Got Nature? Blog

Posted on October 6th, 2017 in Alert, Forestry, Safety, Timber Marketing, Woodlands | No Comments »

Indiana DNR IndentityThe Indiana DNR bovine tuberculosis surveillance team earned the Excellence in Conservation Award from the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Agency for their bovine tuberculosis surveillance and monitoring efforts in 2016.

In 2016, a wild white-tailed deer tested positive for bovine tuberculosis in Franklin County, Indiana. Bovine tuberculosis is a bacterial disease most often found in cattle and captive cervids, but can be transmitted to wild white-tailed deer and other wild mammals. The DNR tested more than 2,000 hunter-harvested deer in 2016 and did not find another bovine tuberculosis positive deer. For more information on bovine tuberculosis in wild white-tailed deer check out our Purdue Extension-FNR webpage: Bovine Tb in wild white-tailed deer: background and frequently asked questions.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Bovine Tb resources
Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) Bovine Tb resources
USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Bovine Tb disease information
Michigan DNR Bovine Tb information
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Bovine Tb resources
Center for Disease Control Bovine Tb factsheet

Jarred Brooke, Extension Wildlife Specialist
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Bagworm caterpillar.The evergreen bagworm, as its name implies, is well known for its ability to defoliate evergreen trees and shrubs like spruce, arborvitae, fir, junipers and pine. When given a chance, it will also feed on deciduous trees like maples, honeylocust, and crabapples. In late May and early June bagworms hatch from eggs that overwinter in the bag of their mother. When young bagworms begin feeding on broadleaved plants the caterpillars are too small to feed all the way through, so they leave circular patterns of skeletonization. Bagworms can be easily controlled with a spray application of spinosad (Conserve, or Fertilome borer and bagworm killer), or Bacillus thuringiensis (Dipel). More control options are available on the Purdue Tree Doctor App,

View this video located on the Purdue Plant Doctor App Suite Facebook page to watch a young bagworm caterpillar poke its head out of its silken bag to feed on a maple leaf. The young caterpillar scrapes the leaf surface to feed, and cuts bits of green tissue and glues it on its back. At the end of the video it sticks out its legs and flips the entire bag over to hide from the lights.

Purdue Plant Doctor App Suite, Purdue Extension-Entomology
Landscape & Oranmentals-Bagworms, The Education Store
Upcoming Workshops, Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources
Ask An Expert, Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources

FNR contacts:
Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forestry Specialist
Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Lenny D Farlee, Sustaining Hardwood Extension Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Cliff Sadof, Professor
Purdue University Department of Entomology

Storm damage, trees downSafety first! Stay clear and look for dangerous hanging limbs, broken branches and other failures before beginning cleanup or inspections. Keep others clear of the areas beneath and around damaged trees. Be alert for power lines that could be involved with damaged trees. All utility lines should be considered energized and dangerous.

Lindsey Purcell, Purdue urban forestry specialist, shares, “in my experience, during storm cleanup, many tree owners are faced with the decision of what to do with their trees relative to restoration or removal”.  There are several types of tree damage that occur from violent weather. Each has its own specific assessment considerations. All parts of the tree should be inspected during a post-storm assessment. This requires the expertise of trained, professional arborists to assist with the decision making regarding the best course of action. Unfortunately, there are those who take advantage of the situation and overcharge or provide poor advice when it comes to the best decision on their trees. Don’t make any hasty decisions and be sure you are hiring an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist, ask for references and proof of insurance in the process.

View publication Trees and Storms located in the Purdue Extension-The Education Store for more information.

Trees and Storms – The Education Store, Purdue Education Resource Center
Caring for storm-damaged trees/How to Acidify Soil in the Yard – In the Grow, Purdue Extension
Expert: Some storm damage can be easily prevented – Fox 59 News
What to do with your damaged trees – WLFI
Why Is My Tree Dying? – The Education Store
Tree Risk Management – The Education Store
Mechanical Damage to Trees: Mowing and Maintenance Equipment – The Education Store

Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forestry Specialist
Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Once aquatic invasive species (AIS) are established in a new environment, typically, they are difficult or impossible to remove. Even if they are removed, their impacts are often irreversible. It is much more environmentally and economically sound to prevent the introduction of new AIS through thoughtful purchasing and proper care of organisms. Check out this article titled Aquatic Invasive Species – Organisms in Trade for a list of webinars bringing resources to teachers, water garden hobbyists, aquatic landscaping designers and to aquatic enthusiasts.  The video titled Beauty Contained: Preventing Invasive Species from Escaping Water Gardens is also available in the article which contains guidelines that were adopted from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force along with addressing the care and selection of plants and animals for water gardens.

