Got Nature? Blog

 

Peach trees showing symptoms of peach leaf curl caused by Taphrina

Figure 1: Peach trees showing symptoms of peach leaf curl caused by Taphrina

Purdue Landscape Report: The past two months have been relatively wet and cool to warm. This prolonged period of overcast conditions, high humidity, and light to moderate rainfall is perfect for some of our foliar disease issues.

“April flowers bring May Leaf spots” doesn’t have the right ring to it, but we are seeing quite a bit of leaf curl and leaf blister. These are two disease issues caused by Taphrina spp. fungi. Like the common names of their diseases, the symptoms caused by a Taphrina infection include leaf deformation.

Oak leaf blister symptoms ranging from light green early infections, changing to yellow and then becoming necrotic as the season progresses.

Figure 2: Oak leaf blister symptoms ranging from light green early infections, changing to yellow and then becoming necrotic as the season progresses.

In the case of Peach, the leaves turn light yellow, bright pink, or red where tissue puckers and twists leading to curled leaves. In oak, leaves develop localized blisters that are light green early in the season and are easy to miss since the color is not very different from healthy tissue.

However, the blisters will turn brown later in the season which makes them more noticeable. Maples also get a disease caused by Taphrina, but it does not cause as much distortion as it does on oak or peach. Severe maple leaf blister can lead to leaves becoming slightly contorted, but the primary symptom is brown necrotic lesions.

With cool wet weather over an extended period of time, we have been seeing more foliar disease issues than in the last few years.

Figure 3: Symptoms of leaf blister on maple trees.

Figure 3: Symptoms of leaf blister on maple trees.

Since disease problems can take time to develop, Taphrina is likely just the harbinger for some other disease issues we may see in early summer if moderate conditions continue. If the weather dries out as it heats up, it will halt many of these foliar problems in their tracks.

Original article posted: Purdue Landscape Report

Subscribe and receive the newsletter: Purdue Landscape Report Newsletter.

Resources:
Learn How to Support Oak-Hickory Ecosystems, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) Got Nature? Post
“The Nature of Oaks” Webinar, Indiana forestry & Woodland Owners Association
How to Find an Arborist Near You!, Purdue Extension – FNR Got Nature? Post
Diplodia Tip Blight of Two-Needle Pines, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Boxwood Blight, The Education Store
Disease of Landscape Plants: Cedar Apple and Related Rusts on Landscape Plants, The Education Store
Planting Your Tree Part 1: Choosing Your Tree, Purdue Extension YouTube Channel
Indiana Department of Natural Resources: Invasive Species
Indiana Invasive Species Council
Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA)
Report Invasive, Purdue Extension
Aquatic Invasive Species, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
Episode 11 – Exploring the challenges of Invasive Species, Habitat University-Natural Resource University
What are invasive species and why should I care?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – FNR
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store

John Bonkowski, Lead Extension Administrator
Purdue Department of Botany and Plant Pathology


Posted on June 4th, 2024 in Forestry, How To, Urban Forestry, Wildlife | No Comments »

Oak-hickory forests, which are comprised of a variety of different tree species, shrubs, grasses, sedges and wildflowers, as well as wildlife, including songbirds, are important to Indiana’s biodiversity. Learn how you can support oak-hickory ecosystems on your property through a new publication, “Forest Stewardship for Oak-Hickory Ecosystems in Indiana,” produced by Let the Sun Shine In – Indiana.

“The goal of this publication is to provide woodland owners with information about the stewardship practices they can use to sustain and enhance oak-hickory ecosystems on their land,” said co-author Jarred Brooke, Purdue Extension wildlife specialist. “Having this information will help them make informed decisions about how to manage their land to meet their forestry and wildlife objectives.”Woodland of oak trees

The publication discusses various methods landowners can use on their properties, from midstory removal to overstory thinning, prescribed fire, supplemental planting, controlling deer browsing, crop tree release and invasive species control. It also details options for timber harvest, which can be used to regenerate the next generation of a forest. Additional resources from forestry and wildlife professionals as well as other publications discussing current research and management tips also are included in this document.

