Bald Eagle Closure in Effect Until July 31, 2014
Returning bald eagles are actively tending to last year's nest within the Pinery Narrows area in CVNP. To protect the eagles from human disturbance, the area surrounding the nest tree will be closed until July 31, 2014. More »
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) Bridge Construction Closures
Rockside and Canal Visitor Center boarding sites will be closed through Apr 27. From Jan 18 - Mar 16, CVSR will operate between Akron Northside and Brecksville stations. From Mar 22 - Apr, CVSR will operate between Akron Northside and Peninsula. More »
Closure on Fishing Will Remain in Effect for Virginia Kendall Lake
Due to the government shutdown, we were unable to survey the fish community in VK Lake as scheduled. Our survey partners (ODNR) will not be able to get into the lake until early spring of 2014. Therefore, the closure on fishing will remain in effect. More »
Natural History Topics - September
River otter can appear very similar to the mink, which also inhabit the Beaver Marsh and the same areas often preferred by otters. To identify the river otter, look for a long (approximately four feet) streamlined aquatic animal with either dark brown or grey sleek fur that typically has a white mustache with whitish cheeks, and has a very long tail. At close range, all its feet will appear webbed-an ideal feature for this swift swimmer. Mink are noticeably smaller (approximately 1.5 feet), appearing totally dark brown with a very distinctive white patch under the chin.
Once plentiful in Ohio, native river otter were extirpated by the early 1900s. In 1986, the Ohio Division of Wildlife began re-introducing the otter along several major Ohio Rivers. Having made a great comeback in 2002 they were delisted as a state endangered species and presently occur throughout eastern Ohio, including their return to CVNP.
Visit the Monarch Butterfly in North America web site; a gateway to news, information, activities, and resources about the biology and conservation of this fascinating insect. The Monarch Larval Monitoring Project (MLMP) is a citizen science project involving volunteers from across the United States and Canada in monarch research. Help track the monarch butterfly migration each fall and spring as the butterflies travel to and from Mexico. Report your own observations of migrating butterflies to the migration map on the Journey North web site.
Terra Vista Natural Study Area is also a great place to observe other striking butterflies, including the large black, eastern tiger and spicebush swallowtails; the very colorful, although uncommon, buckeye butterfly; the silvery orange great spangled fritillary; and brilliant clouded and orange sulfurs.
Also This Month
Autumn colors will near their peak on the weekend of September 22 & 23 at Sylvan Pond and the open places along the Oak Hill Trail System. Visit October's Natural History Topics for more on autumn colors.
Did You Know?
American Indians in the Cuyahoga Valley were influenced by the Hopewell Culture, which created large mound complexes in central Ohio from 100 B.C. – A.D. 500? In the Cuyahoga Valley, American Indians built small mounds rather than large ceremonial centers.