DNR proposes reintroducing bison to Minneopa State Park. The Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails Division is proposing to reintroduce bison to Minneopa State Park, near Mankato, and is seeking public comments on a draft management plan amendment for the park. The amendment describes the impacts and opportunities created by the reintrocuction of bison for resource management, interpretive services, recreation and visitor services at the park. Citizens can ask questions or submit comments until Monday, May 5. As part of the public review, DNR staff will hold an open house at the Blue Earth County Public Library, 110 E. Main St., Mankato, on Tuesday, April 22, from 5:30 to 7 pm, for anyone interested in providing comments about the draft management plan amendment.
Flocks of giant white birds are catching the eyes of outdoor enthusiasts across Minnesota, as one-rare American white pelicans migrate north to their nesting grounds across the state, the Department of Natural Resources said. American white pelicans are among the world’s largest birds and are easily recognized in flight. Wingspans up to 9 feet, bright white plumage with black edged wings and large, orange bills distinquish them from any other species.
American white pelicans were driven to near extinction in the early 20th century from human pressures, according to the DNR. There wee no reports of nesting pelicans in Minnesota for 90 years, from 1878 until 1968. Conservation efforts and federal regulations have helped pelican populations make a slow and steady comeback. “The prairie pothole region of western Minnesota hosts 22 percent of the global population of this species,” Gelvin-Innvaier said. An estimated 22,000 pairs of pelicans nest at 16 sites on seven lakes across the state. The pelicans leave Minnesota each fall as lakes and rivers freeze. They winter along the Gulf Coast from Florida to Mexico and typically return to Minnesota in early spring, as lakes and rivers thaw.
They are highly social and live in large, dense colonies. They feed exclusively on small fish and crustaceans and will work together for a meal. Nice to see those great birds back and possibly the bison as well.