Aquatic Invaders in the Marketplace, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
Great Lakes Sea Grant Network (GLERL), NOAA – Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
Indiana Bans 28 Invasive Aquatic Plants, The Helm – Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
A Field Guide to Fish Invaders of the Great Lake Regions, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
Purdue Researchers Get to the Bottom of Another Quagga Mussel Impact, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
Lady Quagga Announces Latest Tour, llinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
Protect Your Waters, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service & U.S. Coast Guard

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
University of Illinois Extension and Purdue University Extension

Quagga mussels, which arrived in Lake Michigan in the 1990s via ballast water discharged from ships, have colonized vast expanses of the Lake Michigan bottom, reaching densities as high as roughly 35,000 quagga mussels per square meter. The invasive species that can have major economic impacts filters up to 4 liters of water per day, and so far seems unaffected by any means of population control. It is also a constant threat to other systems, as it is readily transported between water bodies.

Researchers have long known that these voracious filter feeders impact water quality in the lake, but their influence on water movement had remained largely a mystery.

“Although Lake Michigan is already infested with these mussels, an accurate filtration model would be imperative for determining the fate of substances like nutrients and plankton in the water,” Purdue University PhD candidate David Cannon said. “In other quagga mussel-threatened systems, like Lake Mead, this could be used to determine the potential impact of mussels on the lake, which could in turn be used to develop policy and push for funding to keep mussels out of the lakes.”

For full article and video view Purdue Researchers Get to the Bottom of Another Quagga Mussel Impact.

A Field Guide to Fish Invaders of the Great Lake Regions, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
Lady Quagga Announces Latest Tour, llinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
Protect Your Waters, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service & U.S. Coast Guard

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
University of Illinois Extension and Purdue University Extension

Great Lakes Early Detection NetworkThe Forest Pest Outreach and Survey Project at Purdue reminds us that early detection is the best way to slow the spread of invasive species. You can report invasive species by calling the Invasive Species hotline at 1-866-NO-EXOTIC (1-866-663-9684) or using the free Great Lakes Early Detection Network smartphone app, which can be downloaded on iTunes or GooglePlay. View video to see how easy it is to use the app, Great Lakes Early Detection Network App (GLEDN).

If you’re interested in learning more about invasive pests and how to report them, sign up for one of our free Early Detector Training workshops!

To register for workshops and to view full article see Forest Pest Outreach and Survey Project.

National Invasive Species Awareness Week: February 27-March 3, 2017.

Invasive Species – Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Ask an Expert – Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources
Indiana Invasive Species Council – Includes: IDNR, Purdue Department of Entomology and Professional Partners
Invasive Species Week a reminder to watch for destructive pests, Purdue entomologist says – Purdue Agriculture News

Sara Stack, MS student
Purdue Department of Entomology

Posted on January 4th, 2017 in Alert, Forestry, Wildlife | No Comments »
Deer - Lesions

Lesions from bovine Tb infection in the chest cavity of a wild white-tailed deer. Photo by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Bovine tuberculosis (bovine Tb) is an on-going issue in Indiana’s wild white-tailed deer herd. Bovine Tb was first discovered in wild deer in Indiana in August 2016 near a bovine Tb positive cattle farm in Franklin County. Since August, Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Board of Animal Health have been monitoring and managing the bovine Tb situation. A second cattle farm in Franklin County tested positive for bovine Tb in December 2016, but no hunter harvested deer have tested positive for bovine Tb during the 2016 deer season. The IDNR will continue to monitor and manage the bovine Tb situation according to a departmental management plan. View the following web page to find more information, Bovine Tb in Wild White-Tailed Deer: Background and Frequently Asked Questions.

Jarred Brooke, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Posted on November 3rd, 2016 in Alert, How To | No Comments »

29048672594_f96f6b5b31Purdue Extension’s Don’t be a Zombie exhibit is traveling the country to illustrate the need to prepare for emergencies. It urges people to be ready for an emergency and have a plan. Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make an Emergency Communication Plan for you and your family because you just don’t know when disasters will impact your community. At the Indiana State Fair, almost 60,000 visitors got a chance to check out the Don’t be a Zombie – Be Prepared exhibit, complete with zombies, interactive displays, maze, and even a video game made to simulate a zombie apocalypse!