“Oak ecosystem management is confusing,” said co-author Dan Shaver, state forester for the Indiana Natural Resources Conservation Service. “This publication provides easy to understand basic concepts to help landowners see where their property fits in the oak restoration process. It does not answer all questions or provide all the technical details, but it will help reduce confusion and foster better communication and understanding between landowners and foresters.”

The publication is co-authored by Brooke, Shaver and Kyle Brazil, Central Hardwoods Joint Venture coordinator for the American Bird Conservancy.

“The oak-hickory ecosystem of southern Indiana is incredibly important to birds, other wildlife, and overall biodiversity,” Brazil said.

“Unfortunately, it’s continued persistence isn’t a given. Lack of management, and specifically lack of fire, over the past century has left it in peril. Restoring the oak-hickory ecosystem will require a concerted effort and private landowners are a key part of the solution. This publication is intended to help landowners understand how to manage oak ecosystems on their properties, and give them a roadmap for getting started.”

Man standing amidst an Oak-Hickory ecosystem.

Woodland owners who are curious about oak restoration or improving their woodlands for songbirds can reach out to their local IDNR forester, the Let the Sun Shine In – Indiana organization or Purdue Extension to find out how to get started.

Let the Sun Shine In – Indiana is a collaboration of several organizations with a shared goal of maintaining oak-hickory ecosystems for the benefit of the people and wildlife of Southern Indiana.

“The LSSI IN collaboration utilizes education and outreach opportunities for landowners, to inform them of the imperiled Oak-Hickory Ecosystem,” explained Judi Brown, coordinator of the Let the Sun Shine In – Indiana. “Part of this outreach includes providing the Oak Hickory Stewardship Guide to landowners. The Stewardship Guide explains common forest management concepts that they can utilize on their properties, and encourages the growth of oak and hickory trees from the acorn or nut into the forest canopy.”

The primary method of distribution of the Stewardship Guide is through the Indiana DNR district foresters, but the guide also is available online. LSSI IN is providing metal gate signs to recognize the stewardship of forest landowners who are actively managing their forest land.

Support for the stewardship guide was provided by the Central Hardwoods Joint Venture, the American Bird Conservancy, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry, Let the Sun Shine In – Indiana, Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources Extension, the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and the United States Forest Service.

To view this article along with other news and stories posted on the Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources website view: Publication Teaches Landowners How to Support Oak-Hickory Ecosystems.

Resources
ID That Tree: Shingle Oak, Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube Channel
ID That Tree: Red Oak Group, Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Channel
Red Oak Group – Hardwood Lumber and Veneer Series, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Shingle Oak, Morton Arboretum
The Nature of Oaks Webinar, Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Channel, Shared from Indiana Forestry & Woodland Owners Association
An Introduction to Trees of Indiana, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
ID That Tree, Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube playlist
Woodland Management Moment , Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube playlist
Invasive Species, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Playlist (Asian Bush Honeysuckle, Burning Bush, Callery Pear, Multiflora rose)
Finding help from a professional forester, Indiana Forestry & Woodland Owners Association

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

Jarred Brooke, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on June 3rd, 2024 in How To, Wildlife | No Comments »

MyDNRIndiana’s Outdoor Newsletter, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR): This summer, you may see turtles crossing roadways to find places to nest. Here’s how you can safely lend a helping hand:

  • Do not remove turtles from the area. They will want to return to their home range, even if it means spending the rest of their life trying. If it is safe to do so, you can move turtles off the roadway in the same direction in which they were already heading. Move them by grasping the back of the top shell.
  • If you see a snapping turtle trying to cross the road, be aware that grabbing a snapping turtle’s tail can damage its spine. To keep yourself and the snapping turtle safe, hold it by the top back of its shell and leverage it upward.

a turtle in the forest

Moreover, turtles as pets are challenging and costly due to their long lifespans, specialized care needs, and potential health risks. Different species require specific diets, habitats, and environmental conditions to thrive. Releasing pet turtles into the wild is harmful to both the turtles and native populations due to disease transmission and ecological disruptions. Although some regulations allow for pet turtle ownership, it’s essential to prioritize conservation efforts and responsible pet care practices. We must protect both captive and wild turtle populations.

To learn more about turtles, visit DNR: Turtles as Pets.

To subscribe to the newsletter visit MyDNR Email Newsletter.

