Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Final Report 2014

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1 I Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Final Report 2014 Herpetological Resource & Management, LLC

2 ii Kinixys Conservation Blueprint Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Final Report Prepared for: Community Foundation of St. Clair County 516 McMorran Blvd. Port Huron, MI Prepared by: Herpetological Resource and Management, LLC P.O. Box 110 Chelsea, MI (313) Suggested citation: Mifsud, D. Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Final Report. Herpetological Resource and Management Technical Report 2014.

3 iii Acknowledgements This work was made possible through financial support by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) which funded a pilot phase of the restoration work as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and funds from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) used to fully complete the shoreline and habitat restoration. A special show of gratitude to Dr. James C. Achenson and Mrs. Suzanne Achenson who generously donated the river front property to be restored. We would also like to acknowledge and thank the Community Foundation of St. Clair who contracted HRM and oversaw the grants and management of this project. Your professionalism and energy are a model for other communities. Thanks to Mike Delong for managing the construction activities and his willingness to embrace creating habitat for snakes and Mudpuppies. Thanks also goes to the St. Clair County Metropolitan Planning Commission for providing use of historic aerial photography for analysis, and to Allen Chartier for his donation of the wonderful bird photography. HRM would also like to acknowledge all of the people who helped conduct surveys and who assisted in report development including: Anat Belasen, Tricia G. Brockman, Hailey Brown, David Dortman, Carly Eakin, Jim Harding, Adam Hoisington, Aaron Hughes, Scott Jackson, Ken Mettie Jr., Andrew Myers, Mary Beth Oles, Brittany Price, Philip Reed, Maegan Stapleton, Amber Stedman, Rachelle Sterling, Brian Walters, Monique Werner, Chris Woodley, and Sean Zera. Your time and dedication to conservation are appreciated.

4 iv Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report 2014 Table of Contents Executive Summary...1 Introduction...3 Methods...6 Results...9 Discussion...12 Conclusion...17 Recommendations...19 Appendix A: Data Tables...22 Appendix B: Maps...49 Appendix C: Herpetofaunal Species Profiles...56 Appendix D: Bird Species Profiles...59 Appendix E: Macroinvertebrate Profiles...61 References...64

5 1 Executive Summary 1 In 2011, Herpetological Resource and Management, LLC (HRM) was contracted by the Community Foundation of St. Clair County to conduct wildlife monitoring and assist in habitat restoration targeting amphibian, reptile, bird, and aquatic macroinvertebrate species within a portion of the Upper St. Clair River. Surveys were conducted in 2011, 2012, and 2013 to establish baseline data of species richness, abundance, and distribution. After evaluation of initial assessments and habitat conditions, restoration targets were identified and habitat restoration and enhancement components designed. Restoration included the addition of wildlife habitat as well as improvement of overall site conditions and recreational features for the public. The construction of habitat features began in fall 2012 and was completed in fall Monitoring was completed in late spring 2014 to evaluate the site immediately following restoration. A translocation of several snake species was conducted shortly after. The results of both pre-restoration and post-restoration surveys will provide baseline data to evaluate long-term restoration success and wildlife response. Cover photo: Portion of the Upper St. Clair River restoration site. 1. The St. Clair River study area supports a population of the ubcreasingly rare and environmentally sensitive Mudpuppy. This species has experienced recent declines in many parts of the Great Lakes region where they once were abundant. 2. HRM crew member conducting a herpetofaunal survey. 2 Findings and significant achievements of this project include: Over 4,300 linear feet of shoreline habitat restored including the creation of basking sites, nesting areas, hibernacula, and bird boxes resulting in a net increase of available habitat. 83 species of bird observed at the site during the three year study. 140% increase in observed bird species richness post-restoration. Seven species of bird observed during 2014 that had not been found

6 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report prior to restoration, including the State Threatened Caspian Tern and Forster s Tern, Horned Lark, Horned Grebe, Cooper s Hawk, and Eastern Bluebird. 700% increase in native macroinvertebrate taxa richness post-restoration with increased distribution as well. Increase in the abundance of Mudpuppies with several life stages including juveniles and gravid (pregnant) females observed during the study, indicating that this site supports a potentially significant breeding population. 1 Post-restoration observations of relocated snake species engaging in natural behaviors (including mating), indicating a strong likelihood that introduced populations are establishing home ranges and site fidelity. A substantial increase in the number of amphibian and reptile species that may occur within the study site due to natural conditions created from restoration efforts. Overall increase in the quality of habitat for numerous species of fish and wildlife. 1. Green-winged Teal and many other waterfowl species utilize the St. Clair River as a migratory pathway and feeding grounds during the breeding season. 2 3 The Upper St. Clair River study site provides critical wildlife habitat in an area that was previously deficient in functional habitat. The carefully designed and implemented ecosystem restoration will likely continue to increase the number of wildlife species present as well as increase abundance of the species currently present. It is anticipated this site will also provide habitat for wildlife that was absent or considerably limited prior to restoration. In addition to providing wildlife habitat and increasing the ecological function of this degraded landscape, the restoration project will also provide the community with much needed opportunities to observe and enjoy nature in an otherwise urban landscape. Due to the limited time for habitat monitoring and the initial trend toward observed use of the restoration, additional monitoring is strongly recommended to fully evaluate this novel project s continued success. This monitoring will also allow for integration of corrective measures if needed. 2. Extensive efforts were conducted to restore this site including the addition of riprap along shorelines. 3. Restoration of this previously degraded site will allow the public to enjoy nature and become stewrds of this unique river front restoration area.

7 3 Introduction Cover photo: Before restoration efforts, shorelines of the site were made up of concrete rubble, debris, and invasive vegetation. 1. Large cargo vessels are a common sight along the St. Clair River. Site Location and Description The site occurs along the St. Clair River, which flows southward about 40 miles, connecting the southern tip of Lake Huron to Lake St. Clair. The project area is located within the City of Port Huron, St. Clair County, Michigan, directly across the river from Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. The study site is over 4,300 linear feet running north to south along St. Clair River, and at its widest approximately 50 feet wide east to west (Appendix B: Map2). Prior to restoration, the study 1 site included limited emergent marsh dominated by invasive species and some submergent aquatic vegetation, as well as open water. A majority of the shoreline contained gravel and broken concrete with some areas also containing clay. Upland habitat included lower quality urban grassland/meadow habitat dominated by agronomic weeds with some shrubs. Until the late 1990 s, this site was part of a major shipping lane on the St. Lawrence Seaway, and is part of an important international trade route. This stretch of St. Clair River shoreline was home to factories, train yards, scrap yards, a cement plant, and industrial shipping. Heavy wake from watercraft and shipping vessels have negatively impacted water and riparian habitat quality. Urban and industrial land use adjacent to the Upper St. Clair River also increase rates of stormwater runoff, which likely carries pollutants such as heavy metals, road salts, and hydrocarbons to the river. Recently, the St. Clair Community Foundation, along with project partners, led extensive efforts to reclaim a portion of the Upper St. Clair River as a natural area.

8 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report The riparian communities along the Upper St. Clair River have been severely impacted by development and channelization; however, prior to restoration some wildlife species were observed within the study site. The restoration of critical habitat and creation of structures that mimic natural components of wildlife and fisheries habitat have improved overall environmental health, habitat types, and functionality within the study site. Efforts that have occurred at the site will promote biodiversity by supporting increases in species richness and abundance for amphibians, reptiles, birds, and macroinvertebrates. 1 2 Project Description Between 2011 and 2014, Herpetological Resource and Management, LLC (HRM), was contracted by the Community Foundation of St. Clair County to conduct wildlife monitoring and assist in habitat restoration targeting amphibian, reptile, bird, and aquatic macroinvertebrate species within a portion of the Upper St. Clair River. This project was undertaken to identify species presence and abundance along a portion of the St. Clair River, implement habitat and wildlife restoration, and establish baselines for comparison between pre- and post-restoration communities. This study provides a comprehensive assessment of species and community richness, spatial distribution, and relative abundance for target wildlife that occur within the study site. The data obtained through these assessments is provided to evaluate long-term changes in use and abundance following restoration. Pre-restoration surveys were conducted from September 2011 to June 2013 and post-restoration monitoring was conducted from November 2013 to June Results of surveys prior to and following restoration are intended to allow for a meaningful comparison of species distribution and richness to demonstrate the efficacy of the project. Surveys included techniques aimed at documenting both relatively common and rare species. Restoration of the site and construction of habitat features began 1. Before restoration, wildlife community richness at the Upper St. Clair River site was relatively low and included more common species such as this Ring-billed Gull Wildlife assessments were conducted before and after site restoration to evaluate the outcomes of habitat enhancement.

9 5 1 2 in fall 2012 and was completed in fall Landscape and overall habitat improvement was achieved through removal of debris and failing infrastructure, establishment of native vegetation communities, and soft engineered shore stabilization. Following the removal of old building foundation and other concrete rubble, invasive plants including common reed (Phragmites australis ssp. australis) and Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) that had taken over the shoreline were removed and new native species were planted in the upland transition zone, wetland fringe, and emergent and deep water wetlands. The shoreline was restored by removing large irregular concrete slabs as well as miscellaneous debris and replacing them with riprap. Several structures targeting wildlife natural history needs were added including hibernacula, nesting areas, basking opportunities and cover objects. Logs were placed for basking and loafing sites for reptiles and birds, as well as cover and habitat for fish and aquatic macroinvertebrates. Nesting and overwinter habitats were created for reptiles in the upland habitat adjacent to the river. Below the water line and in the upland bank, select pieces of concrete rubble were placed to create sheltered habitat for fish and other wildlife including Mudpuppies, a species of fully aquatic salamander that has declined throughout the Great Lakes. Large rock formations were also placed off shore to reduce heavy wave action from shipping activities on the river. In order to engage the local community and encourage stewardship of local ecosystems, an outdoor classroom as well as a walk and bike path were constructed. Future restoration work is also planned to create high quality marsh habitat near the southern portion of the site. 1. As part of the site restoration, concrete foundation walls and invasive vegetation including Phragmites were removed. 2. Large rocks being placed offshore to reduce wave action on the shoreline. and create habitat. 3. A section of restored and stabilized shoreline in late spring 2014 showing native plantings, reptile hibernacula/ nesting area, basking logs, and stone reptile cover objects. 3

10 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Methods Cover photo: HRM team conducting bird pointcount survey in spring 2012 along the Upper St. Clair River Multiple survey techniques were used by HRM to detect herpetofauna including trapping (1) and ground searches (2). 1 2 Herpetofaunal Surveys Methods to detect and identify amphibian and reptile species included visual encounter, examination of cover objects, and trapping. These techniques were conducted to determine species presence, spatial distribution, and to help estimate the relative abundance of rare herpetofauna (Heyer, Donnelly et al. 1994; Olson, Leonard et al. 1997; McDiarmid, Foster et al. 2012). Herpetofaunal surveys were conducted three days in 2011, six days in 2012, four days in 2013, and three days in Surveys for Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus maculosus), were conducted in up to approximately 1m deep water by turning cover objects (i.e., rocks) and using baited traps completely submerged in near-shore areas. Surveys for turtles were also conducted using baited traps partially submerged in near-shore areas of the river. Surveys for other herpetofaunal species were conducted using time-constrained ground searches. Ground searches included investigation of potential basking and nesting areas as well as turning over natural and artificial cover objects (logs, boards, debris, etc.). No voucher specimens were collected, but photographs were taken when possible. Bird Surveys Bird surveys were conducted five days from September 24 December 2, 2011, 16 days from January 22 December 7, 2012, 11 days from January 18 November 30, 2013, and five days from January 25 May Bird communities were assessed using unlimited-radius 10 minute point-count surveys to detect and identify species and number of birds (Howe, Niemi et al. 1997). Surveying was conducted at five sampling points located at least 250m apart and adjacent to the river. Observations were recorded for birds on the water, in air, and on land.

