's department, the moose are in rut (mating) and hunting season is open. She works for NH Fish and Game as the state’s first ever Moose Biologist. She received the distinguished “Moose Biologist of the Year” from her peers at the North American Moose Conference in 2006. Rines has announced her plans to retire after three decades on the job and sat down with Something Wild to reflect on her time studying the state’s moose.

Michael Webber via Flickr CC

Black bears are as much a part of New Hampshire as fall foliage and stone walls, nevertheless they are a misunderstood species. To better understand the species, we wanted to talk to a bear, the closest thing we could get was Ben Kilham. And that’s pretty close, which is evident when you meet him. He’s over six-feet tall and moves with a slow ambling gait. His ursine tendencies aren’t surprising when you consider Kilham’s been studying and living with black bears for nearly 25 years.

USFWS Headquarters / Flikr Creative Commons

Bats in New Hampshire have been struggling with White Nose Syndrome for the past few years. So we sat down with Wildlife Biologist Emily Preston from NH Fish and Game and Endangered Species Biologist Susi von Oettingen from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to find out how they’ve been faring recently. Obviously, bats are really important in our eco-system because they are the greatest predator of nighttime insects. As von Oettingen explained, NH hosts eight species of bats (among them: Little...

There’s been a lot of talk about Gypsy moths this year, especially in southern New England, where trees in some areas have been hit pretty hard by this voracious caterpillar. And it has sparked a lot of discussion about how people might help reduce the damage, but it’s worth remembering that the trees these caterpillars feed on are not entirely helpless.

Chris Martin / Courtesy of NH Audubon

November is a great time to spot golden eagles. They are a rare sight in New Hampshire, but they do pass through the state on their annual migration. Right now they’re on their way south to winter in the central Appalachians. They’ll pass back through the state in March on their way to Labrador and northern Quebec to nest. Golden eagles are sometimes confused with young bald eagles, but there are differences. When bald eagles are in flight, they hold their wings flat like a plank, but golden...

J P via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/97LrDx

The National Park Service reports that only 7% of annual park visitors are African American. On today’s show, we delve into environmental and cultural history to find out why the story of the American outdoors is so white. Then, in the last census 60 million Americans listed birdwatching as a past time. And who can blame them? Watching birds is like watching tiny adorable flying dinosaurs. But there's birdwatching and then there's birdwatching . We'll take a look inside the fascinating and pricey world of competitive birding.

National Audubon Society

The iconic call of the loon is one you’ll hear on ponds and lakes throughout the state. We’re checked in with John Cooley, Senior Biologist with the Loon Preservation Committee to learn a bit about the bird and the state of its welfare. The iconic call of the loon is one you’ll hear on ponds and lakes throughout the state. We’re checked in with John Cooley, Senior Biologist with the Loon Preservation Committee to learn a bit about the bird and the state of its welfare. First off we know there...

The Wolf in Our Backyards

Sep 6, 2016
pexels

The coyote is the stuff of legends, but author Dan Flores says those tales don't come close to capturing its incredible survival story. We talk with Flores, the author of the new book "Coyote America" and trace the history of the coyote. Flores calls it "a kind of Manifest Destiny in reverse" where, in the war between coyote and human, the coyote wins - hands down.

Robert Taylor via Flickr

You may be familiar with hoarders (not the TV show, but same idea). In nature, a hoarder will hide food in one place. Everything it gathers will be stored in a single tree or den. But for some animals one food cache isn't enough. We call them scatter hoarders. A "scatter hoarder" hides food in a bunch of different places within its territory. The gray squirrel is a classic example, gathering acorns and burying them in trees or in the ground. Not all squirrels are hoarders. Red squirrels are ...

NHPR

We’re at an osprey nest in Tilton with Iain McLeod, director of Squam Lakes Natural Science Center . Our goal is recruiting another individual for Project OspreyTrack . He explains that Project OspreyTrack began in 2011, “to try to understand a little bit more about osprey migration and foraging.”

Bryan Hanson / Morguefile

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced a million dollars in grants Tuesday to restore New Hampshire’s forest and fish habitat. Eight organizations received funding to restore wildlife habitat in New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Maine. Collectively, the groups will open nearly 200 miles of streams for fish passage and improve habitat for the New England Cottontail, American woodcock, and golden-winged warblers. Eversource, New Hampshire’s largest electric utility, is...

Courtesy of Colleen P of Newington via Flickr/Creative Commons.

In this part of the country the Corvid family includes blue jays, gray jays, crows, and ravens. And ravens – Corvus corax – are the smartest of this intelligent family, actually their brain to body ratio is on par with whales and the great apes. Ravens are pretty common in New Hampshire, probably more common than you think since at first glance they look a lot like crows. But there are some key differences between these two big black birds. First, ravens are bigger, their wingspan is almost...

Pellergy / Flickr CC

For the last few years New Hampshire has used money from the Renewable Energy Fund to help with the costs of wood pellet furnaces and boilers. The incentives are aimed at promoting sustainable energy use and getting rid of dirty old wood stoves. which can pose health risks.

Robert Taylor via Flickr

It all started with a black squirrel. These rare creatures aren't a separate species - they're your garden variety gray squirrel, but a genetic mutation has given them a black fur coat. That got Dave wondering if a black squirrel has any advantages its fairer forebears don't (other than being incredibly popular among nature photographers). Wondering turned to arguing.

Courtesy DES

To everything there is a season and this is the season when we go swimming and we spend a lot of time talking about Cyanobacteria. So what is it, exactly? Sonya Carlson is head of the Beach Inspection Program with the state Department of Environmental Services and gave us a primer on the micro-organism. Cyanobacteria has been on earth for a long time, to the tune of 3.5 billion years! “In fact, we scientists think it's what created oxygen in our atmosphere, so it's a very important part of...

Qualsiasi/flickr

Today’s topic is thunderstorms. Summer in NH brings those triple H days – hazy, hot, and humid! On days like those there’s nothing more welcome than the arrival of a late-afternoon thunderstorm, leaving in its wake cool, refreshing air, scrubbed clean of haze and pollution.

lrargerich via Flickr/Creative Commons

Parts of southern New Hampshire are now in a severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor . The affected area includes much of Rockingham and Hillsborough counties, as well as southern portions of Cheshire and Strafford counties.

Courtesy Ias-initially via Flickr/Creative Commons

At Something Wild we like to talk about some of the interesting wildlife or natural occurrences you can find in New Hampshire. We hope you learn a little something wild along the way; sometimes that’s birds and bees, sometimes that’s flowers and trees, but today we want to talk about that thing called love. Biophilia is an idea popularized by American ecologist and philosopher E.O. Wilson. He suggested that humans have an instinctive bond to other living creatures – that we’re innately...

Chris Shadler

Chris Schadler is a wild canid biologist, and for about 25 years, her specialty has been the coyote. The first confirmed case of coyotes in New Hampshire was an individual found in a trap in Holderness in the mid 1940s. But they have likely been here longer, because as Schadler points out, they didn’t parachute into Holderness, they will have migrated south from Canada.

Happy Father's Day

Jun 17, 2016
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