FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 27, 2013
Contact: Holly Vaughn, 248-359-9062 or Julie Oakes, 248-328-8113
DNR offers osprey education programs for classrooms, organizations
The comeback of the Osprey in southern Michigan is a great conservation story, one the Department of Natural Resources would like to share with classrooms and organizations. Nearly absent from much of the state due to the effects of DDT and other pesticide use, the osprey population continues to rebound in southern Michigan.
DNR osprey experts are available to speak classes or groups for approximately one hour, detailing the biology, life cycle, decline, reintroduction and research of the osprey in southern Michigan. This interactive program includes a PowerPoint presentation and/or a game that illustrates the concept of bioaccumulation of pesticides in top predators. The program is free of charge.
A portion of the education program focuses on research involving ospreys. In southern Michigan, monitoring efforts are tracking the revitalization of this species. This year, several birds were banded, and three osprey chicks from area nests were outfitted with “backpack” satellite telemetry units. These units, funded by grants from DTE Energy and American Tower Corporation, are helping scientists track the young birds’ daily movement and seasonal migration patterns.
“The great part of this research project is that anyone can follow along and find out where the birds are at any time just by visiting the Osprey Watch of Southeast Michigan’s website," said Julie Oakes, DNR wildlife biologist. “One young osprey is currently in Florida, another in Cuba and the third made it all the way to South America.”
Partners of this monitoring project include the DNR, Huron Clinton Metroparks, the Detroit Zoological Society, Osprey Watch of Southeast Michigan, Huron Valley Audubon Society and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services. Because ospreys often nest on cell phone towers, several cell phone tower companies also assisted with this project, including American Tower Corporation, Verizon Wireless, McFarlin Tower, Skyline Services LLC, Earthcom, Hydaker-Wheatlake Inc., Clearlink Wireless Solutions, Newkirk Electric and Crown Castle International.
To view the travels of the three young ospreys, visit the Osprey Watch of Southeast Michigan website at www.owsem.org.
To schedule an education program for your school or organization, contact Holly Vaughn at 248-359-9062 or Julie Oakes at 248-328-8113.