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Ongoing Wildlife Monitoring

  • Ma’iingan
  • Amik Dam Inventory 
  • Piping Plover Recovery Efforts on Chequamegon Point
  • Makwa
  • Migizi Productivity 
  • Apakwaanaajiinag
  • Wazhashk 
  • Waawaashkeshi 
  • Mercury and Wildlife 
  • Migratory Birds
  • Herptiles

Services Offered

  • Habitat Restoration and Management
    • Waterfowl Nesting Structures and Monitoring Project
    • Bat Nursery House Project
    • Other Habitat Restoration Projects
  • Disease Monitoring and Health Monitoring
    • Chronic Wasting Disease
    • West Nile Virus 
    • White-Nose Syndrome

Endangered & Threatened Species

Chapter 300, under Section 300.4 – Endangered and Threatened Species “No member shall take, transport, possess, process, or sell any plant or animal species contained on either the federal (50 CFR Sections 17.11 and 17.12) or the State of Wisconsin (Wis. Adm. Code NR 27.03) endangered or threatened species list, as may be amended from time to time, or any species which the Tribal Council may declare as endangered or threatened, and no tag as provided for in Chapter 305 shall be issued or affixed to the carcass or part thereof of any such species.

Endangered & Threatened Species List (click here)

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Through staff of the Wildlife Program, generous help from the GLRI and Circle of Flight, and partnerships with the WDNR and the NPS, the Bad River Natural Resources Department has been able to implement a migizi study, to find out what contaminants are present in our local environment that can potentially impact migizigag on the reservation.

So far, unfortunately, traces of lead have been detected in migizi chick blood. With this information, the BRNRD plans to expand the study to include a larger range of migizi territory, to begin diet analysis to help pinpoint the source of contaminants, and to increase education and outreach efforts to reduce the use of toxic lead products on the reservation (for example, lead sinkers used in fishing or lead shots used for hunting). We thank you for considering our sacred creatures first before engaging in the use of any type of lead product or other contaminant. 

In order to test migizi for contaminants, nesting trees were scaled with climbing equipment and the flightless chicks were brought to ground level to be weighed, measured, and have blood samples drawn. 


Makwa have always been a significant part of the Bad River Natural Resources Department Wildlife Program—makwag are all over the reservation, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t seen a black bear roaming around the forest or even a more urban spot. The Wildlife Program conducts yearly makwa population surveys and aids in trapping and relocating nuisance bears when needed. 

Population Surveys

The black bear population is surveyed at the same time every year using bait stations on the reservation. Unfortunately, during the 2016 and 2017 season, severe weather and staff presence prevented the regular surveys from taking place. 

2015 Population Results

In this year, the makwa population remained healthy and on the rise on the Bad River Reservation, as 44 of the 50 bait stations (88 percent) were hit during this year’s survey. This is up from 16 percent in 2013 and 28 percent in 2014. 

Nuisance Control

In 2017, the BRNRD Wildlife and Conservation Enforcement programs relocated 4 nuisance bears out of a total of 13 bear complaints that were investigated by the wildlife and conservation enforcement programs. 

Relocating bears is only a last resort action. Before reporting a nuisance bear in your area, make sure that there is no trash lying around (especially food wrappers and containers) and keep your dog and cat food indoors where bears cannot access it. Bird feeders may need to be removed from your yard if they are getting frequented regularly by Makwa.  We regularly see spikes in bear activity around the communities in the spring, then again mid to the end of June when breeding activity peaks, and again in the fall just before winter.  Never go out of your way to feed a makwa, as this will teach them to hang around you or your house. This could end up bothering you as well as other people in the area, and could lead to a makwa getting needlessly shot and killed, if not relocated. 

Remember to respect our dear neighbors—Makwa belongs here just as much as we do.


2017 Marked the 20th Year of Ma’iingan Research 
on the Bad River Reservation!

The Bad River Natural Resources Department began monitoring wolves with radio telemetry back in 1997—three wolf packs were documented that year. Then, in 2011, a fourth pack, called the Potato River Pack, was also documented regularly using parts of the Bad River Reservation. In 2013, the Tribe formally adopted its first version of the Ma’iingan Relationship Plan.

The Ma’iingan Relationship Plan was revised in 2019, and the Wildlife Program is looking for feedback from the community (Ma’iingan Dodem in particular) for these revisions. Please consider signing up for this event and sharing your input!

Today, the BRNRD continues to monitor wolf packs through their tracks and scat, radio collars, trail cameras, and nighttime howl surveys. Evidence suggests that 21 to 26 ma’iinganag were regularly using the reservation before a number of ma’iingaans (wolf pups) were born in the spring of 2017. 

There is no wolf harvest permitted on the Bad River Reservation and Ma’iingan is recognized as a tribally protected species.

Piping Plover Recovery Efforts on Chequamegon Point

What are Piping Plovers?

Piping Plovers are small, sand-colored shorebirds, between the size of a sparrow and a robin, that nest only on wide beaches between sand dunes and the shoreline. The Great Lakes population of these birds are listed as endangered due to nesting habitat loss and disturbance by humans, their pet dogs, and ATV traffic. 

Piping Plovers were listed as endangered back in 1986, when there were only 16 nesting pairs left around the Great Lakes. Since then, the number of pairs has grown to 70, as of 2014. We still have a long way to go. 

Project Goal

The goal of the Piping Plover Project is to get these birds off the endangered species list by helping their population reach a higher, stable number closer to what occurred naturally before human interference. 

To accomplish this, two Piping Plover “Monitors” are recruited every year to monitor the areas where these birds nest. Every day during breeding season, they walk the beaches to find and guard plover nests, watch for signs of natural predators and human disturbances, assist in plover chick banding, and educate the public visitors, especially those who bring dogs. 

Informational signs are also posted along the beaches where the plovers are nesting. If you come across a roped-off area or beach, please do not enter it, even if you cannot see the plovers. Keep pets close to you and do not approach any birds.

Who’s Involved?

This project is a cooperative effort between the Bad River Natural Resources Department, the National Parks Service Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, the U.S. Fish and Wilslide Service, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the Nature Conservancy. 


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