Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12PAGE 11 MAZINA’IGAN SPRING 2017 • WILDLIFE • Resources like waaboozoog, snow sheds light on climate trends Atraditional teaching about the waabooz (snow- shoehareorrabbit)describeshimtellingWenabozho* howhewouldhelptheAnishinaabewhentheyarrived: “Here I have something too. I too have something to offer the Anishinaabe.” The rabbit was looking at Nenabozhoo. “Who do you think you are? Look at you and how small you are. You don’t even have much meat on you.” And the rabbit said: “Nope, don’t think of me that way. I will sense when the Anishinaabe is struggling to find food to eat. I will not go any- where. Whenever I see a round snare, that is where I will put my head into. That is how much I care about the Anishinaabe. There are a lot more, such as my white fur jacket.Anishinaabe will know how to use my gift, like sometimes, somewhere, when they get a skin rash, such as how children suffer with that. They will use my rabbit fur, my hide. I will not be far away. All they need to do is look around, and they will find my trail; this is where they can get me.” From “Animals” spoken by Ogimaagwanebiik (Nancy Jones) in Dibaajimowinan: Anishinaabe Stories of Culture and Respect (GLIFWC Press) *The Anishinaabe cultural hero has many different names, such as Wenabozho, Nenabozho, Nanabush. Each dialect and community may have a preferred name to use, but people can and often use different names interchangeably. The story illustrates how traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is an integral part of assessing cli- mate change impacts on treaty rights; it teaches how the waabooz were frequent in the winter and how they could be located not by their winter white coat but by their trail in the snow. Understanding how climate change may impact traditionalharvestingrequireslisteningtoandlearning from all sources of knowledge. Through interviews with knowledge holders, elders, and harvesters for stories like these, the Climate Change Program learns from Anishinaabe experience and cultural traditions andhowtheyreflectenvironmentalchangesovertime. By weaving TEK and the scientific ecological knowledge(SEK)gatheredbyGLIFWC’sclimatesci- entists, the Climate Change Program hopes to produce work that integrates these distinct but complimentary systems of knowledge. Already,GLIFWCisseeinganoverlapwithinthe information gathered using TEK and SEK. Nearly all TEK interviewees express concerns about a decline in thewaaboozpopulation.Thedaysofnoticingtracksin the snow, setting numerous snares, and sighting them in the backyard are now mostly gone. When TEK interviewees were asked how long they had been noticing the population decline, the average response was 15 years. Most interviewees also noted a decrease in snowfall during that time frame, which some feel is contributing to the waabooz decline.Fewerwaaboozoogalsoleadstogreatconcerns about traditional teachings and stories regarding the waabooz and waabooz trapping. Tribal members fear the traditional knowledge and stories about them will soon only be memories and younger generations will have never seen a waabooz in their backyard. Meanwhile,GLIFWC’sclimatechangescientists are finding similar patterns. Preliminary results show thatwaaboozoogaremoderatelytohighlyvulnerableto climate change, depending on the severity of changes. Waaboozoogaredependentonacoolclimateandsnow cover during the winter. Onestudy(Millsetal.2013)foundaphenological mismatch(adifferenceinthetiming)ofwhenwaaboo- zoogturnwhiteandwhenwehavesnow—specifically, our snow is falling later in the year, but waaboozoog are turning white before the snow falls. This makes them more susceptible to predators. Another study (Sultaire et al. 2016) found that waabooz range is already shifting north due to climate change. Since we are at the southern end of waabooz range, this means that its range will likely be leaving the Ceded Territory as climate change continues. Look for more updates from GLIFWC’s Climate Change Program and the integration of TEK and SEK infutureissues!FormoreonSEKandwaaboozoogsee: Mills, L. S., M. Zimova, J. Oyler, S. Running, J. T. Abat- zoglou,andP.M.Lukacs.2013.Camouflagemismatchin seasonal coat color due to decreased snow duration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110:7360–7365. Sultaire, S. M., J. N. Pauli, K. J. Martin, M. W. Meyer, M. Notaro, and B. Zuckerberg. 2016. Climate change sur- passes land-use change in the contracting range bound- ary of a winter-adapted mammal. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 283:20153104. By Kim Stone, GLIFWC Policy Analyst ClamLake,Wis.—StudiesabouttheAmericanmartenhavehistoricallybeen conductedatspecific,settimesoftheyear.Scientistssurveymarten,orwaabizheshi, activity during the winter, when snow conditions allow tracking along routes near the population core. Marten eating patterns, however, are usually studied during the summer, as snow and harsh seasonal conditions can affect the survival of small prey animals.With studies about the ecology of the marten happening in the winter and studies about eating patterns happening in the summer, a question arises: how do scientists know that marten food sources are the same in the winter? This year, the GLIFWC Biological Division has undertaken a small mammal study to answer this very question. The study is the brainchild of Division Direc- tor Jonathan Gilbert and Wildlife Technician Ron Parisien, Sr. To address small mammal survivability in winter, the wildlife expert did some trap engineering. Martens like to eat small mam- mals. With this in mind, Gilbert and Parisien developed a trapping device thatwillhelpthemsamplesmallmam- mals during the winter and perhaps answersomequestionsaboutthetypes of prey that are available for martens toconsumeduringthewintermonths. The contraption itself is a 30” culvert with holes cut around the bottom. Stakes are attached to each side to hold it taut to the ground, and aremovabletopcoverallowsfoodand livetrapstobeplacedinside.Acamera inside of the cover takes pictures of the animals that are visiting. Eightoftheseculvertsweremade and placed in two locations within the Chequamegon National Forest: four in a hemlock forest and four in a sugar maple forest. Throughout the fall, food and seeds were placed inside the trap. Over time, small mammals visited the trap and grew accustomed to finding food there. It was important to establish food-seeking habits before winter set in. With the onset of biboon, snow began to pile along the sides of the trap, blocking the holes. However, with food-seeking habits established, small mam- mals such as mice, shrews, and flying squirrels tunneled underground from their nests to the trap holes to gather food from inside and bring it back to their nests. In its initial year, the project is generating good data. There have been some challenges along the way for which they have had to adapt. For example, the trap- ping device is made out of metal and when it would get really cold, any animals trapped inside could freeze. The solution? Insulation and hand warmers taped to the bottom of the enclosed trap. This helps keep the trap warm enough for small mammals to survive. Another question that arose during the project was about the visitors them- selves. Were the same visitors coming to the trap over and over or were different individual mammals making multiple visits? The solution: live trap and tag the ears of visitors to better track how many unique visitors are coming to the trap. So far, the project has yielded some expected results— deermicehavebeentheprimaryvisitorstothetrap,andsome surprising results—mice babies have also been visiting the trap. This means that mice are having babies in the middle of the winter.Additionally, Gilbert and Parisien have tracked five different flying squirrels that have been visiting. Through this project, Gilbert and Parisien have figured out a way to sample small mammal populations in the win- ter, the first time this has been done. The next step will be to expand it on a larger scale, with about 25 traps per area. The study will be conducted again in the summer and then again in the winter. From there, our scientists will be able to deduce the change in winter eating patterns for the American marten. Winter small mammal study underway at GLIFWC By Paula Maday, Staff Writer Flying squirrel.