Got Nature? Blog

Meet Dr. Stephen Spears the director of wildlife ecology at the 10,000 acre zoo in Ohio, The Wilds. Dr. Spears takes you on a virtual tour of their hellbender conservation center and gives us insight of where they find hellbenders in Ohio. Don’t miss the question and answer time with Dr. Spears and Purdue University’s wildlife biologists.

Resources
Help the Hellbender Website
Hellbender Havoc, Video Game: Google Play / Apple App Store
The Wilds
Help the Hellbender, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Hellbenders Rock!, The Education Store

Rod Williams, Professor of Wildlife Science
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Do you know what a hellbender is or where they can be found? This live session will answer those questions for you, show you what they look like by taking you on a virtual tour, share where they live, what they like to eat and who their predators are.

Resources
Help the Hellbender Website
Hellbender Havoc, Video Game: Google Play / Apple App Store
Help the Hellbender, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Hellbenders Rock!, The Education Store

Rod Williams, Professor of Wildlife Science
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Purdue Forestry & Natural Resources extension specialists gathered for a Facebook LIVE event held May 5th to answer questions on a wide range of topics from woodland management to wildlife habitat, ponds to invasive species and more.

Topics ranged from what to do about moles, voles and Canada geese causing damage in your yard, to how to pick the right tree for your landscape and how to measure the worth of your trees. The presentation also included segments on what to do about algae in your pond to how to know if you need to restock it as well as what to do about invasive plant species and how to protect your trees from deer damage.

Get advice from extension specialists Jarred Brooke, Lenny Farlee, Brian MacGowan, Lindsey Purcell, Rod Williams and Mitch Zischke in the video below.

If you have any further questions feel free to send your questions by submitting our Ask An Expert form.

Resources mentioned:
Purdue Extension – The Education Store
Purdue Report Invasive Species Website
Midwest Invasive Species Network Database
TreesAreGood.org
Find a Forester in Indiana
Improve My Property for Wildlife, Purdue Extension
Online Mole Program, Event May 14th, Purdue FNR Extension
Have you seen a hairless squirrel, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue FNR Extension
Stocking Fish, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Tree Selection for the “Un-natural” Environment, The Education Store
Selecting a Nuisance Control Operator, The Education Store
Forest Products Price Report (pdf), Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Indiana DNR Nuisance Goose Control Options (pdf), Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Turtles of Indiana, The Education Store
Salamanders of Indiana, The Education Store
Frogs and Toads of Indiana, The Education Store
Snakes and Lizards of Indiana, The Education Store
Aquatic Plant Management, The Education Store
Native Grasses, The Education Store
Preventing Deer Browsing on Trees/Shrubs, Video, Purdue Extension Youtube Channel

Brian MacGowan, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Megan_Gunn_in_water
Several Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources faculty and staff members along with Purdue Extension specialists will be participating in a webinar series in conjunction with the Tippecanoe County Partnership for Water Quality from May 11-14.

The eight-part Virtual Conservation Conversations series, scheduled for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day, Monday through Thursday, will be streamed live on the TCPWQ Facebook page. The sessions are a substitute for the annual Conservation Field Day for fourth grade students in Tippecanoe County.Individual event details are available here: TCPWQ Facebook Events.

The schedule for the Conservation Conversation Series is below:

PrescribedFireMonday, May 11
11 a.m. – Jarred Brooke, Purdue Extension Wildlife Specialist.
Topic: Is There Such a Thing as “Good” Fire? Prescribed fire and its impact on wildlife habitat

1 p.m. – Shelby Royal, Hellbender Husbandry Lab Coordinator.
Topic: Hellbender salamanders

Tuesday, May 12
11 a.m. – Jim McKenna, Operational Tree Breeder for the USDA Forest Service
Topic: Tree Grafting: What, Why and How? Tree grafting, propagation and forests in Indiana

1 p.m. – Megan Gunn, Aquatic Ecology Lab Manager and Undergraduate Student Recruiter
Topic: What Fish and Invertebrates Can Tell Us About Water Quality

HellbenderInWaterWednesday, May 13
11 a.m. – Nerisa Ve’e-Taua, Graduate Research Assistant

1 p.m. – College of Science speaker

Thursday, May 14
11 a.m. – Indiana American Water speaker

1 p.m – Indiana Department of Natural Resources representative

For more online events, view Purdue Extension-FNR Calendar.