The display aims to have its viewers take away four main points:

  • Be informed – know what threats may affect your community
  • Make a family emergency plan – a plan for everyone and everything in case of disaster
  • Make a 72-hour emergency kit – enough supplies for everyone involved, along with first-aid, a crank radio, and a gallon of water per person each day
  • Practice and maintain these plans regularly – a plan is only good if it is up to date and known by everyone

The Don’t Be a Zombie exhibit is currently travelling to museums all over the country, its existence thanks to the collaboration between Purdue Extension and EDEN, a prime source for disaster preparedness information.

Purdue Agriculture Traveling Exhibit Program
Disaster Recovery Project Management: Bringing Order from Chaos, The Education Store
First Steps to Flood Recovery, The Education Store
Keeping Food Safe During Emergencies, The Education Store
Emergency Action Planning for Livestock Operations, The Education Store

Purdue Traveling Exhibit Program

Posted on October 6th, 2016 in Alert, Plants | No Comments »

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-2-29-37-pmGenetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs, is a topic that continues to be in the news and yet  many of us know relatively little about this topic. We want to know what we’re eating, and we want to know how this topic is impacting the environment. Knowing more equips us to make the best decisions for ourselves and generations to come. That’s why The Science of GMOs website was created, to help break down the information and address some of the most important questions and concerns that many have. You can always count on this site to address this complicated and evolving issue with neutral, scientifically sound information.

Submit a question by visiting The Science of GMOs website:

GMO Issues Facing Indiana Farmers in 2001, The Education Store
Grain Quality Issues Related to Genetically Modified Crops, The Education Store
Field Crops: Corn Insect Control Recommendations – 2015, The Education Store
Glyphosate, Weeds, and Crops: Biology and Management of Common Lambsquarters, The Education Store
Indiana Vegetable Planting Calendar, The Education Store

Purdue Agriculture

Posted on February 5th, 2016 in Alert, How To, Safety | No Comments »
Female Aedes aegypti mosquito

Photo by: James Gathany, Center for Disease Control and Prevention

You may have likely heard of the Zika virus at this point – a new infection on the rise that is drawing many parallels to the West Nile virus that caused 286 deaths in the United States in 2012. Like the West Nile, Zika was first discovered over sixty years ago and wasn’t considered to be a large concern until it reemerged unexpectedly years later. Both viruses are carried by mosquitos, and 80% of people infected display no symptoms and are at risk of unwittingly further spreading the infection. And most importantly, both viruses have no current treatment or vaccination and can be deadly.

When discussing the Zika virus, it is important to know that currently there have been no cases of infection in the continental U.S. While this means there is no need to immediately panic, transmission of diseases are often unpredictable as human population and global travel increase. Zika appeared in Brazil last May and has quickly spread to over 20 countries across Central and South America, causing the World Health Organization to declare the virus an international public health emergency, predicting that Zika could infect as many as 4 million people by the end of this year. With that ominous prediction looming over us, a good precaution to take is knowing how the mosquitos potentially carrying the virus can be controlled and avoided.

Simply avoiding mosquitos is an effective first step. Staying indoors during the daytime when mosquitos feed can help lessen exposure to mosquitos, as well as wearing long sleeves, pants, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved mosquito repellant when going outdoors.

Another preventative measure you can take is eliminating potential mosquito breeding sites from your area. Mosquitos breed in containers of standing water, and getting rid of them can reduce mosquito population in your area. Dog bowls, birdbaths, potted plants, and similar objects are all potential breeding grounds, and removing them means less places for mosquito eggs to hatch.

Again, the Zika virus isn’t currently an immediate concern for people in the United States, but this information is crucial to know as scientists learn more about how this virus is spread. At any rate, they’re also give good tips for avoiding annoying mosquito bites! To learn more, please check out the Purdue University Agriculture News article “Controlling and avoiding mosquitos helps minimize risk of Zika.”

Controlling and avoiding mosquitos helps minimize risk of Zika – Purdue University Agriculture News
Zika virus and mosquito-borne disease experts – Purdue University News
Mosquitos – Purdue University Medical Entomology
Zika Virus – World Health Organization
Management of Ponds, Wetlands, and Other Water Reservoirs to Minimize Mosquitos – The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center

Aaron Doenges, videographer & assistant web designer
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources

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