Resources
Turtles of Indiana, The Education Store
Appreciating Reptiles and Amphibians in Nature, The Education Store
Forestry Management for Reptiles and Amphibians: A Technical Guide for the Midwest, The Education Store
The Nature of Teaching, Unit 3: Reptiles, Amphibians, and the Scientific Method, The Education Store
Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC)
Ask An Expert, Purdue Extension – FNR Playlist

Indiana Department of Natural Resources


Posted on May 9th, 2024 in Forestry, How To, Wildlife | No Comments »

Wild Bulletin, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fish and Wildlife: The hunt may be over soon, but the fun isn’t. Now is the time to create memories with your bird. You can preserve many parts of your turkey, such as the fan, spurs, and beards, to remind you of the experience. Plus, the meat of the wild turkey is excellent and healthy.

Watch the videos on how to process your turkey on the Indiana DNR – Turkey Hunting YouTube playlist.

Subscribe to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources YouTube Channel.

Subscribe to Wild Bulletin.

Resources:
Truths and Myths about Wild Turkey, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Wildlife, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube Channel
Managing Your Property for Fish & Wildlife, Ask an Expert. FNR YouTube Channel
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
Help With Wild Turkey Populations, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
Turkey Brood Reporting, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IN DNR)
Wild Turkey, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IN DNR)
Wild Turkey Hunting Biology and Management, Indian Department of Natural Resources (IN DNR)
Subscribe to Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources YouTube Channel, Wildlife Playlist

Indiana Department of Natural Resources – Division of Fish & Wildlife


Posted on May 9th, 2024 in Aquaculture/Fish, Great Lakes, Ponds, Wildlife | No Comments »

Wild Bulletin, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fish and Wildlife: Paddling is a great way to enjoy Indiana’s natural beauty, observe wildlife, and connect with nature. Indiana paddlers have a unique opportunity to observe wildlife while enjoying Indiana’s countless water resources. Indiana DNR would like more information about the wildlife that spend time around Indiana’s waterways. The Indiana Paddlecraft Wildlife Index compiles wildlife observations from people who use canoes, kayaks, or other non-motorized paddlecraft on Indiana’s waterways. Volunteer paddlers can help by completing a paddling trip postcard documenting the wildlife they observed while floating from June 1 to July 31.paddle craft photo

To find out more information, please visit the DNR website.

Resources:
Yellow Perch Farmed Fish Fact Sheet, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Rainbow Trout Farmed Fish Fact Sheet, The Education Store
American Paddlefish, The Education Store
Aquaculture Family Coloring Book Development, The Education Store
Eat Midwest Fish, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant online resource hub
Protect Your Waters, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service & U.S. Coast Guard
What are invasive species and why should I care?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Aquatic Invasive Species in the Great Lakes: The Quagga Mussel, Purdue Extension – Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) Got Nature? Blog
Aquatic Invaders in the Marketplace, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
Invasive Species, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Nongame and Endangered Wildlife, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Subscribe to Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Channel

Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Department of Fish & Wildlife


Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) has recently added to its YouTube Channel new water safety videos, which share what to watch for and how to stay out of those scary situations that can become dangerous very quickly.

Water Safety Basics: Water safety is more then just knowing how to swim. You need to what can cause hazards, what type of water bodies have hazards and how to avoid or survive those hazards.

Water Safety – What to Know Before You Go to the Beach: On average every year, 87 people die in the Great Lakes, half of them are in Lake Michigan. Ocean waves are very different from Great Lake waves.

Water Safety – Winter Beach Hazards: Water safety is so important during the winter. When covered in snow and ice, it’s difficult to tell where the beach ends and the lake begins. Shelf ice is beautiful but dangerous. There are many places where it cannot support a person’s weight, which may cause a fall into freezing water below, so you should never walk on shelf ice.

Water Safety – How to Escape Dangerous Currents: Of the five Great Lakes, Lake Michigan has the highest number of drownings and rescues each year. Lake Michigan is freshwater. This is so different from an ocean. It doesn’t have the salt, so it is lacking that buoyancy already. If waves get super high and rip currents start to form and that water gets volatile, it is going to be much harder to get out of the situation if you start struggling while you are swimming.

