MAZINA’IGAN PAGE 18 WINTER 2018-2019 • OGAA/WAABOOZ • Figure 9. Range map of waabooz. Waabooz (Snowshoe Hare) Lepus americanus Moderately - Extremely Vulnerable (Confidence Level: High) General Description: Waabooz utilizes primarily coniferous and mixed forest, as well as bogs, swamps, lowland shrub, and forest edges. Early successional forests often have a higher waabooz abundance. Waabooz also requires a dense understory for cover. Areas with greater than 60% forest cover and dense understories have the highest probability of having waabooz. As forest was cleared for agriculture in the late 1800s, the waabooz range contracted northward. Currently, waabooz is at the southern end of its range in the Ceded Territories, and its range continues to shift northward (Figure 9). From 1980 to 2014, waabooz’s range has shifted 18.4 miles north in Wisconsin, and 28 miles north over the last 20 years in Michigan. Waabooz populations undergo cyclical patterns in abundance, though at the southern end of its range these cycles are not as dramatic as in other regions. Nearly all TEK interviewees have expressed concern about a decline in the waabooz population. The days of noticing tracks in the snow, seeing it in the backyard, and setting numerous snares to trap it 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. There are concerns about the loss of traditional teachings and stories regarding the waabooz and waabooz trapping. Tribal members fear the traditional knowledge and stories about it will soon only be memories and younger generations will have never seen a waabooz in their backyard. Figure 10. Climate change vulnerability scores for waabooz on a scale of 0 (lowest vulnerability) to 32 (highest vulnerability). Dots indicate average score; lines indicate possible range of scores for each warming scenario. Waabooz climate change vulnerability assessment Editor’s note: See page 17 for a traditional teaching about waabooz. (see Waabooz, page 19) Walleye unplugged: acoustic telemetry study underway in Mille Lacs InlateSeptember,biologistsfromMilleLacsBand,FondduLac,andGLIFWC worked together to implant 86 acoustic transmitters into ogaa (walleye) in Mille Lacs Lake. This study aims to understand which habitats are most important for juvenile and adult ogaa and identify when and under what conditions juveniles and adults overlap. Biologists surgically implanted transmitters into 51 adult ogaa (18-28 inches)and35juvenileogaa(7-10inches)thispastautumnfromlocationsthrough- out the lake (Image 1 below). In addition to the 19 adult ogaa implanted with transmitters in July, a total of 70 adult ogaa and 35 juvenile ogaa are currently transmittingtheirlocation,depth,andtemperatureto61stationarylisteningstations in a grid design covering most of the lake (see Fall Mazina’igan page 6 for details). Transmitters in adult ogaa will last for ~4 years, while the tags in juvenile ogaa will last for ~200 days due to the smaller battery in the transmitter. Biologists will tag another 35 juvenile ogaa next spring which will allow them to evaluate habitat use over the summer months. Data from the stationary listening stations will be downloaded next spring shortly after ice-out and biologists will begin to analyze habitat use of both life stages over the winter. Please contact Mille Lacs Band Biologist Carl Klimah (320-532-5690) or the InlandFisheriesSectionattheGLIFWC(715-682-6619)formoreinformationabout this research, or if you catch an adult ogaa with a green external tag (Image 2). —Dr. Aaron Shultz, Dr. Adam Ray, Mark Luehring, Ben Michaels, Joe Dan Rose, and Carl Klimah Image 1. Biologists perform surgery on a juvenile ogaa. (Brenda L. Chesshir photo) Image 2: Location of acoustic transmitter and external tag on adult ogaa in Mille Lacs Lake. Please report tag number and capture location to Carl. or 320-532-5690. Changing snow in Wisconsin may be making it harderformartenstoavoidfishersexceptforareaswith deepersnow,accordingtoGilbert.ThePenokeeRange is an example of this valuable habitat to Waabizheshi. ThirtyyearsofwaabizheshiresearchbyGLIFWC has resulted in education opportunities for both Scott, currently in her Master’s research, and Aldred, who also researched the marten in her graduate schooling. Scott, Aldred, and Gilbert recommend getting involved in internships, volunteer work, and class projects to set oneself apart when applying to research opportunities. Waabizheshi (continued from page 14)