Tuesday, August 1, 2017


Nutria in the Wetlands 

There are many reptiles, amphibians and mammals that live in our Eugene wetlands. In the 1930’s, Nutria were introduced to Oregon because they were a quick and easy way for farmers to make money in the fur trade. However, the fur trade did not last long and died out in the 1940’s. When the fur trade collapsed the nutria were released and the population quickly spread throughout western Oregon.

Nutria are commonly mistaken for a beaver. Although they have some similarities, they are also very different. Nutria’s are smaller animals with a thin, pointed tail. Their fur ranges from yellowish to dark brown, they have prominent orange incisors and are about two feet long. Their eyes, noses and ears are set high on their head and they can adapt easily to different habitats.

Nutria are an invasive species and they have become a problem in the wetlands. Numerous methods have been used to try and control the growing population but there has not been a solution yet. The Institute for Applied Ecology has a cookbook that offers recipe for invasive species including the nutria. To find out more about the cookbook, check out this website: https://appliedeco.org/product/theyre-cooked-recipes-to-combat-invasive-species/

On August 8th, we will be having our monthly wetland wander and this month will be focused on mammals found in the wetlands, such as the nutria. Join WREN at Wild Iris Ridge at 9am to learn more.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Family Exploration Day 
Saturday, August 5th
@ Golden Gardens

The sun is shining, children are out of school, and hopefully work is allowing time for some summer family fun! What better way to enjoy a Saturday then to have the Family come explore our beautiful wetlands!  

Join WREN for unstructured, independent exploration of the wetlands! We provide a backpack of binoculars, field guides, bug net, hand magnifier, and bug boxes, you bring your curiosity and sense of adventure! Drop by anytime between 10am and 2pm to check out your backpack. WREN staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer your questions. This event is FREE and families are encouraged! 

Directions to Golden Garden can be found
 on our Facebook page @WRENintheWEW

Friday, July 14, 2017

Crab Spider

Crab Spider

Have you ever seen a spider that resembles a crab? This spider was found on our June Wetland Wander and was a fun sight to see! 

Similar to a crab, most of these spiders move sideways using their hind legs. Additionally, they have two strong front legs that are used to catch prey. Unlike other spiders, crab spiders do not spin webs to catch their prey. Instead, they use camouflage  to wait for their prey and then attack with a venomous bite! Their venom is potent enough to injure large insects but is not dangerous to humans. 

The Crab Spider on our walk was camouflaged into a wildflower waiting for its prey. They generally are good at not being seen so this was an awesome sight to see! 

Find out more about other animals and plants that inhabit our Eugene Wetlands at our next Wetland Wander in August!   

Monday, July 3, 2017

July Wetland Wander

Tuesday, July 11th

Summer is here and the birds are singing along! Grab your binoculars and join WREN for our next Wetland Wander at Hansen/See-sill! We will be exploring the wetlands and looking for all the incredible birds that live there. This wander will be lead by Dave Bontrager, a bird specialist.

Directions: Take Royal Avenue West to the ODFW parking lot at Fern Ridge Reservoir. If you have an ODFW permit you may park in the lot, otherwise, park along Royal Avenue. The site is on the north side of the Royal, to the east of the house near the end of the road; look for the gate with BLM signage, and WREN staff.

Wetland Wanders are casual walks through the West Eugene Wetlands. The walks are FREE and open to the public. We suggest to bring water and appropriate layers. WREN will provide binoculars for anyone interested. 

For more information:
Call: 541-338-7047
Email: info@wewetlands.org

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Summer Solstice, June 20th 2017

What is summer solstice? When is summer solstice? 

Well, the summer solstice is just around the corner on June 20th! The summer solstice is the longest day of sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere and marks the first day of summer. On the contrary, in the Southern Hemisphere, it is the winter solstice in June and the shortest day of the year. The June solstice occurs when the sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer while the winter solstice occurs in December when the sun is directly above Tropic of Capricorn.

The word solstice comes from the Latin words sol, meaning sun and sistere, meaning to come to a stop or stand still. On the June Solstice day, the sun reaches its northernmost position as seen on Earth. At this moment, it’s zenith does not move and stands still at the Tropic of Cancer. Many people think that the Earth is the closest to this sun on the summer solstice; however, it is actually the farthest from the sun! Additionally, even though it is the longest day of the year, it is not the earliest that the sun rises! If someone was in the Arctic Circle, this is the only day of the year that they experience 24 hours of daylight. 

Celebrate the longest day of the year in the Wetlands or Join WREN at the UO Museum of Natural History. Check out our FB page for more information!