Water Safety – Southern Lake Michigan: Lake Michigan has also had more than 250 recorded cases of swimmers caught in rip currents since 2002, which is double the combined total of the other four Great Lakes. Make sure you check the forecast before you come and have a safety plan. In the ocean you can get hit by two waves in 15 seconds but in the Great Lakes you could get his with five waves in that same time period. Learn more about high frequency waves and how dangerous it can be.

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant combines research, education, and outreach to empower southern Lake Michigan communities to secure a healthy environment and economy. The program is funded through National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) via the National Sea Grant College Program, as well as the University of Illinois and Purdue University. IISG also works in partnerships with key organizations, institutions, and agencies in the region to reach more audiences and multiply opportunities for success. IISG brings together scientists, educators, policy makers, community decision makers, outreach specialists, business leaders, and the general public to work towards a healthy environment and economy.

Subscribe to the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) YouTube Channel.

More Resources:
Implementation Examples of Smart Growth Strategies in Indiana, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Conservation Through Community Leadership, The Education Store
Conservation Through Community Leadership, Sustainable Communities Extension Program (SCEP)
Conservation through Community Leadership, Purdue Extension You Tube Channel
Rainscaping Education Program, Purdue Extension
Rainscaping and Rain Gardens, Purdue Extension YouTube Channel
Tipping Point Planner, The Education Store
Tipping Point Planner, Purdue Agriculture YouTube Channel
Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces, The Education Store
Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces: Creating Healthy Communities, The Education Store
Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces Program, Purdue Extension YouTube Channel
One Water Approach to Water Resources Management, The Education Store
Community Development, Purdue Extension
Community Planning Playlist, Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube Channel
Indiana Creek Watershed Project – Keys to Success, Partnerships and People, Subscribe to Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Channel
Climate Change and Sustainable Development, The Education Store
Climate Change: Are you preparing for it?, The Education Store

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant

Diana Evans, Extension & Web Communications Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on May 7th, 2024 in Timber Marketing, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »

Check out the new newsletter posts available by visiting the Indiana Woodland Steward website. Stay current in the world of forestry and receive their free e-newsletter by subscribing at IWS Subscribe.

Graph showing average sale price by year, 2023 Indiana Consulting Foresters Stumpage Timber Price Report. Highlights from the current Newsletter include:

  • 2023 Indiana Consulting Foresters Stumpage Timber Price Report
    “This report is provided annually and is intended to be used as a general indicator of timber stumpage prices and activity in Indiana. There are many factors that determine the price of any individual timber sale…”
  • The Birders’ Dozen Profile 7: Eastern Screech-Owl
    Dr. Jessica Outcalt, consulting bird biologist
    “Welcome to the Birders’ Dozen! Over the next six issues we are going to continue introducing the last half of the bird species from Forestry for the Birds. The Birders’ Dozen are forest birds that…”
  • Forest Management is for the Birds!
    by Judi Brown
    “Saying something is “for the birds” can indicate frustration with a situation. But forest management’s effect on bird populations is…”
  • Flowering Dogwood
    By Lenny Farlee
    “Flowering dogwood is one of our most attractive small trees here in Indiana with beautiful white spring blossoms and very attractive fall red to maroon foliage. According to Native Trees of the Midwest, George Washington was…”
  • The PHiLL Project: A Collaboration of Forest Managers and Researchers to Restore Soils for Pollinator Benefits
    By Cheryl Coon, Lauren Pile Knapp and John Kabrick
    “Decline of native bees and how enriched log landings and increase habitat. Native bees are among the most diverse and important pollinators of our forested ecosystems with approximately 4,000 different species in North America…”
  • Ask the Steward
    By Dan Ernst
    “Question 1: I have not seen many squirrels this past winter. Do they migrate?”
  • Soil and Water Conservation District
    “Woodland Steward Supporters 2023…”

The Indiana Woodland Steward Newsletter is a resource that’s full of a variety of valuable information to foresters, woodland owners, timber marketing specialists, woodland enthusiasts and wildlife enthusiasts. The Indiana Woodland Steward Institute (IWS) is an entity made from 11 organizations within the state including Purdue UniversityIndiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association (IHLA), that works to promote best usage practices of Indiana’s woodland resources through their Woodland Steward publication.

