Nongame Wildlife - Northeast Region

Northern portion of the region

Gaea Crozier, Nongame Wildlife Specialist
[email protected]


Southern portion of the region

Spencer Rettler, Nongame Wildlife Specialist
Email: [email protected]

1201 East Highway 2
Grand Rapids, MN 55744


Info Center
Phone: 651-296-6157 or 888-MINNDNR (646-6367)
Email: [email protected]


The Northeast Region contains pristine lakes and extensive forests. It includes ten counties and some of the largest swaths of forests, lakes, and rivers in the state. Forests of aspen, birch and maple in the southern counties transition to boreal coniferous forests of pine, spruce, fir and cedar in the northeastern counties of this region. It encompasses the Brainerd Lakes area, Big Sandy Lake, the lakes surrounding the city of Aitkin, the large state forests of Pine and Carlton counties, the widespread forests and numerous lakes north of Grand Rapids, the extensive bogs of Koochiching County, and the “Arrowhead Region”.


Wildlife in the region

Here you can find nesting boreal and great gray owls, spruce grouse, and many warblers like the Tennessee warbler, Connecticut warbler, and bay-breasted warbler. This region is also the only place in Minnesota where black-throated blue warblers breed! Other notable birds in this region are the northern goshawk, red-shouldered hawk, bald eagle, common loon, Canada jay and osprey.

The northeast region is home to most of Minnesota’s bat species, including the northern long-eared bat, little brown bat, and the migratory hoary bat. Imperiled fish species include gilt darter, pugnose shiner, northern longear sunfish, and Nipigon cisco. Amphibians and reptiles like the four-toed salamander, spotted salamander, Blanding’s turtle, and wood turtle can also be found here.


Projects in the region

Staff in the region are hard at work studying rare species like the northern goshawk, four-toed salamander, red-shouldered hawk and Blanding’s turtle. They’re monitoring common loons and restoring habitats of threatened species like the common tern and wood turtle. In addition, forest management is a major factor shaping wildlife habitat in this region. Staff are trying to better understand how forest management influences rare species like the northern goshawk and four-toed salamander.

Current projects in the Northeast

Past projects in the Northeast

  • Common loon migration study
  • Lowland conifer bird study
  • Sensitive shoreline project
  • Research on Northern goshawks
  • Surveys for Red-shouldered hawks
  • Boreal Owl Project
  • Black-throated Blue Warbler Project


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