Got Nature? Blog

In 2023, our FNR Extension website featured stories on topics ranging from wildlife identification, concerns in forestry, urban forestry issues and aquaculture how-to guides. Here are the top stories our FNR Extension readers were interested in last year from archival favorites to new publications on our Got Nature! blog.

FROM THE ARCHIVES – ARTICLES ORIGINALLY POSTED PRIOR TO 2023tree trunk damage wounds and healing

1 – Tree Wounds and Healing — Trees are incredible survivors in spite of the challenges from pests of all kinds, including us! They are vulnerable to injuries such as mechanical wounds from lawn equipment, vehicles and ice. Pruning results in an intentional wound which is of importance to consider. Tree owners and managers need to prune trees to maintain aesthetic characteristics, remove infected limbs, reduce risk, or improve structural stability. Proper pruning practice and understanding tree wounds can minimize the impact of creating wounds on trees.

2 – Question: Can Tree Roots Cause Damage to a Home’s Foundation? — A reader asked this question regarding a pin oak tree that is within 10 feet of their house after receiving  A certified arborist took a look at it and said that he would like to use an Air Knife to expose the roots near the foundation (a walkout basement) to determine if the roots are causing damage and/or need to be pruned, or whether the tree needs to be removed since it is situated too close to the house.squirrel

3 – Question: I Saw A Squirrel with No Fur on Its Neck, Both Backside and Underneath. What Is This? — People can be taken aback by the sight of squirrels missing hair. Sightings of partially furred squirrels is not unusual with warmer temperatures experienced through the winter. Like many wildlife issues, the cause of hair loss in squirrels is not easy to answer and often results in more questions than answers. In most situations, hair loss does not impact populations of squirrels.

4 – Be on the Watch for EHD in Deer — In August 2019, residents were warned to be on the watch for Epizootic Hemorrhagic Diseases (EHD) in deer after a white-tailed deer in Clarke County, Indiana tested positive for Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), and potential EHD cases had been reported in 26 other Indiana counties. Here are a few things you should know about how EHD, how to spot it, and how to report it.tiger salamander

5 – Question: Are Carpenter Ants Harmful to My Tree? — Carpenter ants are very common inside trees, especially on larger, mature trees that are hollow with cavities. They nest in rotted, decayed wood, although some nests may extend into sound heartwood in the center of the tree. Carpenter ant presence is an indication of rotting wood, and infested trees should be checked to determine whether the rot has weakened the tree enough that it has become a risk of failure.

6 – Question: Why Are There So Many Acorns This Year? — If you have ever noticed acorns so numerous that you could not take a step without crushing several, you may be asking the question, “why are there so many acorns?” Some answers to this question can be found in the physiology and ecology of trees and their relationship to wildlife.

7 – It Is A Salamander. No, It Is a Lizard. Are They Different? — Salamanders are often mistaken for lizards, but the two groups are very different. Learn the differences between lizards and salamanders, how to identify each and more.slime flux silver maple

8 – Question: Blue Spruce is Dying, What Can I Do? — A reader sent in a question asking about a 40-year old spruce which is dying in the middle. There was a concern about Rhizosphaera needle cast as well as questions about fungus control sprays or alternative fungicide treatments.

9 – Slime Flux of Trees — Slime flux (also known as wet wood) is a dark, foul-smelling and unsightly seepage of sap from tree trunks. The disease is not usually a serious problem but the appearance can be alarming. Learn about the symptoms of slime flux, diagnosis and prevention measure.

10 – What Do Trees Do In the Winter? — Do they freeze up like unprotected water pipes? Or burst when it gets below freezing? Yes, the below-ground parts of a tree are kept insulated by mulch, soil and a layer of snow, and that is important to survival, but the exposed parts of a tree are not protected.

To see the full article, please visit FNR News & Stories.

Resources
Tree Pruning: What Do Trees Think?, The Education Store
Mechanical Damage to Trees: Mowing and Maintenance Equipment, The Education Store
Surface Root Syndrome, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
The Nature of Teaching: Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Diseases in Hardwood Tree Plantings , The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Iron Chlorosis of Trees and Shrubs, The Education Store
Purdue Landscape Report, Website
Winterize Your Trees, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Tree Defect Identification, The Education Store
Forest/Timber, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube channel
Urban Forestry, Purdue Extension – FNR playlist

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


mudpuppy photo

Photo by: Indiana DNR

Wild Bulletin, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fish and Wildlife: The Division of Fish & Wildlife asks anglers to report sightings of the mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus) to help biologists track their populations across the state. A Species of Special Concern in Indiana, this salamander inhabits the state’s lakes and streams.