Resources
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment – Wildlife Responses to Timber Harvesting, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
Invasive plants: impact on environment and people, The Education Store
Managing Your Woods for White-Tailed Deer, The Education Store
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
Birds and Residential Window Strikes: Tips for Prevention, The Education Store
Breeding Birds and Forest Management: the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment and the Central Hardwoods Region, The Education Store
Deer Impact Toolbox, The Education Store
Birdfeeder tips, The National Audubon Society
Managing Woodlands for Birds Video, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
Subscribe: Deer, Forest Management, ID That Tree, Woodland Management Moment, Invasive Species and many other topic video playlists Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel

Dan McGuckin, President
Indiana Woodland Steward

Dr. Brian MacGowan, Extension Wildlife Specialist
Department of Forestry & Natural Resources, Purdue University


The Farmers Helping Hellbenders program is accepting applications for the second round of its Indiana Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project. The project aims to assist with the conservation/recovery of eastern hellbender salamanders and improvement of aquatic resources in south central Indiana.

Eligible farmers and landowners, who wish to obtain funding to implement practices designed to keep nutrients and soil resources on fields and improve their watersheds, should contact their local NRCS office before May 10 to apply. Financial assistance is available for agricultural lands within the Blue River-Sinking Watershed boundary in Crawford, Floyd, Harrison and Washington counties, where the eastern hellbender can be found and is being actively managed.

Eligible practices for farmers in the project area include conservation cover, grassed waterways, wildlife habitat planting, nutrient management, riparian buffers and many others. Interested farmers and forest landowners who wish to implement conservation practices on their land should discuss their options with their district conservationist. Contact your local district conservationist by visiting Farmers.gov/Service-locator.

Young hellbenders in tank for conservation efforts.While NRCS accepts program applications year-round, Indiana producers and landowners should apply by May 10 to be considered for the current RCPP-Hellbender funding cycle. Applications received after May 10 will automatically be considered during the next funding cycle.

“The Farmers Helping Hellbenders RCPP project enables us to leverage partnerships to make a lasting positive impact on the habitat of the eastern hellbender salamander,” said Damarys Mortenson, state conservationist for the USDA’s NRCS in Indiana. “This project allows Indiana farmers and forestland owners to conserve the vital natural resources on their land while also protecting the habitat for hellbenders and other aquatic animals. It is a win-win.”

The eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) is a large, fully aquatic salamander, nicknamed the snot otter, water dog, devil dog, Allegheny alligator and water eel among other things. Their decline statewide has been documented as far back as the early-to-mid 1900s as a result of habitat loss and poor water quality. Hellbenders, which are listed as an endangered species in Indiana, play an important role in aquatic ecosystems and are indicators of clean water. Eastern hellbenders need clean water to survive as they breathe through their skin by absorbing oxygen from the river and stream water in which they live.

Hellbender populations are declining across their range, from Missouri to New York. This decline, which affects the hellbender population in Indiana’s Blue River, is likely caused by human influences such as habitat degradation and destruction. The stream-bottom habitat of hellbenders can be degraded by sediment from eroded banks and fields and destroyed when streams are dammed or dredged. Hellbenders are also captured inadvertently by anglers or purposefully for illegal sale in the pet trade. Finally, emerging diseases may be impacting some populatio​ns of hellbenders. Specifically, the chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and Ranavirus (family Iridoviridae) are considered to be major threats to the persistence of hellbender populations across their range.

For much of the last 17 years, Dr. Rod Williams and his team have been researching eastern hellbenders, spearheading regional conservation efforts and advancing hellbender captive propagation, or the rearing of this ancient animal in captivity and their eventual return to the wild. The partnership had a major breakthrough over the summer of 2023 with the documentation of a young hellbender salamander in the Blue River while conducting routine surveys. This discovery is significant because over the past three to four decades, only adult hellbenders have been documented in the Blue River. The presence of a young salamander suggests that conservation efforts and rearing programs are accomplishing their goals for the recovery of this endangered species.

The Farmers Helping Hellbenders RCPP project is made possible by $2.7 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s RCPP, Purdue and other partnering organizations. The project is led by Purdue with assistance from 14 collaborating public and private organizations on the state and local level including NRCS. The goal of the project is to improve hellbender habitat in a four-county region in south central Indiana by expanding the use of agricultural conservation practices that lead to decreased sediment in local river systems. The project aims to improve water quality, enhance aquatic habitat, increase aquatic wildlife populations, increase riparian and pollinator habitat and protect karst topography.