11 Macroinvertebrate Surveys Macroinvertebrate sampling was conducted at five sample points along the shore of the study site on December 20, 2011, March 23, 2012, June 14, 2012, May 24, 2013, and May 2, Shallow areas with a gravel or cobble bottom were selected for sampling. Sampling was conducted using D-frame nets. Rocks, submerged wood, and leaf litter (when present) were also sampled because macroinvertebrates often use these structures for foraging and cover. Upon completion of sampling at each location, collected specimens were stored in 95% ethanol for later identification (Cooperrider, Boyd et al. 1986). Wildlife Habitat Creation and Restoration HRM assisted in restoration and creation of habitat structures intended for use by amphibian, reptile, bird, and macroinvertebrate species. Opportunities for improvement in ecosystem health and functionality were identified during initial assessments and used to guide the design of featured habitat components. Amphibian habitat was created through the addition of multiple repurposed concrete slabs and stone at the waterline and in the bank, which are intended for use by Mudpuppies. These large formations can serve as nurseries for young salamanders, but also as refugia for adults. Structures created for snake species included several hibernacula throughout the site which were constructed by excavating pits to depths of approximately 8 feet, placing concrete rocks and tubing inside to create gaps, and finished by covering with landscaping fabric and sand. These structures will protect snakes from cold and predation as well as provide critical habitat for multiple wildlife species during winter months. The restoration of shoreline riprap throughout the study site was recommended and has provided optimal basking sites for snakes along the river with abundant crevices for refugia. Increasing habitat features for turtles was achieved through the addition of basking structures and nesting areas. Large logs and recently cut trees were anchored along the bank to provide opportunities for adequate thermoregulation. These structures 1. HRM team conducting macroinvertebrate surveys along the Upper St. Clair River in Submerged concrete slabs installed for use by Mudpuppies Snake hibernacula being constructed along the St. Clair River shoreline in Logs added to provide optimal basking structures for turtles alone the restored shoreline of the St. Clair River.

12 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Bird boxes were installed throughout the restoration site to increase avian habitat. 2. Eastern Garter Snakes and Butler s Garter Snakes were among the species released at the site. 3. HRM crew member releasing a Northern Water Snake to the restoration site. also provide loafing opportunities for birds, habitat aquatic macroinvertebrates, and cover for fish and turtles. Areas with sandy soils were added to allow for female turtles to nest near the shoreline. The sand placed on top of the hibernacula also provides potential nesting sites for turtles. Bird habitat that was provided included several bird boxes throughout the site to provide shelter and nesting opportunities as well as planting of native trees for additional nesting and foraging sites. Additionally, both bird and macroinvertebrate species will likely 1 benefit from overall restoration measures taken to improve the site. Large rock formations placed offshore for reduction of wave velocity will reduce on-shore disturbance, which may also result in an increased diversity of macroinvertebrate species. Waterfowl and shorebirds will likely benefit from reduced wave action as well with increased foraging opportunities in the river. Reptile Translocation Post-restoration assessments of the Upper St. Clair River project area confirmed the potential for this site to support populations of species that historically would have occurred in the area. Detailed evaluation was conducted to demonstrate that target species could successfully survive within the restoration area. Critical natural features designed and restored including food sources, basking areas, and hibernacula were evaluated. Based on this work, several snake species previously not observed at the site for possibly over 100 years can thrive there once again. Because natural recolonization can be difficult for some species due to distance of travel and other factors, select species of snakes were supplemented to increase community richness. The collection of snakes occurred in spring of Donor sites were 2 located within approximately 40 miles from the release location, hydrologically connected to the St. Clair River, and selected to contain habitat similar to the restoration site. Detection methods included time-constrained ground searches with emphasis placed on potential basking areas and refugia. Animals were captured by hand or dip-net, and placed in loosely tied clean pillowcases until they were released shortly after capture. 3

13 9 Results Cover photo: Midland Painted Turtle captured in a turtle trap set along the Upper St. Clair River in Juvenile Mudpuppy observed along the Upper St. Clair River in Gravid Butler s Garter Snake released at the restoration site in Herpetofauna The herpetofaunal species observed within the study site between 2011 and 2013 during pre-restoration surveys were Eastern Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina serpentina), Eastern Spiny Softshell (Apalone spinifera spinifera) observed just north of the project area, Midland Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata), Eastern American Toad (Bufo americanus americanus), and Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus maculosus). Mudpuppy was the 1 only observed species during post-restoration monitoring, however numerous age classes and increased spatial distribution were recorded. Additional herpetofauna associated with the reintroduction efforts were all observed following relocation. After restoration and the creation of critical wildlife habitat, this site has the potential to support a 140% increase in herpetofauna species richness from pre-restoration conditions. See Appendix A: Table 1 for details. 2 Reptile Translocation Three species of snake including Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon sipedon), Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis), and Butler s Garter Snake (Thamnophis butleri) were collected from donor sites and immediately released to the St. Clair River restoration site. In total, twelve Northern Water Snakes (two adult gravid females, three adult males, six juveniles, one neonate), four adult Eastern Garter Snakes (two males, two gravid female), and fourteen adult Butler s Garter Snakes (five males, nine females) were released at the restoration site. Several of the Butler s Garter Snake females were gravid as well. Snakes were released at appropriate areas within the restoration site. Several individuals were

14 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report observed following the releases indicating preliminarily that individuals appear to be using the restoration areas and establishing new home ranges. Mating activity was observed of the Northern Water Snake and basking and traveling of all three species was observed. Allen Chartier Allen Chartier 1-2. Merlin (1) and Common Loon (2) were observed at the St. Clair River site after restoration. Both species are listed as State Threatened. 1 Birds A total of 83 species of birds were observed during our surveys. Twenty species were observed during fall 2011, 56 during 2012, 66 during 2013, and 48 during From 2011 to 2014 there has been an increase of 140% in observed species richness. Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus), though not counted in the bird species total, was also observed at the study site before and after the designated point-count time periods. The most-abundant native bird species observed were waterfowl or seabirds. Seven species of bird were observed during 2014 that had not been observed at any sample point prior to restoration, including the State Threatened Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia) and Forster s Tern (Sterna forsteri), Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris), Horned Grebe (Podiceps auritus), Cooper s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii), and Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis). Refer to Appendix A: Tables 14 & 21, and Figures 8-9 for total site data. Results from post-restoration monitoring revealed increases 2 in species richness across all five sample points at the study site. At sample point 1 located at the northernmost portion of the site, there was a 300% increase in observed species richness since monitoring began in 2011 and four new species were observed post-restoration including the site s only observation of Caspian Tern (Appendix A: Table 15, Figure 10). Species richness at sample point 2 increased by 46% including one species (Horned Lark) not observed before 2014 (Appendix A: Table 16, Figure 11). Results from post-restoration monitoring at sample point 3 included the site s only observation of Cooper s Hawk and a 80% increase in species richness (Appendix A: Table 17, Figure 12). There was a 131% increase in species richness observed at sample point 4 during post-restoration monitoring including three species (Eastern Bluebird, Forster s Tern, Horned Lark) not observed before 2014 (Appendix A: Table 18, Figure 13). Results from sample point 5 yielded two species (Eastern Bluebird and Forster s Tern) that were observed for the first time post restoration in 2014 and a 107% increase in species richness since Refer to Appendix A: Tables for raw bird data and results and Appendix B: Map 2 for survey locations.

15 11 Wolfram Sondermann 1. Corixidae, known as water boatmen, have been newly observed in the Upper St. Clair River following postrestoration in Native crayfish recovered from restored St. Clair shoreline in Aquatic Macroinvertebrates Twelve orders of macroinvertebrates were observed during our surveys. Identified orders include Coleoptera (beetles), Tricoptera (caddisflies), Amphipoda (crustaceans), Isopoda (crustaceans), Decapoda (crustaceans), Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies), Veneroida (mussels), Diptera (true flies), Oligochaeta (earthworms), Hirudinea (leeches), Gastropoda (snails), and Hemiptera (true bugs). Specimens collected from five sample points at the site were identified to the level of family when possible with a total of 15 families documented between 2011 and Postrestoration monitoring in 2014 resulted in the observation of five families that had not been observed prior to restoration: Dytiscidae (predaceous diving beetle), Chironomidae (nonbiting midges), Asellidae (freshwater isopods), Corixidae (water boatmen), and Physidae (bladder snails). Across all sample points there was a 700% increase in native taxa richness since 2011 with the loss of the invasive Cambaridae (rusty crayfish). Refer to Appendix A: Tables 2-3 & 9, Figures 2-7 for total macroinvertebrate data. Sample point 1 resulted in the identification of five taxa total from four orders with no new taxa observed during post-restoration monitoring, however there was a 100% increase in native taxa richness with the loss of the invasive rusty crayfish (Appendix A: Table 4, Figure 3). The collection site with the lowest richness was Sample Point 2, which resulted in a 33% decrease in taxa richness observed during post-restoration monitoring. However, post-restoration data includes one taxon (Hydrophilidae) not previously observed at this point and although there was a decrease in richness, the number of native taxa increased 100% with the absence of rusty crayfish (Appendix A: Table 4, Figure 4). Sample point 3 yielded eight total taxa from six orders with two taxa found post-restoration that had not been observed previously including the site s only observation of predaceous diving beetle (Dytiscidae). This point experienced the highest increase in both overall taxa richness (33%) and native species richness (200%) between preand post-restoration monitoring (Appendix: Table 6, Figure 5). Results 1 from Sample Point 4 included eight total taxa from 6 orders including one taxon not observed in previous years and the site s only record of Asellidae (Isopods). This sample point experienced a 33% decrease in taxa richness since 2011 however it boasts a 100% increase in native taxa with the absence of invasive zebra mussel (Dreisseniidae) and rusty crayfish (Camabaridae) (Appendix A: Table 7, Figure 6). Seven families from six orders were observed in Sample Point 5 including two new families not found previously and the only observations of non-biting midges (Chironomidae) and water boatmen (Corixidae). Results indicate a 33% decrease in taxa richness since 2011 however it boasts a 100% increase in native species presence with the loss of invasive zebra mussel (Dreisseniidae) and rusty crayfish (Cambaraidae) (Appendix A: Table 8, Figure 7). 2

