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Zoo welcomes 16-month-old lion Pelo

Zoo welcomes 16-month-old lion Pelo

Madison's Henry Vilas Zoo welcomed a new lion to its pride at an event Thursday morning. 

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi's office said Pelo (pronounced PEA-low) is a 16-month-old male African lion who joins the zoo from Seattle. 

The zoo's other lion, female Shakura, will exhibit with Pelo as a pair after they get to know each other and the weather warms, according to the zoo. Pelo arrived at the zoo months ago but was announced Thursday to the media during an event at the zoo, 702 S. Randall Ave.

“We really look forward to a number of years with Pelo and Shakura, and look forward to the day when they can get together and start producing their own cubs to continue to help our species preservation,” Parisi said.

Emerald ash borer found near Warner Park

Emerald ash borer found near Warner Park

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City officials confirmed Tuesday the emerald ash borer, a bug that destroys ash trees, has been found in Madison.

Dane County will now be under quarantine, meaning residents can't take ash wood products or firewood out of the county.

City of Madison officials said they plan to ramp up the sampling of ash trees and begin removing thousands of trees throughout the city this winter. That includes trees that are in poor condition, those under power lines and those under 10 inches in diameter.

News 3 was with a city crew in Berkley Park Tuesday morning where they found ash borer larvae in trees they were sampling in the park.

Volunteers join city staff in inventory of city's natural spaces

Volunteers join city staff in inventory of city's natural spaces

In an effort to manage and maintain the undeveloped land areas of the Madison park system, the city’s Parks and Engineering divisions recently initiated a citywide inventory.

Simon Widstrand, a retired conservation supervisor and planner for the City of Madison Parks Division, is working with other volunteers and city staff to inventory Madison's 4,000 acres of natural land to apply standard maintenance practices and prevent these areas from deteriorating or being overrun by invasive species.

"Most people embrace a land ethic that requires us to care for our land," Widstrand said. "To leave something for future generations, and to protect our investment, we should provide good stewardship of our natural lands. The inventory is the first step of developing a  plan for the city and volunteers to manage and restore more city natural areas."

Advisories on eating fish from local lakes may not be reaching all

Advisories on eating fish from local lakes may not be reaching all

Fish from Madison’s lakes contain contaminants that can pose adverse health effects to people who consume them. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has issued recommendations suggesting that people limit their consumption of fish caught in the lakes.

Yet those advisories may not be reaching everyone, especially low-income people and minority groups, who are more likely to eat fish from the city’s lakes. Moreover, programs to spread the word about the hazards have been limited or cut in response to limited resources.

“Given the hard economic times, I suspect more people than ever are fishing for food -- predominantly lower income and minority (people),” said Maria C. Powell, an environmental scientist and president of the advocacy group, Midwest Environmental Justice Organization. A recent rise in consumption may be leading to disparities in contaminant exposure, which can have long-term health consequences.

Hayrides and butterflies at annual prairie tour

Prairie Enthusiasts announced it will he holding the 2013 Prairie Tour Saturday form 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Prairie lovers can visit three restored prairie and oak savanna sites along county road F in Dane County.  There will be stops at Rettenmund Prairie and Pleasant Valley Conservancy where experts will be availiable to ask questions.

There will also be a stop at Mounds View Grassland featuring a hayride touring 570 acres. Riders will also be able to see exhibits on invasive species, burns, seed collection and scientific research.

A workshops for monarch butterfly tagging and nature photography.

Enthusiasts can start the tours bby pickign up a free tour guide package at the culvers in either Cross Plains or Mt. Horeb.

Invasive beetle poses threat to Madison's ash trees

Invasive beetle poses threat to Madison's ash trees

An invasive beetle, which may be present in Dane County, could destroy almost a quarter of the trees that border city streets, according to city and state experts, but residents can slow down its spread by not transporting firewood.

After discovering a number of adult emerald ash borers in Mirror State Park, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection placed Sauk County under temporary quarantine for the beetle on July 15, pending federal approval, according to a statement. The quarantine prohibits wood products, such as firewood, from being moved out of the county to other areas of the state that do not have an infestation.