Got Nature? Blog

 FNR-594-W coverThe Nature of Teaching: Disease Ecology is one unit in a series available from The Nature of Teaching – the place to go for teaching resources that focus on wildlife, food waste, health and wellness. In this series teachers can find free lesson plans, printables, posters, a photo library, information on upcoming workshops and more.

This unit introduces students to basic principles of disease ecology, including the diversity of parasites, how diseases are modeled, and how parasites and hosts interact. It includes three lessons with colorful animal cards to print along with worksheets and presentation.
Lesson 1: Parasite Diversity Activity
Lesson 2: Modeling Disease Transmission
Lesson 3: Parasite Avoidance Behavior in Tadpoles

This 33-page download PDF is written by Dr. Jason Hoverman; Logan Billet, Rebecca Koetz and Dr. Rod Williams.

For more resources, please check the Education Store.

Resources
Benefits of Connecting with Nature, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
The Nature of Teaching: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Health, The Education Store
Resourceful Animal Relationships, The Education Store
The Nature of Teaching: Food Waste and the Environment, The Education Store

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


With large amounts of white-tailed deer populating the area around forest land, getting your hardwood seedlings established can be difficult.

Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee, sustainable hardwood extension specialist, offers some tips on how to protect newly planted seedlings from browsing deer using plastic mesh fencing to exclude the animals from the area. He also mentions tree tubes and electrified fencing as potential options. Learn more in the video below.

Resources
USDA Cost Assistance Programs for Conservation Practices
How to Build a Plastic Mesh Deer Exclusion Fence, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Electric Fences for Preventing Deer Browse Damage by White-Tailed Deer, The Education Store
Managing Your Woods for White-Tailed Deer, The Education Store
How to Score Your White-Tailed Deer, Video, Purdue Extension Youtube Channel

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


For such a small creature, moles can cause big headaches. Their tunneling behavior can cause extensive damage to turf areas if left unchecked. While the damage is easy to identify, solving it can be tricky.

MoleDamage1 moleDamage2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purdue wildlife specialist, Brian MacGowan, shared tips and control techniques including trapping, repellents, toxicants, and cultural methods as well as answer your questions on the topic on Facebook LIVE, Thursday, May 14th.

You can view this topic along with question and answer time on the Purdue FNR Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PurdueFNR/videos/3372718849422210/.

If you have any further questions feel free to place your question in the comment section on our Purdue FNR Facebook page on the video link above or you can send your question by submitting an Ask An Expert form.

Resources
Moles, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Adjuvants and the Power of the Spray Droplet: Improving the Performance of Pesticide Applications, The Education Store
Preventing Wildlife Damage – Do You Need a Permit?, The Education Store
Attract Hummingbirds to Your Yard, Video, Purdue Extension Youtube Channel
How to Stop Woodland Animals from Digging in Your Flower Pots, Video, Purdue Extension Youtube Channel

Brian MacGowan, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on May 4th, 2020 in How To, Urban Forestry, Wildlife | No Comments »

Hummingbirds are a popular attraction in any backyard. The ruby-throated hummingbird is the only species of hummingbird that nests in the Hoosier state. These colorful visitors are migratory and arrive from their wintering grounds around mid-April. So now is the time to place the hummingbird feeders.

Watch this short video to see how easy it is to make and fill your hummingbird feeder along with resources showing when and where they migrate.

Resources
Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Yard (pdf), The Education Store-Purdue Extension
Preventing Wildlife Damage – Do You Need a Permit?, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Selecting a Nuisance Wildlife Control Professional, The Education Store
How to Construct a Scent Station, The Education Store
Question: How do I properly relocate raccoons from my attic?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension FNR
Nuisance Wildlife, Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Brian MacGowan, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on April 28th, 2020 in Gardening, How To, Wildlife | No Comments »

Do you have issues with wildlife digging in your flower pots and disturbing or even killing your plants? Extension wildlife specialist Brian MacGowan has a few simple tips that you can try in order to deter these animals and save your plants.

Resources:
Preventing Wildlife Damage – Do You Need a Permit? – The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Selecting a Nuisance Wildlife Control Professional, The Education Store
How to Construct a Scent Station, The Education Store
Question: How do I properly relocate raccoons from my attic?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension FNR
Nuisance Wildlife, Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Brian MacGowan, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue 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


Posted on April 20th, 2020 in Forestry, Got Nature for Kids, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »

Hellbender EggsHave you heard of a Hellbender? No? Have you been living under a rock?

Eastern hellbenders are the largest salamander in North America, a rare species that has been getting a lot of conservation attention over the past two decades. If you would like to learn about Hellbenders, how you can help protect aquatic wildlife, and have the opportunity to ask Purdue biologists questions about Hellbender conservation, then please join us on our Help the Hellbender-Facebook Live question and answer time, www.facebook.com/HelpTheHellbender/.

Thursday, April 23rd
3:00 pm ET

We hope to see you there and please bring your questions!