16 12 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report 2014 Discussion 1 Development and channelization has left natural habitat along the Upper St. Clair River degraded and limited. Wildlife biodiversity including important indicator species has been reduced from its historical densities and distribution. Amphibians, reptiles, birds, and macroinvertebrates are bioindicators - gauges of environmental health. These groups of animals can be highly sensitive to environmental pollutants and habitat disturbances. The presence, distribution and relative abundance of indicator species can be important tools in determining the overall health of an ecosystem as well as identifying the need for and success of habitat restoration projects. Conducting a detailed, comprehensive inventory of the abundance and richness of indicator species along the Upper St. Clair River has revealed a significant change in wildlife use along the site after restoration. This work supports how the protection and creation of critical habitat in this region is essential to preserving its unique wildlife. Cover photo: Butler s Garter Snake relocated into newly restored habitat. 1. Although not found by HRM crew on-site, anecdotal observations of Eastern Snapping Turtles indicate this species presence. 2. Mudpuppies were observed throughout the study and appear to have benefitted from habitat restoration. Herpetofauna Although herpetofauna richness was comparatively low with five species identified at or near the study area, these species provide evidence of the 2 success of this restoration project and the potential the area now has for supporting various species of herpetofauna. In addition to the detected species, which include Eastern American Toad, Mudpuppy, Eastern Snapping Turtle, Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle, and Midland Painted Turtle, several other species may use the restoration area and could likely colonize the site in time. It is our opinion that the Upper St. Clair River restoration will support a diverse assemblage of amphibians and reptiles provided habitat is maintained and human disturbances including persecution are minimized. Some of the data acquired by HRM during 2013 inventory work included anecdotal observations at the site of a female Eastern Snapping Turtle found searching for a nesting site and an Eastern Spiny Softshell that was observed in the St. Clair River upstream from the study site. These observations also demonstrate a general positive attitude by many who use the riverfront of the value and need for healthy diverse ecosystems and a willingness to share data and protect this resource.

17 13 1. Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle was observed in the St. Clair River in 2013 just north of the study area. Habitat restoration including the addition of basking structures will benefit several reptile species. 2. Northern Water Snake were not observed prior to restoration. Post-restoration habtiat should support this species. As a result several individuals were relocated in 2014 as part of a reintroduction effort. 3. Relocated Eastern Garter Snake utilizing a hibernaculum following reintroduction. During HRM s surveys, several young Mudpuppies were observed as well as multiple large adults, which indicate that the area serves as a nursery for this species and supports a critically important viable breeding population. This species has significantly declined throughout the Great Lakes region including the St. Clair River and conservation of healthy populations is key in species maintenance and recovery. Mudpuppy habitat created during restoration, including submerged flat rocks has resulted in increased abundance and distribution of this Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) within the study area. This species has increased ecological 1 significance as it is also an obligate host to the State Endangered salamander mussel (Simpsonaias ambigua). During 2013, there was a slight decrease in Mudpuppy observations compared to This may have been attributed to disturbances from construction activities associated with habitat restoration. During 2014 post-restoration monitoring, Mudpuppies were detected with a biologically significant increase in abundance and spatial distribution compared to the previous years. It should be noted that in November 2013, a majority of newly constructed Mudpuppy habitat structures were exposed due to lower water levels which also impacted initial post-restoration sampling results for this species. During 2014 surveys, these habitat structures were completely submerged once again. Availability of this habitat for Mudpuppies will likely vary between years due to fluctuating water levels. In addition to the habitat structures targeting Mudpuppy, 2 this species was observed at multiple locations along the study site during post-restoration monitoring. Individuals (including gravid females) were consistently observed utilizing log piles created in conjunction with flat rocks that were placed for structure in the river on the north end of the site near the newly constructed outdoor classroom. To maximize the potential for Mudpuppies, future restoration activities should consider placing additional structures 3 to 5 feet further away from the shore to optimize the variable water depths. As part of this project, a translocation was conducted after restoration was complete to supplement snake diversity of the site. In total three species were released at multiple locations throughout the project area. Individuals were collected from locations containing similar habitat to the restoration site including large areas of open water with riprap shorelines. An increase in the available foraging, basking, and overwintering opportunities in the area as a result of restoration will provide critical habitat for the released snakes and other herpetofauna species throughout the year. Snakes of all species released were observed actively using the restoration area including the snake hibernacula as refugia. Mating 3

18 14 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report 2014 Nick Scobel 1 activity of Northern Water Snakes was observed following relocation, indicating that individuals are establishing new home ranges at the site. This species is known to have multiple paternity within clutches (Barry, Weatherhead, et al. 1992). Reintroduction of gravid females to the site will likely result in the establishment of several genetic lines within the founder population offspring. Based on the number of animals released, their age class, and reproductive condition, these species have a high probability for establishing viable genetically diverse populations within the restoration area. Future efforts to increase numbers may be needed and additional surveys to evaluate the need for modification are encouraged. 1. Newly restored habitat at the St. Clair River site has potential to support Eastern Fox Snakes, a Threatened Michigan species listed by the MDNR as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need. 2. The St. Clair River restoration site supports a large number of waterfowl and shorebirds as well terrestrial adapted species like Northern Flicker. 3. Species richness of waterfowl along the St. Clair River study area was highest during winter months. Redbreasted Merganser were among the more commonly observed species. Based on assessments of the restored habitat, wave action and lack of current emergent vegetation limit the use of the restoration area for amphibians other than Eastern American Toads. As additional aquatic vegetation establishes these areas will likely support other species for part of their life stages including Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) and Green Frog (Rana clamitans melanota). Once the proposed wetlands downriver are created, there is potential for these species as well as Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor/h, chrysoscelis) to sustain viable populations at the site. In addition to the turtles already known to occur on or near the restoration area, other turtle species may likely benefit from the restoration including Northern Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica). Several snake species have already been reintroduced with high confidence of their continued success. Other species that may colonize the site or be considered for translocation include the Eastern Fox Snake (Elaphe gloydi), though encounters with pedestrians may limit their success until vegetation and additional cover fully establishes. Summaries for herpetofauna that are known to or may occur within the restoration area along the Upper St. Clair River are listed in Appendix C. Birds During this study a diverse assemblage of native shorebirds and songbirds were observed at the Upper St. Clair River study site including those in ground, upper canopy, lower canopy, foliage, air, and freshwater foraging guilds. Avian species richness was highest in spring and summer (March through August) likely because birds utilized this area as a critical migratory pathway and as breeding season feeding grounds during those times. This area also provides critical habitat for birds during the winter months as well with greater duck and gull species richness observed during that time. The conditions present at the Upper St. Clair River study site will 2 3 Allen Chartier Allen Chartier

19 15 Allen Chartier 1. Caspian Tern, a State Threatened Species, was observed at the St. Clair River after restoration was complete Bufflehead (2) and Lesser Scaup (3) consume a range of mollusks species including the invasive zebra mussel. Both species were found within the restroation area. likely continue to provide feeding, nesting, breeding, and stop-over sites for observed bird species as well as support additional species that may utilize the site post-restoration. Bird boxes were placed throughout the site to provide nesting and refugia for targeted species. Due to the height of some of these structures the tenants will likely be more generalist or non-native species such as House Sparrow and European Starling. Modification to placement and height can greatly increase the utility of these structures. Future restoration efforts should consider placing bird boxes higher from the ground. 1 Six of the observed bird species including Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinators), Common Tern (Sterna hirundo), Forster s Tern, Caspian Tern, Merlin (Falco columbarius), and Common Loon (Gavia immer) are listed as State Threatened. Five bird species observed during our surveys including Pie-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), Horned Grebe, Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii), and Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) are considered Mid-west birds of concern and populations are rare or currently experiencing declines (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2010), and sixteen bird species including Common Tern, Forster s Tern, Caspian Tern, Common Loon, Trumpeter Swan, Merlin, Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors), American Black Duck (Anas rubripes), Pie-billed Grebe, Great Blue Heron (Ardea Herodias), Killdeer (Charadrius vociferous), Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius), Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus), Northern Flicker, and Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) are listed as a rare or declining bird species in Michigan (Eagle, Hay-Chmielewski et al. 2005). Other bird species observed during the study with populations that have declined or which may be in decline include Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola), Greater Scaup (Aythya marila), Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis), Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis), and White-winged Scoter (Melanitta fusca) (Eagle, Hay-Chmielewski et al. 2005; Cornell Ornithology Lab 2012). Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Greater Scaup, and Lesser Scaup feed on mollusks and also represent a select group of species known to consume zebra mussels (Custer and Custer 1996; Hamilton, Davison Ankney, et al. 1994). The restoration of habitat conditions suitable for these bird species may increase their numbers and perhaps reduce local zebra mussel populations that threaten the local ecology and game fish populations. Habitat that has been restored will likely contribute to an increased presence of birds that use the study site. In all, bird community Allen Chartier 2 3 Allen Chartier

