The Brainerd Lakes Area Audubon Society will host its annual Pillager Christmas Bird Count on Jan. 1.
This will be the count's second year. Teams are formed to survey and count birds in a 7.5-mile radius around Pillager. Bird watchers of all levels are invited to participate. Those who want to count only the birds that visit their feeders are also welcome. There is a $5 fee.
Christmas Bird Counts, sponsored by the National Audubon Society, take place around the nation each year. Last year's Pillager count totaled 1,830 birds of 31 species.
To participate in the count call Mike North at (218) 746-3135 (home) or 828-2433 (work).
DNR appoints farmland wildlife program leader
Lloyd Knudson, who for 12 years managed the Carlos Avery Wildlife Area, recently was appointed farmland wildlife program leader, effective Jan. 3, 2001. The appointment is temporary. Knudson replaces Kevin Lines, who took a two-year leave of absence to work for the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources.
Knudson, a DNR employee since 1972, was the area wildlife manager for the DNR's north metro region before taking over at Carlos Avery. He has a bachelor of science degree in fish and wildlife management from the University of Minnesota.
Milfoil infestation level hits record number
The discovery of Eurasian water milfoil in Peltier Lake, Anoka County, brings new infestations this year to 15, tying 1989 for the highest number of Minnesota lakes and rivers found to be infested in one year.
Milfoil was identified for the first time in Minnesota in Lake Minnetonka in 1987. A year later eight additional waters were found to have milfoil. In 1989 the number jumped to 15 new infestations. From 1989 to 1994 the number of new infestations began to drop, reaching a low of two in 1994. Unfortunately, over the past six years that trend has reversed.
Milfoil spreads easily within connected lakes and rivers so many new infestations occur without human assistance. Eight of the 15 lakes recently found to have milfoil are connected to already-infested waters. In Minnesota, 121 bodies of water are now infested with milfoil.
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