Electric Road Trips Get Easier, But Cars Kill Lots of Eagles

For Friday, Aug. 14, 2020


Bald Eagle
Bald eagle. Credit: howzey

1 – It’s getting easier to charge your electric vehicle as you travel across Michigan. 

The state has awarded $1.7 million in grants for direct current fast chargers along well-traveled roadways. 

The Charge Up Michigan Program will partially fund 36 charging stations with a total of 76 plug-in points for automobiles and light-utility vehicles. 

Charging stations recently came online in Marshall, Big Rapids, Gaylord and Cadillac. 

Other charging stations are expected to be operational later this year.

The grants include money for two charging stations at Bishop airport in Flint, two in Saginaw and two at The Jerky Outlet in Kawkawlin. 

The grants come from more than $9.7 million allocated to Michigan from the Volkswagen diesel emissions settlement.

2  – What kills bald eagles? 

In Michigan, the main causes are vehicle collisions and lead poisoning.

That’s according to an analysis of more than 30 years of data from the state Department of Natural Resources. 

An author of the study, published in the Journal of Wildlife Management, says vehicle collisions are the top cause of death due to increasing populations. Eagles are using non-aquatic habitat closer to humans rather than along remote waterways, according to The Wildlife Society, which publishes the journal. 

And instead of eating mostly fish, eagles are seeking other food sources like roadkill. 

Researchers found a spike in lead poisoning during hunting season and in the spring, when eagles were poisoned by consuming lead ammunition in unretrieved deer carcasses. 

Causes of death were reviewed for almost 1,500 bald eagles.

3 – As more school districts delay re-opening, The Nature Conservancy is expanding online learning courses for students. 

The conservancy and its more than 500 scientists are expanding Nature Lab: an online learning tool that launched in March to help students learn the science behind how nature works.

The organization says demand for Nature Lab is high— viewership on a Vimeo page has reached more than 17,000 daily. The program is intended as a supplemental tool for homebound learning. 

Parents can use the Nature Lab for two months’ worth of educational content, developers say. 

You can find out more about Nature Lab online at nature.org.

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Friday mornings in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR (now streaming). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes


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