To view full article with more photos view Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources News & Stories: Farmers Helping Hellbenders RCPP Program Accepting Applications.

Resources:
USDA Awards Farmers Helping Hellbenders Project in Funding, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) Got Nature? Blog
Improving Water Quality by Protecting Sinkholes on Your Property, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Improving Water Quality Around Your Farm video, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Hellbenders Rock! Nature of Teaching Lesson Plan, The Education Store
Nature of Teaching – Hellbenders Rock Sneak Peek video, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Nature of Teaching – Hellbenders Rock webinar video, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Learn about hellbenders and take a tour of Purdue’s hellbender rearing facility video, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Learn about the hellbender work at Mesker Park Zoo video, Purdue FNR Facebook
Learn about hellbender work at The Wilds video, Purdue FNR Facebook
Dr. Rod Williams’ 2017 TEDx Talk Help the Hellbenders video, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
A Moment in the Wild – Hellbender Hides video, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
A Moment in the Wild – Hellbender Release video , Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel

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


Posted on May 1st, 2024 in Forestry, Wildlife | No Comments »

Brian MacGowan, Purdue extension wildlife specialist, has been honored with the Hoosier Wildlife Award by the Indiana chapter of The Wildlife Society.

The Hoosier Wildlife Award is given annually to recognize an individual who has made, or is making, a significant contribution to professional wildlife conservation in Indiana through research, management, law enforcement, education or administration.

“The Hoosier Wildlife Award recognizes Brian’s substantial work in the field of wildlife conservation and his dedication to the Indiana Chapter of The Wildlife Society,” said Zachary Voyles, South Region Private Lands Supervisor for the Division of Fish and Wildlife. “His contributions to wildlife research, management and higher education have helped numerous wildlife management professionals become better equipped to manage wildlife in Indiana on behalf of its citizens.”

Brian MacGowan, wildlife extension specialist, receives Hoosier Wildlife Award.MacGowan came to Purdue in 1995 to begin work on his master’s degree in wildlife science under Dr. Harmon “Mickey” Weeks. His thesis was titled “Avian responses to woodland habitats differentially impacted by deer browsing.”

After completing his master’s in 1998, he joined the Purdue Extension staff as a wildlife specialist in 1999. He acted as extension co-coordinator for Purdue FNR from 2007 to 2015 and has served as the sole coordinator since 2015. MacGowan went on to complete his PhD on “Facilitating management and decision-making on private and public forests in Indiana” under Dr. Linda Prokopy in the spring of 2021.

In his time in FNR, he has been honored with the Outstanding Professional Staff Award twice (2005, 2010). He received the Purdue Cooperative Extension Specialists’ Association (PUCESA) Leadership Award in 2021 for his leadership and contribution to the development of FNR 506 course “Theory and Application of Natural Resources Extension Programming” and the creation of the Natural Resources Extension program.

During his career, MacGowan has conducted meaningful research, teaching, and extension programming that has advanced wildlife conservation in Indiana, the Midwest, and more broadly. His contributions include:

  • Organizing over 180 workshops, seminars, and field tours related to wildlife conservation.
  • Delivering over 400 Extension presentations and 60 research presentations and posters.
  • Publishing 75 Extension publications, articles, videos, and book chapters.
  • Publishing 14 peer-reviewed research publications.

MacGowan’s impressive portfolio spans a wide variety of topics from human-wildlife conflict, wildlife damage management, reptile response to forest management, youth natural resources education, and evaluating the impact of extension scholarship. He has been honored for his extension programs and deliverables throughout his career. He won the Agricultural Communications in Education Gold Award twice: for electronic publications “Snakes of the Midwest” in 2005 and for website “Everything Wildlife” in 2003. He also received the Association of Natural Resources Extension Professionals (ANREP) Gold Award for mixed materials “Wildlife CSI Unraveling the Mysteries of Wildlife Crop Damage” in 2007. He also earned the ANREP Silver Award for video/DVD/CD and for web-based courses for “Wildlife CSI Unraveling the Mysteries of Wildlife Crop Damage” in 2007.