20 16 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report 2014 richness has increased and will likely continue to do so as the restoration areas continue to establish. Profiles for bird species in decline that may benefit from the restoration activities are listed in Appendix D. Nick Scobel 1. Crayfish represent an important group of aquatic macroinvertebrates as they are an importnat consumer and food source for a variety for wildlife. Native crayfish were observed in higher densities follwoing completion of habitat restoration. 2. The St. Clair River Restoration site now has the potential to support Northern Map Turtle, which may help to control local zebra mussel populations. 2 1 Macroinvertebrates Several aquatic macroinvertebrates groups observed at the Upper St. Clair River site are important to the local food web by filling the roles of detritivores, scrapers, scavengers and decomposers. Many of these groups also provide a valuable food source for other invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. Two groups of macroinvertebrates identified, zebra mussels and rusty crayfish, are exotic invasives that alter the ecosystem, thus negatively impacting game fish populations and overall habitat and ecosystem quality. Some native herpetofauna including Northern Map Turtles and Northern Water Snakes are known to eat these invasive species and help control their negative effects on other native fauna and fisheries. Some native waterfowl species, such as Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneye, and Bufflehead also feed on a range of mollusks and can contribute to control of zebra mussels (Custer and Custer 1996; Hamilton, Davison Ankney, et al. 1994). Ecosystems with high water quality allow a much greater diversity of organisms to inhabit them. Although some macroinvertebrate groups detected at the site are facultative of disturbed or polluted conditions, the number of groups within the described community indicates at least a moderate level of ecosystem health. This diverse community also demonstrates potential for ecosystem resilience. A decrease in the number of macroinvertebrate groups observed during 2013 was likely due to weather conditions and on shore disturbance during the time of surveys. During 2014 surveys, there was a significant increase in the number of macroinvertebrates identified compared to 2013 surveys. Additionally, there was a decrease in invasive species during post-restoration monitoring with no rusty crayfish observed and fewer zebra mussels compared to pre-restoration results. Restoration measures to reduce wave velocity may have contributed to this increase in observations and will likely result in a long-term increased richness of aquatic macroinvertebrates within the study area. Additional macroinvertebrate families, including those in Orders Ephemeroptera (mayflies), Trichoptera (caddisflies), Diptera (flies), and Plecoptera (stoneflies), could result from conditions associated with emergent and overhanging vegetation, and would indicate increased ecosystem health. The increase in woody debris has also directly benifited these organisms. Overall the aquatic macroinvertebrate community has directly benefited and improved as a result of the restoration measures taken along the St. Clair River with biologically significant results. As the restoration area continues to establish it is expected that aquatic macroinvertebrate richness will continue to grow. Summaries for some important groups observed during surveys and those that could colonize post restoration are provided in Appendix E.

21 17 Conclusion Cover photo: Restoration efforts have transformed the once degraded Upper St. Clair River to a site that can support a wide range of wildlife species. This site serves as a cirtical wildlife corridor and a restoraiton success. Surveys conducted between 2011 and 2014 by HRM within the Upper St. Clair River restoration area resulted in the detection of various herpetofauna, birds, and aquatic macroinvertebrates. Based on historic land use and degraded site conditions prior to restoration, species richness was fair and for all studied communities, the assemblage of herpetofauna, bird, and macroinvertebrate species observed demonstrates the ability of wildlife to utilize this area, even in a degraded state. Bird species richness was relatively high considering the disturbance the landscape has historically encountered. As restored habitats continue to establish, the number of species and spatial distribution of birds are likely to continue increasing. This area serves as an important fly-over area for migrating birds in the spring and fall and the restored habitat will benefit these species providing resting sites and foraging grounds. In addition, this site will provide habitat for several resident bird species. Although amphibian and reptile species richness was comparatively low, the presence of Mudpuppies is significant to the overall quality of the site. The expansion of habitat utilized for this species demonstrates the success of the restoration for this declining and ecologically sensitive organism. Established snake species show a high probability of continued success and long-term viability. Aquatic macroinvertebrate family richness was lower than anticipated. Post-restoration found higher numbers of taxa and a 1. The presence of Mudpuppies along the Upper St. Clair River and several life stages is a biologically significant indication of the improved habitat quality. 2. The reintroduction of the Northern Water Snakes, is importnat as this species contributes to the control of aquatic invasive species including Round Goby. 1 2

22 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report significant decrease in observed exotic invasive species during postrestoration monitoring suggests that site conditions have improved. Prior to restoration, overall habitat within the Upper St. Clair River was degraded. Lack of available habitat, historic land uses, and severe wave action were significant contributing factors to the low diversity of wildlife. The site supported a variety of invasive and nonnative flora and fauna which are known to negatively affect habitat quality and species richness and abundance. The restoration has provided significant habitat absent for decades within this region. The success of this project can be measured by the functional use of the created habitat by several groups of organisms and a net increase in richness of multiple groups studied. This area represents a critical corridor for wildlife and a refuge for migrating or transient wildlife traveling along the St. Clair River and a restoration success Restoration has returned the Upper St. Clair River to a more natural state with rock shorelines, native vegetation, and various wildlife structures A portion of the Upper St. Clair River before restoration (2) and after (3). This area is an important Mudpuppy nursery and density has inreased follwoing restoraiton. 2 3

23 19 Recommendations Based on HRMs knowledge of the herpetofauna, bird, and aquatic macroinvertebrate communities at the Upper St. Clair River survey site and in the region, the following recommendations are made to improve or retain desirable habitat restoration features that enhance the local ecosystem, including target taxa and other important communities such as game and nongame fish. Any efforts made to accommodate these improvements will provide enhanced habitat for each target group. 1 Maintain Turtle Nesting Areas Created nesting areas should be maintained seasonally to reduce the growth of vegetation which will make a location unsuitable for nesting. The gravel and sandy soil of these nesting areas could also provide habitat for a greater number of invertebrates, shorebirds, and other wildlife. Install Additional Bird boxes Cover photo: Adult gravid female Mudpuppy observed within restoration area in Long-term maintenance of turtle nesting areas is critical to avoid overgrowth of vegetation which leave the areas unsuitable for nesting. 2.. Mudpuppies are a secretive species and long-term monitoring efforts are necessary to accurately estimate population health and density. 2 Bird boxes provide critical habitat for birds with opportunities for shelter as well as nesting. Houses that are placed too low to the ground or in open urban areas generally do not attract rare or sensitive species but will instead be used by those that are exotic or generalists. If any additional restoration occurs at the Upper St. Clair River site in the future, consideration should be given to placing bird houses adjacent to wetland habitat in order to attract a wider array of species. In addition, if additional bird boxes are

24 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report proposed along the restoration area they should be placed high above the ground approximately at the same height as an electrical or telephone pole. Structures placed at this height will provide habitat opportunities to more species such as American Kestrel. Control Exotic and Invasive Plant Species Colonization 1.Phragmites was among the invasive vegetation removed from this site. To effectively eradicate this plant from a site, continued control efforts are necessary. 2. Ongoing wildlife assessments within this site are critical to evaluating the long-term success of relocated animals. 3. Migratory bird populations often fluctuate between years and persistent bird-count surveys can account for these changes. Continued observation and management of invasive and exotic species is recommended to maintain the quality and integrity of the restoration area. Remove Silt Fencing After Construction Silt fence can create a barrier for wildlife and can reduce connectivity between habitats when it remains on the landscape after a construction project is completed. This will prevent wildlife from unnecessarily being excluded from valuable habitat after construction is complete. Removal of this barrier following vegetative establishment is encouraged. Continue to Monitor Wildlife Because species populations can fluctuate, and due to the cryptic nature of many species, additional surveys are encouraged to better assess shifts in spatial distribution, species richness, and density post restoration. Monitoring is recommended for a minimum of two seasons postconstruction to accurately evaluate the effectiveness of restoration measures and to help address possible design issues. 2 3

25 Appendices 21

26 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Appendix A: Data Tables Herpetofauna Data Table 1. Reptile and amphibian species observed on the Upper St. Clair River between 2011 and 2014 and species predicted to be present before and after restoration activities Table 1 Potential Species Scientific Name Observed Translocated Pre-restoration Post-restoration Mudpuppy Necturus maculosus maculosus Midland Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta marginata Eastern American Toad Bufo americanus americanus Bullfrog Rana catesbeiana Butler s Garter Snake Thamnophis butleri Green Frog Rana clamitans melanota Eastern Snapping Turtle* Chelydra serpentina serpentina Northern Map Turtle Graptemys geographica Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle* a Apalone spinifera spinifera Eastern Fox Snake Pantherophis gloydi Northern Water Snake Nerodia sipedon sipedon Eastern Garter Snake Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis a Turtle was observed just north of the study area * Observed by persons other than HRM

27 23 Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Data Table Group Taxon Common Name All Sites Site #1 Site #2 Site #3 Site #4 Site #5 Site #1 Site #2 Site #3 Site #4 Site #5 Site #1 Site #2 Site #3 Site #4 Site #5 Beetles Beetles Hydrophilidae Dytiscidae Water Scavenger Beetle Predaceous Diving Beetle Mussels Dreisseniidae Zebra Mussel Flies Chironomidae Midge Caddisflies Hydropsychidae Net Spinner Caddisfly Segmented Worms Hirudinea* Leech Segmented Worms Oligochaeta* Earthworm Crustaceans Gammaridae Scud Crustaceans Oniscidae Sow Bug Crustaceans Asellidae Waterlouse Crustaceans Cambaridae Rusty Crayfish Dragonflies and Damselflies Coenagrionidae Damselfly True Bugs Corixidae Water Boatman Snails Physidae Physid Snail Snails Planorbidae Ramshorn Snail Total Table 2. A summary of all raw macroinvertebrate data collected from the Upper St. Clair River from five separate sites between the years Specimens were identified to the level of family when possible. * Note: Hirudinea and Oligochaeta are identified to the Order as they were unable to be identified on a Family level.

28 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Data Table 3 Total Group Presence Table 4 Sample Point 1 Group Presence Group Taxon Group Taxon Beetles Hydrophilidae Hydrophilidae Beetles Dytiscidae Dytiscidae Mussels Dreisseniidae Mussels Dreisseniidae Flies Chironomidae Flies Chironomidae Caddisflies Hydropsychidae Caddisflies Hydropsychidae Segmented Hirudinea Segmented Hirudinea Worms Oligochaeta Worms Oligochaeta Gammaridae Gammaridae Crustaceans Oniscidae Oniscidae Crustaceans Asellidae Asellidae Cambaridae Cambaridae Dragonflies & Dragonflies & Coenagrionidae Damselflies Damselflies Coenagrionidae True Bugs Corixidae True Bugs Corixidae Snails Physidae Physidae Snails Planorbidae Planorbidae Table 3. Total macroinvertebrate group presence on the Upper St. Clair River for all sample points between total taxa were observed from 9 groups. Macroinvertebrate surveys were conducted once per year. In 2014, 5 taxa were observed that hadn t been found in the years previous. Years 2012 and 2014 yielded the most diverse results. Table 4. Macroinvertebrate groups collected from Sample Point 1 between total taxa were observed from 4 groups, with the years 2011 and 2014 yielding the highest richness.