Resources:
Help the Hellbender website, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources
Hellbender Decline, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Zoos Work with Purdue University for Hellbender Conservation Efforts, Got Nature? Blog, FNR
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store

Nick Burgmeier, Project Coordinator, Research Biologist & Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Shelby Royal, Husbandry Lab Coordinator
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

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


Posted on March 20th, 2020 in Forestry, How To, Plants, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »

manage woods for white-tailed deer cover

Many woodland landowners are interested in improving their properties for one of Indiana’s most abundant game animals, white-tailed deer. This publication titled Managing Your Woods for White-Tailed Deer outlines different options landowners have to enhance white-tailed deer habitat in their woodlands. Learn the pros and cons of mature forests vs. young forest stands along with finding answers to these and other questions you may have:

  • Can mature forests cause less forage?
  • What does lacking oak trees mean for managing deer?
  • Which plants do deer eat?

This 16-page publication filled with plants and forest photos is a free download from the Purdue Extension resource center, The Education Store. View other deer publications and video resources as you place keywords in the search field located on The Education Store website.

Resources
Renovating native warm-season grass stands for wildlife: A Land Manager’s Guide, The Education Store, Purdue University
Bovine Tuberculosis in Wild White-tailed Deer, The Education Store
How to Score Your White-tailed Deer, Video, The Education Store
How to Build a Plastic Mesh Deer Exclusion Fence, The Education Store
Frost Seeding to Establish Wildlife Food Plots and Native Grass and Forb Plantings, Video, The Education Store

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


Posted on February 14th, 2020 in How To, Urban Forestry, Wildlife | No Comments »

Extension publication, No Room at the Inn: Suburban Backyards and Migratory BirdsBird migration is one of the greatest phenomena of the natural world. Birds depend on suitable habitats to rest and refuel. In this free download publication titled No Room at the Inn: Suburban Backyards and Migratory Birds, a Purdue researcher describes ways to manage your backyard to attract birds of all types, for your enjoyment and their survival. Including a list of common migratory birds in Indiana, this publication also provides a list of other suggested resources to learn more about birds and how to identify them.

Resources:
Forest Birds, Video, Purdue Extension
Birds and Residential Window Strikes: Tips for Prevention, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Managing Woodlands for Birds, The Education Store
Climate Change + Birds, Purdue Climate Change Research Center

Jessica Outcalt, Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University


Posted on February 13th, 2020 in Forestry, How To, Land Use, Wildlife | No Comments »

Just because the winter days are cold and dreary doesn’t mean the work to improve wildlife habitat on your property has to stop. In fact, now is a perfect time for a wide range of habitat projects. One such project is frost seeding native grasses and forbs. Here’s why you should brave the cold and consider sowing your seeds this winter.

Picture3

Picture 3. Smaller fields can be established with just a hand seed spreader (left), whereas an ATV or tractor-mounted spreader is better for larger fields (right).

Picture2

Picture 2. When broadcasting native seed, it should be mixed with a carrier (pelletized lime here) to help the seed flow through the spreader.

Picture1

Picture 1. After frost seeding, the native grass and forb seed is visible on the ground, but the freezing and thawing of the soil will ensure good seed-to-soil contact.

Its natural
If you think about how a native prairie works, many of the seeds ripen in the late summer and early fall and drop to the ground throughout the fall and winter. So, sowing seeds from January through March or frost seeding is mimicking what would have occurred naturally. By doing such, you are taking advantage of the freezing and thawing cycles of the soil. The helps with a couple things.

First, many native plant seeds – forbs (wildflowers) especially – need that natural freezing and thawing cycles to break their dormancy. Thus, frost seeding can help increase the germination of many of these species. Second, the freezing and thawing of the soil helps to work the seed into the soil, which can improve seed-to-soil contact, an important factor in planting success (picture 1).

Less time to waste
Dormant seeding or seeding once the soil dips below a certain temperature (as early as November) is another viable option to establish a native grass and forb stand. But with frost seeding, the seed remains on the soil for less time before germination. Which may reduce the seeds’ exposure to soil pathogens, rodents, birds, or other critters that may eat the seed or reduce germination.

Minimalist-style
Frost seeding native grasses and forbs can be done will minimal equipment. All you need to frost seed is a hand or mechanical seed spreader, the seed, and a carrier (picture 2). Using a hand seed spreader works great for small fields, but you may consider using an ATV or tractor-mounted mechanical spreader for larger fields (picture 3).

Another option is to use a no-till seed drill. Of course, this will require more specialized equipment, but many Soil and Water Conservation Districts or Pheasants and Quail Forever Chapters have no-till drills that you can borrow or rent to help complete your project.

When it comes to establishing native grasses and forbs, there is more than one way to plant a field. But, frost seeding might be the option that is best suited for you and your site.

For a How-To on frost seeding, check out our Frost Seeding Video below:

Resources
Frost Seeding to Establish Wildlife Food Plots & Native Grass and Forb Plantings, video, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Calibrating a No-Till Drill for Conservation Plantings and Wildlife Food Plots, video, The Education Store
Renovating native warm-season grass stands for wildlife: a land manager’s guide(pdf), The Education Store
Purdue Extension Pond and Wildlife Management Website, Purdue Extension

Jarred Brooke, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Department of Forestry & Natural Resource, Purdue University


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