MacGowan has been a member of the Indiana Woodland Steward Editorial Board since 2007, is the editor of the Indiana Woodland Steward newsletter and has served as the project investigator for the Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA) in Indiana. He also organizes the yearly Ohio Valley Woodlands and Wildlife Workshop, conducts professional development workshops for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and other conservation partners and shares his knowledge at many extension events throughout the state.

MacGowan was instrumental in producing the Woodland Stewardship for Landowners video series. He also shared his knowledge on several editions of FNR Ask An Expert and provided instructional assistance regarding protecting plants and shrubs from wildlifehow to stop woodland animals from digging in your flowerpots, deer fencing, hummingbirds and more.

“I’m overwhelmed, especially knowing who has received this honor before me,” MacGowan said. “It’s one of the highlights of my professional career.  Working at Purdue, and really in the wildlife profession, has put me in the position to work with some outstanding individuals. You hope that you have made a difference in people’s lives during your career. I got into the wildlife profession because I loved the outdoors. But, it’s the people you work with every day that makes it special. I’m extremely appreciative and humbled by this honor.”

Previous Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources affiliated winners of the Hoosier Wildlife Award include current or emeritus faculty members Dr. Rob Swihart (2016), Dr. Harmon “Mickey” Weeks (2006) and Dr. Russell E. Mumford (1996).

The Wildlife Society is a professional organization whose membership is comprised of professional wildlife biologists, managers, and scientists.  The mission of The Wildlife Society is to inspire, empower, and enable wildlife professionals to sustain wildlife populations and habitats through science-based management and conservation.  Members are committed to the conservation of natural resources in Indiana, including its soil, water, plants, and wildlife.

Article was shared from Purdue College of Agriculture News: Extension Specialist Brian MacGowan Receives Hoosier Wildlife Award.

Resources:
Agriculture Natural Resources (ANR) Newsletter Features Specialist Brian MacGowan, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) Got Nature? Blog
Wildlife, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Ask the Expert: Birdwatching, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
How to Stop Woodland Animals from Digging in Your Flower Pots, Got Nature? Blog with video, Purdue Extension FNR
Considerations for Trapping Nuisance Wildlife with Box Traps, The Education Store
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE) – Wildlife Responses to Timber Harvesting, The Education Store
Snakes and Lizards of Indiana, The Education Store
Turtles of Indiana, The Education Store
Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Yard, The Education Store

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


Posted on April 29th, 2024 in Alert, Disease, How To, Safety, Wildlife | No Comments »

MyDNR, Indiana’s Outdoor Newsletter: Indiana DNR has confirmed the state’s first positive case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in LaGrange County. CWD is a fatal infectious disease, caused by a misfolded prion, that affects the nervous system in white-tailed deer. It can spread from deer-to-deer contact, bodily fluids, or through contaminated environments.CWD Map

There have been no reported cases of CWD infection in people, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that hunters strongly consider having deer tested before eating the meat. The CDC also recommends not eating meat from an animal that tests positive for CWD.

CWD has been detected in 33 states including the four bordering Indiana (Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Kentucky). Because CWD had been detected in Michigan near the Indiana border, a detection in LaGrange County was likely.

If you see any sick or dead wildlife, deer or otherwise, please report your observations on the DNR: Sick or Dead Wildlife Reporting page.

For more information visit DNR: Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

To subscribe to the newsletter visit MyDNR Email Newsletter.

Resources:
Chronic Wasting Disease, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
Bovine Tuberculosis in Wild White-tailed Deer, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Hunting & Trapping, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
Designing Hardwood Tree Plantings for Wildlife , The Education Store
Wildlife Habitat Hint: Trail Camera Tips and Tricks, Got Nature? Blog
How to Score Your White-tailed Deer, video, The Education Store
White-Tailed Deer Post Harvest Collection, video, The Education Store
Age Determination in White-tailed Deer, video, The Education Store
How to Build a Plastic Mesh Deer Exclusion Fence, The Education Store
Ask the Expert: Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment – Birds and Salamander Research, Purdue Extension – FNR
A Template for Your Wildlife Habitat Management Plan, The Education Store
Managing Your Woods for White-Tailed Deer, The Education Store
Deer Impact Toolbox, Got Nature? blog, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR)

Indiana Department of Natural Resources


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