29 25 Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Data Table 5 Sample Point 2 Group Presence Table 6 Sample Point 3 Group Presence Group Taxon Group Taxon Beetles Hydrophilidae Hydrophilidae Beetles Dytiscidae Dytiscidae Mussels Dreisseniidae Mussels Dreisseniidae Flies Chironomidae Flies Chironomidae Caddisflies Hydropsychidae Caddisflies Hydropsychidae Segmented Worms Hirudinea Oligochaeta Segmented Worms Hirudinea Oligochaeta Gammaridae Gammaridae Crustaceans Oniscidae Oniscidae Crustaceans Asellidae Asellidae Cambaridae Cambaridae Dragonflies & Dragonflies & Coenagrionidae Damselflies Damselflies Coenagrionidae True Bugs Corixidae True Bugs Corixidae Snails Physidae Physidae Snails Planorbidae Planorbidae Table 5. Macroinvertebrate groups collected from Sample Point 2 between total taxa were observed from 4 groups. 1 taxon of beetle was discovered in 2014 that hadn t been found pre-restoration. The overall species richness of Sample Point 2 is the lowest of the sites. Table 6. Macroinvertebrate groups collected from Sample Point 3 between total taxa were observed from 6 groups, with 2 taxa found in 2014 that hadn t been found pre-restoration. The years 2012 and 2014 show the most richness in taxa. Sample Point 3 has the highest taxa richness of the macroinvertebrate survey sites.

30 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Data Table 7 Sample Point 4 Group Presence Table 8 Sample Point 5 Group Presence Group Taxon Group Taxon Beetles Hydrophilidae Hydrophilidae Beetles Dytiscidae Dytiscidae Mussels Dreisseniidae Mussels Dreisseniidae Flies Chironomidae Flies Chironomidae Caddisflies Hydropsychidae Caddisflies Hydropsychidae Segmented Hirudinea Segmented Hirudinea Worms Oligochaeta Worms Oligochaeta Gammaridae Gammaridae Crustaceans Oniscidae Oniscidae Crustaceans Asellidae Asellidae Cambaridae Cambaridae Dragonflies & Dragonflies & Coenagrionidae Damselflies Damselflies Coenagrionidae True Bugs Corixidae True Bugs Corixidae Snails Physidae Physidae Snails Planorbidae Planorbidae Table 7. Macroinvertebrate groups collected from Sample Point 4 between total taxa were observed from 6 groups. 1 taxon was found in 2014 that hadn t been found pre-restoration. The year with the highest recorded richness was Table 8. Macroinvertebrate groups collected from Sample Point 5 between total taxa were observed from 6 groups with 2 taxa discovered in 2014 that had not been found pre-restoration. The year 2012 returned the highest species diversity.

31 27 Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Data Figure 1 Figure 2 # Families Total Macroinvertebrate Families per Site Site # # Famiies Total Macroinvertebrate Families Years Figure 1. Total number of different macroinvertebrate taxa collected per Sample Point between Figure 2. Total number of different macroinvertebrate taxa collected per year from

32 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Data Figure 3 Figure 4 Site 1 Macroinvertebrate Families Site 2 Macroinvertebrate Families # Families 2 # Families Years Years Figure 5 Figure 6 Site 3 Macroinvertebrate Families Site 4 Macroinvertebrate Families # Families Years # Families Years

33 29 Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Data Figure 7 # Families Site 5 Macroinvertebrate Families Years Table 9 Macroinvertebrate Families per Site Year #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 Total Total Figures 3-7. Site totals of macroinvertebrate taxa collected between the years Table 9. Data table summarizing the macroinvertebrate totals.

34 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Bird Data Table 10 Bird species observed on the Upper St. Clair River in 2011 Species 09/24/11 10/15/11 10/30/11 11/11/11 12/02/11 American Crow American Goldfinch American Tree Sparrow Blue Jay Bonaparte s Gull Bufflehead Canada Goose Chipping Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco Double-Crested Cormorant European Starling Gray Catbird Green-winged Teal Herring Gull House Sparrow Killdeer Mallard Northern Cardinal Red-breasted Merganser Ring-Billed Gull Total Number of Species

35 31 Bird Data Bird species observed on the Upper St. Clair River in 2012 Table 11 Species 1/22 2/12 2/26 3/9 3/23 4/6 4/29 5/11 5/26 6/22 7/13 8/3 8/31 10/27 11/16 12/7 American Black Duck American Crow American Goldfinch American Kestrel American Robin American Tree Sparrow Barn Swallow Belted Kingfisher Black-capped Chickadee Blue Jay Blue-winged Teal Bonaparte's Gull Brown Headed Cowbird Bufflehead Canada Goose Cedar Waxwing Chimney Swift Chipping Sparrow Cliff Swallow Common Golden-eye Common Grackle Common Merganser Dark-eyed Junco

36 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Bird Data Bird species observed on the Upper St. Clair River in 2012 (Cont.) Table 11 cont. Species 1/22 2/12 2/26 3/9 3/23 4/6 4/29 5/11 5/26 6/22 7/13 8/3 8/31 10/27 11/16 12/7 Double-crested Cormorant Downy Woodpecker European Starling Gray Catbird Great Black-backed Gull Great Blue Heron Greater Scaup Herring Gull House Finch House Sparrow Indigo Bunting Killdeer Long-tailed Duck Mallard Mourning Dove Mute Swan Nashville Warbler Northern Cardinal Northern Rough-winged Swallow Northern Flicker Northern Harrier Pine Siskin Red-breasted Merganser

37 33 Bird Data Table 11 cont. Bird species observed on the Upper St. Clair River in 2012 (Cont.) Species 1/22 2/12 2/26 3/9 3/23 4/6 4/29 5/11 5/26 6/22 7/13 8/3 8/31 10/27 11/16 12/7 Red-winged Blackbird Ring-Billed Gull Rock Pigeon Snow Bunting Song Sparrow Trumpeter Swan Warbling Vireo White-winged Scoter Willow Flycatcher Yellow Warbler Total Number of Species

38 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Bird Data Bird species observed on the Upper St. Clair River in 2013 Table 12 Species 1/18 2/9 2/22 3/8 4/13 5/18 6/14 7/19 9/8 10/27 11/30 American Black Duck American Coot American Crow American Goldfinch American Robin American Tree Sparrow Bald Eagle Barn Swallow Belted Kingfisher Black-capped Chickadee Blue Jay Bonaparte s Gull Brown Headed Cowbird Bufflehead Canada Goose Canvasback Chimney Swift Chipping Sparrow Cliff Swallow Common Golden-eye Common Grackle Common Loon Common Merganser

39 35 Bird Data Bird species observed on the Upper St. Clair River in 2013 (Cont.) Table 12 cont. Species 1/18 2/9 2/22 3/8 4/13 5/18 6/14 7/19 9/8 10/27 11/30 Common Tern Dark-eyed Junco Double-crested Cormorant Downy Woodpecker European Starling Glaucous Gull Gray Catbird Great Black-backed Gull Great Blue Heron Greater Scaup Herring Gull Hooded Merganser House Finch House Sparrow Indigo Bunting Killdeer Lesser Scaup Long-tailed Duck Mallard Merlin Mourning Dove Mute Swan Northern Cardinal

40 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Bird Data Bird species observed on the Upper St. Clair River in 2013 (Cont.) Table 12 cont. Species 1/18 2/9 2/22 3/8 4/13 5/18 6/14 7/19 9/8 10/27 11/30 Northern Flicker Northern Harrier Northern Rough-winged Swallow Pied-billed Grebe Redhead Red-breasted Merganser Red-necked Grebe Red-tailed Hawk Red-winged Blackbird Ring-Billed Gull Rock Pigeon Rose-breasted Grosbeak Ruby-crowned Kinglet Sanderling Song Sparrow Spotted Sandpiper Turkey Vulture White-crowned Sparrow Wood Duck Yellow Warbler Total Number of Species

41 37 Bird Data Bird species observed on the Upper St. Clair River in 2014 Table 13 Species 1/25 2/22 3/7 3/22 5/3 Species 1/25 2/22 3/7 3/22 5/3 American Crow American Goldfinch American Robin Bald Eagle Barn Swallow Blue Jay Bonaparte s Gull Brown-headed Cowbird Bufflehead Canada Goose Canvasback Caspian Tern Cliff Swallow Common Goldeneye Common Grackle Common Merganser Common Tern Cooper s Hawk Dark-eyed Junco Double-crested Cormorant Eastern Bluebird European Starling Foster s Tern Gray Catbird Great Black-backed Gull Great Blue Heron Greater Scaup Herring Gull Hooded Merganser Horned Grebe Horned Lark House Sparrow Killdeer Long-tailed Duck Mallard Mourning Dove Mute Swan Northern Cardinal Ring-billed Gull Red-breasted Merganser Red-winged Blackbird Redhead Red-necked Grebe Song Sparrow Spotted Sandpiper Turkey Vulture White-winged Scoter Total Number of Species

42 Table 14 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Bird Data Total Species Presence by Year Species Species American Black Duck Hooded Merganser American Coot Horned Grebe American Crow Horned Lark American Goldfinch House Finch American Kestrel House Sparrow American Robin Indigo Bunting American Tree Sparrow Killdeer Bald Eagle Lesser Scaup Barn Swallow Long-tailed Duck Belted Kingfisher Mallard Black-capped Chickadee Merlin Blue Jay Mourning Dove Blue-winged Teal Mute Swan Bonaparte s Gull Nashville Warbler Brown Headed Cowbird Northern Cardinal Bufflehead Northern Flicker Canada Goose Northern Harrier Canvasback Northern Rough-winged Swallow Caspian Tern Pied-billed Grebe Cedar Waxwing Pine Siskin Chimney Swift Redhead Chipping Sparrow Red-breasted Merganser Cliff Swallow Red-necked Grebe Common Golden-eye Red-tailed Hawk Common Grackle Red-winged Blackbird Common Loon Ring-Billed Gull Common Merganser Rock Pigeon Common Tern Rose-breasted Grosbeak Cooper s Hawk Ruby-crowned Kinglet Dark-eyed Junco Sanderling Double-crested Cormorant Snow Bunting Downy Woodpecker Song Sparrow Eastern Bluebird Spotted Sandpiper European Starling Trumpeter Swan Foster s Tern Turkey Vulture Glaucous Gull Warbling Vireo Gray Catbird White-crowned Sparrow Great Black-backed Gull White Winged Scoter Great Blue Heron Willow Flycatcher Greater Scaup Wood Duck Green-winged Teal Yellow Warbler Herring Gull