Resources
Indiana’s Urban Woodlots, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Tree Appraisal and the Value of Trees, The Education Store
The Nature of Teaching: Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store
Help the Hellbender, Video, Purdue Extension YouTube Channel

Wendy Mayer, FNR Communications Coordinator
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Pond and Wildlife Management Contact a Professional web page.The Purdue Extension Pond and Wildlife Management website has been updated with a contact search function to better help you find the right professional biologist or conservationist in your county to serve your needs.

The newly created County and Habitat Management Contacts page allows individuals to search for experts within their county by simply selecting it from a dropdown menu. Within each individual county is a listing of Indiana Department of Natural Resources contacts, extension specialists and more.

In addition, the contacts page lists various agencies and services that can also help with questions about pond or habitat management. These resources include the Indiana DNR, the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Pheasants and Quail Forever, Purdue Extension, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Soil and Water Conservation Districts and event private consultants.

As fishing, hunting and other wildlife recreation continues to be popular in Indiana, Purdue Extension has developed this new program to help Indiana landowners manage their ponds and wildlife.

Along with the search features to help you find professional contacts, you will also find these topics and resources on the website:

  • The Pond Ecosystem
  • Fish Population Management
  • Pond Construction and Maintenance
  • Aquatic Vegetation Management
  • Evaluating Your Property
  • Forest Management
  • Grassland Management
  • Habitat Management Planning

To better understand and manage pond ecosystems in Indiana for fishing and wildlife habitat this website provides detailed information to help you reach your goals.

Resources:
Salmon and Trout of the Great Lakes: A Visual Identification Guide, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Pond Management: Stocking Fish in Indiana Ponds, The Education Store
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store
Illinois & Indiana Sea Grant, using research, outreach, and education to bring the latest science to communities and their residents
How to Score Your White-tailed Deer, Video, The Education Store
How to Build a Plastic Mesh Deer Exclusion Fence, The Education Store
Assessing Your Land’s Potential for Wildlife, The Education Store

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

Mitch Zischke, Clinical Assistant Professor
Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Perrysburg_Small_Group_with_Computer_and_Map
Au_Gres_Small_Group

The Tipping Point Planner project, a joint effort by Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Purdue Extension, was recognized in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) 2019 Science Report (PDF, 13MB) for its accomplishments last year.

The report, which “provides a snapshot of many of the research accomplishments of NOAA and its academic and industry partners”, was broken down into three main areas: reducing societal impacts from hazardous weather and other environmental phenomena; enabling the sustainable use and stewardship of ocean and coastal resources; and advancing a robust and effective research, development and transition enterprise. The Tipping Point Planner was mentioned in the Sustainable Use and Stewardship of Ocean and Coastal Resources segment.

The Tipping Point Planner was created to assist community leaders throughout the Great Lakes Basin in making long-term management decisions that affect environmental health of local resources and a community’s quality of life. The program, which includes a web-based decision support system, helps identify the status of watershed health by exploring land use, natural resources and environmental concerns, before determining the impacts of land-use decisions and management practices and, in turn, enables communities keep coastal ecosystems from reaching critical environmental limits, or tipping points, and becoming unstable.

In 2019, the Tipping Point Planner team worked with communities in Au Gres, Michigan; and Perrysburg, Ohio, to create action plans regarding conservation and ecological resource management. All told, more than 100 people in these areas utilized the Tipping Point Planner and collaborated in making the community decisions.

“This project challenges the research community because we have had to completely reorient the way that we analyze our data,” said Dr. Bryan Pijanowski, professor of landscape and soundscape ecology. “We have had to be more creative and imaginative than ever before. It challenges the way we think about our long-held theories in science, too. And this is only possible if research, university engagement and communities work closely together to solve problems. I’m convinced that high impact solutions can come from close partnerships like this.”

Pijanowski; Kara Salazar, assistant program leader and extension specialist for sustainable communities; Lydia Utley, data analyst; and Daniel Walker, community planning extension specialist, are the project leaders for the Tipping Point Planner. View the full Tipping Point Planning team.

The featured segment on the Tipping Point Planning program from the NOAA annual science report is below.

NOAA_Science_Report

Resources
The Tipping Point Planner project
With GIS, Communities See How Land-Use Changes May Affect Local Water Quality, Environmental Systems Research Institute
Tipping Point Planner curriculum, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Urban Best Management & Low Impact Development Practices, The Education Store
Agricultural Best Management Practices, The Education Store

Kara Salazar, Assistant Program Leader and Extension Specialist for Sustainable Communities
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


pond fishThis guide called Indiana Pond Fish, Species Identification Card Set identifies commonly stocked fish and problem fish that may be encountered in Indiana ponds. It includes full-color pictures and information about sunfishes, other panfish, sport fish, catfishes and bullheads, carp, suckers and buffalo, minnows, shiners and much more.

