The Adirondack Loon Center opens in Saranac Lake with more space and plans to grow. The group’s work focuses on mercury research and education of fishermen and the general public about loon protection.
Scientists are trying to understand how salmon are impacted by alewives, an invasive species that has become a main source of food for salmon, a keystone predator that eats smaller fish.
Bear encounters in the backcountry and in residential areas were much more common than usual during the summer of 2016 in the Adirondack Park.
The largely abandoned Wardsboro Road near Lake George connects the present with the past. By David Thomas-Train The midsection of Lake George, known as the Narrows, is so tightly squeezed with steep mountainsides that there are no highways along its shorelines; without such access, most of that stretch of lake is bordered by state land. Roads connecting the north and south basins of the lake have to run well back from the shore. The nineteenth-century throughway on the west side, called Wardsboro Road, was built several miles from the lake and had to climb and descend 1,300 feet to connect the towns of Bolton and Hague. The road is named for the early >>More
Scientists question whether the Adirondack Park has enough habitat and prey for a wild cat adapted to boreal climes. By Mike Lynch A fellow carnivore scientist once showed Cristina Eisenberg the skeleton of an animal and asked her to identify it. Looking at the large hindquarters and feet, she guessed snowshoe hare. Told she guessed wrong, she took a closer look. “I looked at the skull, and it was a lynx,” said Eisenberg, a scientist with Earthwatch Institute, an international environmental organization. Eisenberg might be forgiven for her initial mistake: the Canada lynx and snowshoe hare have some anatomical similarities. >>More
Wildlife advocates say the state should prepare the public now for the possibility that mountain lions will be back in the future. By Mike Lynch Darcy Wiltse, a veterinarian, was driving on Route 458 near Meacham Lake one night early last winter when she saw a large animal crossing the road. She’s convinced it was a cougar. “I saw the whole profile again. I saw the body. I saw the tail,” said Wiltse. “She even hesitated on the other side of the road before she went into the trees.” Wiltse said this was the second time she’s seen a cougar >>More
DEC bolsters the Adirondacks’ shrinking population of spruce grouse by bringing in specimens from Maine and Canada. By Mike Lynch Once abundant in the Adirondacks, the spruce grouse has struggled for much of the past century, but now scientists are trying to bolster the dwindling population by importing birds from out of state. The state Department of Environmental Conservation released three spruce grouse last year and thirty this year, according to Angelena Ross, a biologist with the department. The three birds released last year were adult females from Ontario. Only one survived the winter, and it was killed by a hawk in the spring. In August, DEC released twelve adults and >>More
Amateur astronomers promote the region’s dark skies by creating the Adirondack Public Observatory. By Kim Martineau FRAMED BY mountains and free of sprawl, Tupper Lake has always been a good place for gazing at the stars. Now the heavens just got closer. The Adirondacks’ first public observatory is set to formally open in July in a clearing above Little Wolf Pond. Ten years in the making, the Adirondack Public Observatory is the work of a group of committed astronomers who raised $200,000 in community donations and persuaded village leaders to preserve Tupper Lake’s dark skies by toning down the lights. >>More
State tries to curb illegal trade in bear paws and gall bladders. North Country Taxidermy in Keene does a steady business in mounted deer heads, stuffed mammals, skulls, horns, and fur rugs and blankets. Black-bear gall bladders are a lesser-known commodity. Bud Piserchia, who owns the shop, acquires as many as 150 gall bladders during the fall hunting season. “We’re one of the largest buyers in the East,” he said. He sells them mostly to Koreans from New York City, who make the pilgrimage north to buy the small organs for $25 to $35 an ounce. The gall bladders are >>More
By Phil Brown The spruce grouse is likely to vanish from the Adirondacks, perhaps within a decade, if the state fails to take steps to help the species, according to scientists. In a draft recovery plan issued in February, the state Department of Environmental Conservation recommends both manipulating habitat on private timberlands to favor the spruce grouse and importing grouse to supplement the existing population. The authors of the plan, DEC biologist Angelena Ross and her former professor, Glenn Johnson, estimate that only seventy-five to a hundred spruce grouse remain in the state. They are found only in lowland >>More