43 Table Bird Data Species Presence in Sample Point 1 Species Species American Black Duck American Coot Hooded Merganser Horned Grebe American Crow Horned Lark American Goldfinch House Finch American Kestrel House Sparrow American Robin Indigo Bunting American Tree Sparrow Killdeer Bald Eagle Lesser Scaup Barn Swallow Long-tailed Duck Belted Kingfisher Mallard Black-capped Chickadee Merlin Blue Jay Mourning Dove Blue-winged Teal Bonaparte s Gull Mute Swan Nashville Warbler Brown Headed Cowbird Northern Cardinal Bufflehead Northern Flicker Canada Goose Northern Harrier Canvasback Northern Rough-winged Swallow Caspian Tern Pied-billed Grebe Cedar Waxwing Chimney Swift Pine Siskin Redhead Chipping Sparrow Red-breasted Merganser Cliff Swallow Red-necked Grebe Common Golden-eye Red-tailed Hawk Common Grackle Red-winged Blackbird Common Loon Ring-Billed Gull Common Merganser Rock Pigeon Common Tern Rose-breasted Grosbeak Cooper's Hawk Dark-eyed Junco Double-crested Cormorant Ruby-crowned Kinglet Sanderling Snow Bunting Downy Woodpecker Song Sparrow Eastern Bluebird Spotted Sandpiper European Starling Trumpeter Swan Foster's Tern Turkey Vulture Glaucous Gull Warbling Vireo Gray Catbird Great Black-backed Gull White-crowned Sparrow White Winged Scoter Great Blue Heron Willow Flycatcher Greater Scaup Wood Duck Green-winged Teal Herring Gull Yellow Warbler

44 Table 16 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Bird Data Species Presence in Sample Point 2 Species Species American Black Duck Hooded Merganser American Coot American Crow Horned Grebe Horned Lark American Goldfinch House Finch American Kestrel American Robin House Sparrow Indigo Bunting American Tree Sparrow Bald Eagle Barn Swallow Killdeer Lesser Scaup Long-tailed Duck Belted Kingfisher Mallard Black-capped Chickadee Blue Jay Merlin Mourning Dove Blue-winged Teal Bonaparte s Gull Mute Swan Nashville Warbler Brown Headed Cowbird Bufflehead Northern Cardinal Northern Flicker Canada Goose Northern Harrier Canvasback Northern Rough-winged Swallow Caspian Tern Cedar Waxwing Pied-billed Grebe Pine Siskin Chimney Swift Redhead Chipping Sparrow Red-breasted Merganser Cliff Swallow Red-necked Grebe Common Golden-eye Red-tailed Hawk Common Grackle Red-winged Blackbird Common Loon Common Merganser Common Tern Cooper's Hawk Dark-eyed Junco Double-crested Cormorant Downy Woodpecker Eastern Bluebird European Starling Foster's Tern Glaucous Gull Gray Catbird Great Black-backed Gull Great Blue Heron Greater Scaup Green-winged Teal Herring Gull Ring-Billed Gull Rock Pigeon Rose-breasted Grosbeak Ruby-crowned Kinglet Sanderling Snow Bunting Song Sparrow Spotted Sandpiper Trumpeter Swan Turkey Vulture Warbling Vireo White-crowned Sparrow White Winged Scoter Willow Flycatcher Wood Duck Yellow Warbler

45 Table Bird Data Species Presence in Sample Point 3 Species Species American Black Duck American Coot American Crow Hooded Merganser Horned Grebe Horned Lark American Goldfinch House Finch American Kestrel House Sparrow American Robin Indigo Bunting American Tree Sparrow Killdeer Bald Eagle Barn Swallow Lesser Scaup Long-tailed Duck Belted Kingfisher Mallard Black-capped Chickadee Blue Jay Merlin Mourning Dove Blue-winged Teal Bonaparte s Gull Mute Swan Nashville Warbler Brown Headed Cowbird Bufflehead Northern Cardinal Northern Flicker Canada Goose Northern Harrier Canvasback Northern Rough-winged Swallow Caspian Tern Cedar Waxwing Chimney Swift Pied-billed Grebe Pine Siskin Redhead Chipping Sparrow Red-breasted Merganser Cliff Swallow Common Golden-eye Common Grackle Common Loon Common Merganser Common Tern Cooper's Hawk Dark-eyed Junco Double-crested Cormorant Downy Woodpecker Eastern Bluebird European Starling Foster's Tern Glaucous Gull Gray Catbird Great Black-backed Gull Great Blue Heron Greater Scaup Green-winged Teal Herring Gull Red-necked Grebe Red-tailed Hawk Red-winged Blackbird Ring-Billed Gull Rock Pigeon Rose-breasted Grosbeak Ruby-crowned Kinglet Sanderling Snow Bunting Song Sparrow Spotted Sandpiper Trumpeter Swan Turkey Vulture Warbling Vireo White-crowned Sparrow White Winged Scoter Willow Flycatcher Wood Duck Yellow Warbler

46 Table 18 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Bird Data Species Presence in Sample Point 4 Species Species American Black Duck Hooded Merganser American Coot American Crow Horned Grebe Horned Lark American Goldfinch House Finch American Kestrel House Sparrow American Robin Indigo Bunting American Tree Sparrow Killdeer Bald Eagle Lesser Scaup Barn Swallow Long-tailed Duck Belted Kingfisher Mallard Black-capped Chickadee Merlin Blue Jay Mourning Dove Blue-winged Teal Mute Swan Bonaparte s Gull Nashville Warbler Brown Headed Cowbird Northern Cardinal Bufflehead Northern Flicker Canada Goose Northern Harrier Canvasback Northern Rough-winged Swallow Caspian Tern Cedar Waxwing Pied-billed Grebe Pine Siskin Chimney Swift Redhead Chipping Sparrow Red-breasted Merganser Cliff Swallow Red-necked Grebe Common Golden-eye Red-tailed Hawk Common Grackle Red-winged Blackbird Common Loon Ring-Billed Gull Common Merganser Rock Pigeon Common Tern Rose-breasted Grosbeak Cooper's Hawk Ruby-crowned Kinglet Dark-eyed Junco Sanderling Double-crested Cormorant Snow Bunting Downy Woodpecker Song Sparrow Eastern Bluebird Spotted Sandpiper European Starling Trumpeter Swan Foster's Tern Turkey Vulture Glaucous Gull Gray Catbird Warbling Vireo White-crowned Sparrow Great Black-backed Gull White Winged Scoter Great Blue Heron Greater Scaup Willow Flycatcher Wood Duck Green-winged Teal Herring Gull Yellow Warbler

47 Table Bird Data Species Presence in Sample Point 5 Species Species American Black Duck Hooded Merganser American Coot American Crow Horned Grebe Horned Lark American Goldfinch House Finch American Kestrel House Sparrow American Robin Indigo Bunting American Tree Sparrow Killdeer Bald Eagle Lesser Scaup Barn Swallow Long-tailed Duck Belted Kingfisher Mallard Black-capped Chickadee Merlin Blue Jay Mourning Dove Blue-winged Teal Mute Swan Bonaparte s Gull Nashville Warbler Brown Headed Cowbird Northern Cardinal Bufflehead Northern Flicker Canada Goose Northern Harrier Canvasback Northern Rough-winged Swallow Caspian Tern Pied-billed Grebe Cedar Waxwing Pine Siskin Chimney Swift Redhead Chipping Sparrow Red-breasted Merganser Cliff Swallow Red-necked Grebe Common Golden-eye Red-tailed Hawk Common Grackle Red-winged Blackbird Common Loon Ring-Billed Gull Common Merganser Rock Pigeon Common Tern Cooper's Hawk Dark-eyed Junco Rose-breasted Grosbeak Ruby-crowned Kinglet Sanderling Double-crested Cormorant Snow Bunting Downy Woodpecker Song Sparrow Eastern Bluebird Spotted Sandpiper European Starling Trumpeter Swan Foster's Tern Turkey Vulture Glaucous Gull Warbling Vireo Gray Catbird White-crowned Sparrow Great Black-backed Gull White Winged Scoter Great Blue Heron Willow Flycatcher Greater Scaup Wood Duck Green-winged Teal Herring Gull Yellow Warbler

48 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Bird Data Potential Bird Species Potential bird species that could be present at the Upper St. Clair River study site. Changes in bird habitat at this site may greatly affect bird species richness. Table 20 Common Name Alder Flycatcher American Wigeon Baltimore Oriole Bank swallow Broad-winged Hawk Common Nighthawk Common Yellowthroat Eastern Screech-Owl Eastern Towhee Gadwall Great Egret Great Horned Owl Great-crested Flycatcher Green Heron Hairy Woodpecker Harlequin Duck House Wren Iceland Gull King Eider Common Name Laughing Gull Lesser Black-backed Gull Northern Pintail Northern Shoveler Osprey Parasitic Jaeger Peregrine Falcon Purple Martin Red-bellied Woodpecker Ringed-necked Duck Rough-legged Hawk Ruby-throated Hummingbird Ruddy Duck Sandhill Crane Sharp-shinned Hawk Thayer's Gull Tufted Titmouse White-breasted Nuthatch

49 45 Bird Data Bird Data Graphs Figure 8 Total Bird Species Richness # Species Observed Year Figure 8. Total bird species richness from each sample point per year. In 2014, 7 species were observed that had not been found pre-restoration--including the State Threatened Caspian and Forster s Terns.

50 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Figure 9 Total Richness per Sample Point # Species Sample Point Figure 9. Total bird species observed per sample point between the years While richness does not vary significantly between points, sample points 4 and 5 maintain the highest amount of species observed.

51 47 Figure 10 Figure 11 Sample Point 1 Species Richness Sample Point 2 Species Richness # Species # Species Year Year Figure 12 Figure 13 Sample Point 3 Species Richness Sample Point 4 Species Richness # Species # Species Year Year Figure Total bird species observed from sample points 1-4 by year between

52 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Figure 14 Sample Point 5 Species Richness # Species Year Table 21 Species per Sample Point Year #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 Total Total sp Figure 14. Total bird species observed from Sample Point 5 per year between Table 21. Summary of bird species per year by each sample point along with the totals.