These colorful cards are a great resource for teachers, 4-H leaders, natural resource educators, anglers and fishing enthusiast. Enjoy this free download or place an order through The Education Store to receive the printed colorful cards.

Resources
Aquaculture & Aquatics, Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources
Salmon and Trout of the Great Lakes: A Visual Identification Guide, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Pond Management: Stocking Fish in Indiana Ponds, The Education Store
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store
Illinois & Indiana Sea Grant, using research, outreach, and education to bring the latest science to communities and their residents.

Mitch Zischke, Clinical Assistant Professor
Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


With all of the recent rain we have had throughout the state,raccoon close-up I have received several inquiries about effects on wildlife and what we can expect.  While some flooding is natural in low areas and wildlife are adapted to respond, extreme flooding can impact wildlife. Flood waters can wash away nests or drown developing or very young animals for those living in low-lying areas. For example, heavy spring rains can reduce nest success of wild turkeys.

In many cases, wildlife will adapt by simply moving to higher ground. I tend to get an increase in inquiries about snakes after flooding. They begin showing up in neighborhood homes when they have never been observed in years past. Certainly our environment changes over time and wildlife can and do respond to these changes.  However, sudden changes are likely due to a response of snakes moving to drier ground. The good news is this and other similar displacement of wildlife is usually temporary.

What can we do?  I’m afraid not much for our currently flooded friends. However, in the long-term, times like this reinforce the need to create and enhance quality wildlife habitat. Providing wildlife with quality habitat that contains the necessary food, cover and water resources gives them a fighting chance to deal with issues that inevitably arise. In addition, wetlands that landowners build and restore on their properties not only enhance wildlife habitat, but also help retain moderate flood waters and recharge groundwater supplies.

If some unwanted wildlife has overstayed their welcome in and around your home, check out the Purdue Education Store publication, Considerations for Trapping Nuisance Wildlife with Box Traps. If you think you have found a sick or injured animal, you can find a list of licensed Wild Animal Rehabilitators in your area on the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Orphaned and Injured webpage. In Indiana, wildlife rehabilitators have necessary state and federal permits to house and care for sick or injured wild animals.

Additional Resources
Preventing Wildlife Damage – Do You Need a Permit? The Education Store, Purdue Extension
The Basics of Managing Wildlife on Agricultural Lands​, The Education Store, Purdue Extension

Brian J. MacGowan, Extension Wildlife Specialist
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University


man with fishing polesJune 2019 IDNR Wildlife Bulletin Newsletter: Ever hooked a fish that left you scratching your head? There is now an easy way to help identify your catch. Just use the DNR Fish Identification Form to submit a request and email a photo or video. Not only will you be able to settle disputes, but we can also receive important location information for rare species.

Completion of this form is voluntary. Data submitted may be shared within DNR and partners with the discretion of DNR staff. Personal information will be used to process your observation and may also be used for participation in surveys and other secondary purposes. A fisheries biologist may contact you with questions about your observation or to set up a site visit to verify authenticity details of any photos submitted.

What we’re looking for in fish ID photos:

  1. A picture of the entire fish with something in it to reference size (e.g., ruler, coin)
  2. Close up of any unique features of the fish

Please email photos to fishid@dnr.IN.gov in medium size .jpeg file format. Videos should be .mp4, wmv or .mov and less than 10 MB in size.

Resources
Wildlife Bulletin Newsletter, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Fishing Guide and Regulations, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
List of Indiana Fishes, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Recreational Fishing and Fish Consumption, Got Nature?, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources
A Fish Farmer’s Guide to Understanding Water Quality, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Pond Management: Stocking Fish in Indiana Ponds, The Education Store
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store

Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)


Salmon and Trout of the Great Lakes: A Visual Identification GuideThe Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources Extension have recently released a new publication through The Education Store. This collaborative publication is a visual identification guide on salmon and trout of the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes are home to eight species of salmon and trout. These species can be difficult to distinguish from each other as they overlap in their distributions and change appearance depending on their habitat and the time of year. This illustrated, peer-reviewed, two-page guide, courtesy of the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, shows important body features and helpful tips to identify and distinguish between salmon and trout species in the Great Lakes.

View the Salmon and Trout of the Great Lakes: A Visual Identification Guide on The Education Store-Purdue Extension. See below for other related publications and websites.

Resources
A Fish Farmer’s Guide to Understanding Water Quality, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Pond Management: Stocking Fish in Indiana Ponds, The Education Store
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store
DNR Fish Identification Form, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, IISG Homepage

Mitchell Zischke, Clinical Assistant Professor
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


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