53 Appendix B: Maps Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Project MAP 1 Study Area Location Legend Study Area Feet Locator Map ^ Note: This information is illustrated for general reference purposes only. o Data Source: Michigan Center for Geographic Information United States Geological Survey HRM GIS Data Library Updated: 6/17/2014 Cartography by: P. Reed Map 1. Aerial of the Upper St. Clair River with the study area outlined in red, which comprises of over 4300 linear feet running north to south along St. Clair River, and at its widest approximately 50ft east to west of upland.

54 39 R R Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Project R R R R R R R R MAP 2 Mudpuppy Funnel Trap Locations as placed on Legend R Mudpuppy Funnel Trap Meters R R R R o Updated: Note: This information is illustrated for general reference purposes only. Data Source: Michigan Center for Geographic Information United States Geological Survey HRM GIS Data Library 6/26/2014 Cartography by: P. Reed Map 2. Study area with Mudpuppy funnel trap sites indicated. Traps were baited and completely submerged near the shoreline.

55 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report ) SAMPLE POINT 1 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Project ) ) SAMPLE POINT 2 SAMPLE POINT 3 Legend MAP 3 Bird Sampling Locations as used )Bird Sample Points Meters ) ) SAMPLE POINT 5 SAMPLE POINT 4 o Updated: Note: This information is illustrated for general reference purposes only. Data Source: Michigan Center for Geographic Information United States Geological Survey HRM GIS Data Library 6/18/2014 Cartography by: P. Reed Map 3. Study area with bird survey sample points indicated. The five sample points were located at least 250m apart and adjacent to the river.

56 41 * * * * * SAMPLE POINT 1 SAMPLE POINT 2 SAMPLE POINT 3 SAMPLE POINT 4 SAMPLE POINT 5 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Project MAP 4 Macro Invertebrate Sampling Locations as used Legend * Macro Invert Sample Points Meters o Updated: Note: This information is illustrated for general reference purposes only. Data Source: Michigan Center for Geographic Information United States Geological Survey HRM GIS Data Library 6/18/2014 Cartography by: P. Reed Map 4. Study area with the five macroinvertebrate sampling locations indicated.

57 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report * [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Project MAP 5 Study Area [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ o Updated: Pre-Restoration Herpetofauna Observed Legend Eastern American Toad [ [ Common Snapping Turtle Midland Painted Turtle [ Mudpuppy Meters Note: This information is illustrated for general reference purposes only. Data Source: Michigan Center for Geographic Information United States Geological Survey HRM GIS Data Library 6/18/2014 Cartography by: P. Reed Map 5. Results of the pre-restoration herpetofaunal surveys between the years showing four species with separate icons and an inlay showing the study area outlined in red. Also observed was a Spiny Softshell Turtle just north of the study area boundary.

58 43 [ [ [ [ [ [ [ Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Project [ [ Study Area [ MAP 6 Post-Restoration Herpetofauna Observed [ [ [ Legend [ Mudpuppy Meters [ [ o Updated: Note: This information is illustrated for general reference purposes only. Data Source: Michigan Center for Geographic Information United States Geological Survey HRM GIS Data Library 6/18/2014 Cartography by: P. Reed Map 6. Results of the post-restoration herpetofaunal surveys from fall 2013 to late spring 2014 showing a greatly increased range distribution of Mudpuppy as their population expands to occupy newly created habitat, with an inlay outlining the study area in red.

59 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Land Change of the St. Clair County MAP 7 Study Area Site ^Study Locator Map o Meters Note: This information is illustrated for general reference purposes only. Text Data Source: - Michigan Center for Geographic Information - United States Geological Survey - HRM GIS Data Library - St Clair County Metro Planning Updated: 6/18/2014 Cartography by: P. Reed Map 7. A series of visually comparative maps demonstrating land change of the site from showing building, road and shoreline development.

60 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Appendix C: Herpetofaunal Species Profiles Mudpuppy Mudpuppies are large, entirely aquatic salamanders. They are easily recognized by their large size (up to 1.5 feet long) and large external gills just behind the head (Harding 1997). Small Mudpuppies might resemble the larvae of other salamanders, but have only four toes on each foot instead of five. In Southeast Michigan, this species is the only amphibian which normally inhabits the open water of large lakes and rivers, spending most of its time hiding under flat rocks. They are highly carnivorous and are often caught by fishermen, even in winter. Because of their unique appearance and unjustified reputation as predators of game fish, they are often killed when captured, even though they are harmless. Mudpuppies breed in fall, entering shallow water as the temperatures cool, but do not nest until the following spring. Females require moderately shallow water with plenty of large, flat rocks on the bottom beneath which they can deposit their eggs. Mudpuppies are the obligate host species for the larvae of the Salamander Mussel (Simpsonaias ambigua), a State Endangered species (Michigan Natural Feature Inventory 2010). Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle This large species is easily identified by its smooth shell and long, pig-like nose. They occur in rivers, large lakes, and impoundments throughout southern portions of the Lower Peninsula where sandy or muddy bottoms are preferred. Although this species will bask, much of the time they remain buried in shallow substrate where their characteristic snorkel-like nose and long neck are used to obtain oxygen which they can also absorb through cloacal and throat linings. Males are much smaller than females and typically reach maturity between 5 to 9 inches, while females can grow as large as 19 inches. This species consumes aquatic insects, snails, amphibians, and fish although crayfish are reported to be a favorite food item. Populations of this species has declined or become extirpated in some parts of Michigan due to water pollution as well as heavy exploitation by humans (Harding and Holman 1990).

61 57 Northern Water Snake This species inhabits the edges of permanent wetlands or riparian zones of rivers, where it hunts small fish and amphibians, keeping prey populations healthy by culling the sick and weak. This species has been documented repeatedly feeding on the invasive Round Goby, making them a potentially important species in the control of this exotic fish that competes with native fisheries. Recognized by its pattern of dark blotches and saddles on a gray background, this species is often assumed to be a water moccasin (a venomous species not found in Michigan) and thus is killed. It is also wrongfully accused as impacting game fish populations. When disturbed, Water Snakes flee to the water and dive to the bottom. Females give birth to dozens of live young in late summer (Harding 1997). Eastern Garter Snake This species can be found in a wide-variety of habitats including those in urban landscapes. These snakes are most commonly found in moist grassy areas, near the edges of streams, ditches, lakes, and ponds or in vacant areas with abundant cover that can include piles of rocks, construction debris, scattered boards, and metal sheeting. Individuals can vary greatly in color and pattern; however, they typically have three light stripes on a background of black, brown, olive, or gray. Common prey items of this species include earthworms, insects, crayfish, small fish and amphibians. Eastern Garter Snakes grow quickly and can reach breeding size in their second or third year. Females give birth to clutches of up to 80 live young in August or early September (Harding 1997). Butler s Garter Snake This species, which is less common than the Eastern Garter Snake, can be identified by the stout body and small head that is barely wider than the neck as well as distinct yellow or orange stripes on a dark black, brown, or olive-brown background. This species prefers to inhabit wet meadows and prairies, lake edges, and other moist grassy places. Large populations are also known to occur in vacant urban lots containing patches of vegetation as well as rip rap structures along the shore lines of large water bodies. The most common prey item of this snake is earthworms; however, they will also consume leeches and small amphibians. Females give birth to 4 to 20 live young in late July or August (Harding 1997).

62 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Northern Map Turtle This species gets its name from the complex pattern of lines on the shell. Northern Map Turtles are most commonly found in flowing water, and can be seen basking high on logs only to jump in at the slightest threat. Males and females are dramatically different in size at maturity, with males reaching six inches and females growing to more than ten inches. While this is primarily to allow the females to carry large clutches of eggs, it has resulted in other differences. Males feed on insects while females use their enlarged jaws to crush snails, clams, and mollusks, such as zebra mussels, so this species can only thrive in habitats with good water quality which support a diverse assemblage of invertebrates. Females take at least ten years to reach maturity, while males can reach maturity in as little as three (Harding 1997). Eastern Fox Snake Eastern Fox Snakes have a small range restricted to areas along and adjacent to the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Erie (Harding 1997). They are a State Threatened species in Michigan (Michigan Natural Feature Inventory 2010), and are listed as Endangered in Canada. Fox Snakes require grassland habitat that is rarely mowed or burned, and often prefer to shelter and overwinter in adjacent riprap or similar habitat. Although they spend much of their time in uplands feeding on small mammals, they are very strong swimmers, and it is not uncommon for them to use waterways to travel significant distances. Despite their size, these snakes are often preyed upon by large raptors and medium-sized mammals. In the fall, Fox Snakes enter hibernacula, which sometimes include communal sites, and do not emerge until mid-april or May. Breeding occurs in spring, and eggs are laid in June or July, hatching about two months later. Fox Snakes are often senselessly killed because they are mistaken for Copperheads (Agkistrodon contortrix, a U.S. species not present in Michigan), because of the orange head, or rattlesnakes because they will vibrate their tail against dry vegetation when threatened, producing a loud buzz.

63 59 Appendix D: Bird Species Profiles Allen Chartier Allen Chartier Allen Chartier Trumpeter Swan Trumpeter Swan is a State Threatened bird species that uses inland wetland areas to fulfill its life requisites. These swans eat wetland vegetation and use small islands, usually in the form of muskrat lodges, for nesting. Since swan reintroduction efforts for this species began in the 1980s, the population has increased to over 400 individuals. Threats to this species include wetland development and water pollution. The presence of invasive Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) in Michigan also increases competitive pressure for food and other resources. The protection and restoration of wetlands in Michigan will help to ensure the continued recovery of Trumpeter Swan populations (Eagle, Hay-Chmielewski et al. 2005; Michigan DNR Wildlife Division 2012). Forster s Tern Forster s Tern is a State Threatened colonial water bird has declined due to habitat loss and environmental contaminants. These migratory birds rely on inland emergent wetlands, lakes and rivers, and eat by hovering above the water and diving to catch small fish (e.g., shiners, chubs, and other minnows), insects, and crustaceans. These ground-nesting birds generally lace nests in clumps of marsh vegetation close to open water in areas with little disturbance and few ground predators. Most current nesting colonies are located in small islands in the Great Lakes. Historic nesting colonies existed on mainland shorelines; however, shoreline development has substantially reduced areas for breeding habitat (Eagle, Hay-Chmielewski et al. 2005; Cornell Ornithology Lab 2012; Michigan DNR Wildlife Division 2012). Pied-billed Grebe Populations of Pied-billed Grebe are scattered throughout the state of Michigan and may be declining, due primarily to loss of habitat. Habitat for this waterfowl species includes emergent wetlands, ponds, and riparian corridors. Pied-billed Grebes are experts at diving to escape predators and eat small fish, crustaceans, and aquatic insects. This species builds nests on floating vegetation, and chicks leave the nest soon after hatching, living entirely on the water after four weeks (Eagle, Hay- Chmielewski et al. 2005; Cornell Ornithology Lab 2012).

64 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report Allen Chartier American Black Duck American Black Duck is a year-round resident in Michigan and resident and relies on shallow waters of lakes, ponds and lakes for food (Cornell Ornithology Lab 2012). This species nests on the ground in protected areas, such as a brush pile or edge of thick grasses. Continued threats to American Black Duck populations include habitat fragmentation, altered hydrologic regimes, invasive plants & animals, and water pollution. Also, American Black Ducks are a popular game species. Creation of additional suitable habitat for American Black Duck could provide potential ecological and recreational benefits. Allen Chartier Northern Harrier Northern Harriers use a variety of open habitats including prairie, old field, shrubs, forest edge, wetlands, and riparian areas. This hawk-- a Special Concern species in Michigan--hunts for small mammals, birds, reptiles, and frogs by soaring low over open habitats. Northern Harrier populations have experienced declines chiefly due to wetland conversion and other land development. These birds formerly nested state-wide in Michigan, but currently nest most commonly in the eastern Upper Peninsula (Eagle, Hay-Chmielewski et al. 2005; Cornell Ornithology Lab 2012; Michigan DNR Wildlife Division 2012).

65 61 Appendix E: Macroinvertebrate Profiles Valley State University Valley State University Order Ephemeroptera: Mayflies The presence of mayfly larvae is important indicator of water quality. The larvae of all species of mayflies are aquatic and are generally very sensitive to water pollution. Since nearly all mayflies are herbivores and/ or detritivores, they help to keep the plant life under control as well as contribute to the decomposition of organic matter. They also serve as a valuable food source for reptiles, birds, amphibians, fish, and other insects. The short-lived adults do not feed and devote all of their time to swarming, mating, and in some species short upstream migrations. The adult mayflies are easily distinguished from other insects by primitive traits such as their inability to fold their wings flat over their bodies, as well as the distinctive triangular shape of their membranous wings. Larva are often confused with those of damselflies and stoneflies, however they are distinct in that they have single claws at the end of each segmented leg, rows of abdominal gills, and in most cases, three cerci (Voshell 2003; Merritt, Cummins et al. 2008). Order Trichoptera: Caddisflies Trichoptera is considered the second most important order of aquatic insects when assessing stream health and there are more species in this group than any other entirely aquatic insect order (Voshell 2003). These insects span a large range of water conditions from large, warm and slow moving water bodies to relatively fast moving small, cool streams. Most species are very pollution sensitive and therefore, high species richness and relative abundance of Trichoptera communities compared to other aquatic macroinvertebrate communities indicate high quality stream systems. Some Caddisfly species however, including the more widespread families such as the common netspinners are extremely pollution tolerant and therefore may be misleading for stream health analyses. Caddisflies may fulfill important ecological roles as they facilitate the creation of detritus from vegetation that falls into streams, and are a food source for fish and birds. Adult specimens can be identified from the long, filamentous antennae, hairs covering most body structures and two elongate sets of wings that extend past the tip of the abdomen and are held in a tent-like manner over the abdomen when not in use. Larvae are extremely characteristic most notably for the abdominal coverings created by most species using silk and a variety of sediment types; the composition of these cases is most commonly used in identification.

66 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report United States Geological Survey University of Iowa Order Amphipoda: Scuds Amphipods are an extremely important benthic organism in a pond community. Not only are they good indicators of water quality, they also play a valuable role in the food chain. Scuds, also called side-swimmers, are able to live in a variety of aquatic environments, including lakes, ponds, streams, brooks and springs. They are most often found in small habitats with less than one meter water depth, and as they are an extremely preferable food source for many different aquatic species, they are found in higher populations in areas that have minimal or nonexistent fish populations. However they require high concentrations of dissolved oxygen as well as unpolluted water. As a general order, these organisms are considered to be very tolerant of polluted habitats, however many species are extremely sensitive to pesticides and heavy metals. While many species of scuds are detritivores, helping to decompose plant and animal matter, some live on aquatic vegetation eating the film of algae, fungi, and bacteria that coats the plant. Aside from preventing detritus from accumulating, amphipods serve as a food source for other invertebrates, amphibians, water birds, and fish (Voshell 2003; Merritt, Cummins et al. 2008). Family Dreisseniidae: Zebra Mussels These introduced mussels are not native to North America and live in well oxygenated water bodies, including lakes and other slow moving waters. These mussels prefer to colonize hard surfaces and bottom substrates. Zebra mussels are filter feeders and are able to outcompete native mussels for food, thus reducing native mussel populations. High populations of zebra mussels remove significant amounts of zooplankton and other detritus from the water which reduces food sources for other native macroinvertebrate populations. Decreases in these native macroinvertebrate populations could lead to reductions in fish populations and other unknown repercussions through the food chain. Though zebra mussels require high concentrations of dissolved oxygen, they are facultative to a variety of disturbed and stressful conditions, thus increasing their success in the United States. However, zebra mussels are a food for some animals; some waterfowl species and Northern Map Turtles have been known to eat zebra mussels and regulate population growth of local zebra mussel colonies (Voshell 2003).

67 63 Doug Watkinson Family Cambaridae: Rusty Crayfish Crayfish are another important benthic organism; however, the introduction of the rusty crayfish to Michigan s waters has negatively impacted habitats this species has colonized. These crayfish reduce the amount of aquatic plants, invertebrates, and some fish species present in water bodies. Specific fish species impacted by rusty crayfish include: bluegill, smallmouth and largemouth bass, lake trout and walleye. Rusty crayfish also outcompete native crayfish populations for food sources. Rusty crayfish are identified by their five pairs of legs, a lobster-like appearance, and dark rusty spots appear on each side of the carapace. Some bird and larger game fish species eat rusty crayfish, and therefore may benefit from the presence of this exotic species (United States Federal Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force 2005). Mudpuppies, Northern Map Turtles, Eastern Snapping Turtles, Queen Snakes, and other herpetofauna have been documented eating this species and their role in helping control invasive species may be significant. Friedrich Böhringer Order Plecoptera: Stoneflies Stoneflies are considered to be possibly the most important order of aquatic insects in regards to analyzing stream health. All species of stonefly are extremely pollution sensitive, therefore looking at the species abundance and richness within this order in comparison to other invertebrates is very useful, and the presence of this order in a habitat is usually considered extremely positive in terms of environmental health. However because populations of these insects tend not to be very dense in any habitat type, looking at this species alone is not conclusive. Species of this order are usually found in cool, shady, medium/swift moving streams with high dissolved oxygen content. Most prefer streams with coarse substrates and leaf litter, and their diet can be either predaceous or detritus which makes them very important to the food chain of their habitat. Adults can be identified by their long antennae, membranous wings that fold flat over the body/abdomen when not in use, and twin tails that project from the rear of the abdomen to the end of the wings or just slightly past. Larvae look similar to those of Ephemeroptera, except that they have two claws extending from each segmented leg, wings pads that are often only visible in older larvae, no more than two tails, and gills that cover only the bottom of the thorax and occasionally spread up to the first three abdominal segments (or are completely absent).

68 64 Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Wildlife Monitoring Report 2014 References Barry, F.E., P.J. Weatherhead, et al. (1992). Mutitple paternity in a wild population of northern water snakes, Nerodia sipedon. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 30: Cooperrider, A. Y., R. J. Boyd, et al. (1986). Inventory and monitoring of wildlife habitat. Service Center, Denver, CO, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management Cornell Ornithology Lab. (2012). All About Birds. from Custer, C.M., and T.W. Custer. (1996). Food habits of diving ducks in the Great Lakes after the zebra mussel invasion. J. Field Ornithology 67(1): Department of Natural Resources, W. D. (2009). Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division endangered and threatened species, Department of Natural Resources. Eagle, A. C., E. M. Hay-Chmielewski, et al. (2005). Michigan s Wildlife Action Plan. Lansing, MI, Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Hamilton, D.J., C. Davison Ankney, et al. (1994). Predation of Zebra Mussels by Diving Ducks: An Exclosure Study. Ecology 75(2): Harding, J. H. (1997). Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region. Ann Arbor, The Michigan University Press. Harding, J. H. and J. A. Holman (1990). Michigan Turtles and Lizards, Michigan State University Museum Heyer, W. R., M. A. Donnelly, et al. (1994). Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity Standard Methods for Amphibians. Washington and London, Smithsonian Institution Press. Howe, R. W., G. J. Niemi, et al. (1997). A Standard Method for Monitoring Songbird Poplulations in the Great Lakes Region. The Passenger Pigeon 59(3): 12. HRM (2012). Kensington Metropark Turtle Nest Pilot Project Report Year II. Okemos, MI, USDA Wildlife Services: 40. McDiarmid, R. W., S. F. Foster, et al. (2012). Reptile Biodiversity Standard Methods for Inventory and Monitoring Merritt, R. W., K. W. Cummins, et al. (2008). An Introduction to the Aquatic Insects of North America. Dubuqe, IA, Kendall Hunt Michigan DNR Wildlife Division. (2012). Wildlife Species: Birds. from Michigan Natural Feature Inventory. (2010). Michigan s special animals Endangered, Threatened, Special Concern, Extirpated. Retrieved 10/27/2011, 2011, from and Probably Olson, D. H., W. P. Leonard, et al. (1997). Sampling Amphibians in Lentic Habitats. Hong Kong, Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (2010). Migratory Birds: Midwest Birds of Concern. 2012, from United States Federal Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force. (2005). Rusty Crayfish. from Voshell, J. R., Jr. (2003). A guide to common freshwater invertebrates of North America. Blacksburg, VA, The McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company.

69 65 For more information please contact us at: P.O. Box 110 Chelsea MI Copyright 2014 Herpetological Resource and Management, LLC. This project was funded by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Herpetological Resource & Management, LLC

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