Mudpuppies, like fish, live their entire lives in water, but they are more secretive and difficult to locate. During winter, mudpuppies move into shallow water and are more frequently caught by anglers. They may also be viewed from shore using a flashlight at night, while they walk along the lake bottom. Mudpuppies are not dangerous or poisonous. They can be identified by the red, fluffy gills on the back of their head, but the gills tend to lay flat against their body when they are out of the water.

If you catch a mudpuppy while fishing, please photograph it, cut your fishing line, and release the mudpuppy back into the water. Report your observation to the DNR herpetologist at HerpSurveys@dnr.IN.gov and include a clear photograph of it, the date, and the location where it was found. The DNR appreciates your help tracking this unique salamander.

To learn more please visit DNR: Amphibians and Reptiles.

Subscribe to Wild Bulletin.

Resources:
Researchers Discover Young Hellbender in Blue River, Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources News & Stories
Help the Hellbender, North America’s Giant Salamander, The Education Store
Help the Hellbender, Purdue College of Agriculture
Question: Which salamander is this?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Is it a Hellbender or a Mudpuppy?, Got Nature? Blog
Amphibians: Frogs, Toads, and Salamanders, Purdue Nature of Teaching
A Moment in the Wild, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Help the Hellbender, Playlist & Website
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Hellbenders Rock!, The Education Store

Indiana Department of Natural Resources


Videos on the Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources Extension YouTube channel received more than 213,000 views in 2023. The Top 50 videos included 47 editions of ID That Tree, an informational series by Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee, as well as a webinar by Farlee on How to Identify Trees in Indiana. The remaining two videos in the Top 50 were an instructional video about a common urban tree planting problem by former Purdue Extension urban forester Lindsey Purcell, and a video about the use of prescribed fire on the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment.

Below we will count down the 10 most viewed Purdue FNR Extension videos of 2023 with a few bonus videos sure to shoot up the list in future years.

Our most viewed video in 2023 was ID That Tree: Black Walnut with a whopping 18,156 views. This video has been seen more than 28,000 times since its debut in September of 2020.

1 – ID That Tree: Black Walnut — Learn the identifying characteristics of the black walnut tree, also known as the American black walnut or eastern black walnut, including pairs of leaflets running down each stem, long running ridges on the bark, and round nuts that have a very strong exterior. This sun-loving tree also needs high quality soil.

Our second most viewed video is ID That Tree: American Elm. This video, which debuted in June 2020, was watched 16,779 times in 2023, and has been viewed 33,456 times overall.

2 – ID That Tree: American Elm — In this tree identification series you will see how American elm leaves have jagged edges with a large tooth and then smaller teeth like edges on top of it. Find out why these trees are not as easy to find as they used to be.

Number three on our most viewed list is ID That Tree: Black Oak. This video, which debuted in March 2021, was seen 5,773 times in 2023.

3 – ID That Tree: Black Oak — In this episode of ID That Tree, we continue to get to know the oak groups, this time focusing on the black oak species. Deep sinuses on the leaves and shinier coat, a dark blocky bark and acorns with loose shingle-like plates on the cap are some key identifiers to separate it from the red oak and others.

Number four on the most viewed videos list was ID That Tree: Invasive White Mulberry. This video, which debuted in September 2021, was seen 5,197 times in 2023.

4 – ID That Tree: Invasive White Mulberry — On this episode of ID That Tree, Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee introduces you to a non-native invasive tree that is widespread across the state, white mulberry. Key identifying characteristics to separate it from its native cousin red mulberry are shiny variable leaves and where the species grows, near fence rows, hedgerows and other waste areas. The red mulberry has larger leaves that are duller in color with a sandpapery texture, and the species is often found in the forest understory.

Fifth on our countdown of top videos of 2023 is ID That Tree: Pignut Hickory. This video, which debuted in March 2022, was seen 4,569 times in 2023.

5 – ID That Tree: Pignut Hickory — In this edition of ID That Tree, meet another member of the hickory family that can found in upland areas, the pignut hickory. This species is identifiable by its five-leaflet compound leaves, its smooth round nut and partially open husk.

Number six on our list of top videos for the year is ID That Tree: Northern Catalpa. This video, which debuted in August 2021, was watched 4,489 times in 2023.

6 – ID That Tree: Northern Catalpa – On this episode of ID That Tree, meet the Northern Catalpa, native to southern Indiana along the Ohio River bottoms. This species, which provides rot resistant wood great for outdoor usage, features beautiful flower clusters in early summer, huge heart shaped leaves in whirled formation, and long bean-like fruit pods.

Number seven on our Purdue FNR Extension most viewed list is ID That Tree: Sassafras. This video, which debuted in July 2020, was seen 4,481 times in 2023. Graduate student Olivia Bingham is researching sassafras wilt in Indiana and needs your help with possible sightings across the state.

7 – ID That Tree: Sassafras — Join Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee as he introduces you to the Sassafras in this edition of ID That Tree. The Sassafras is well known for the tea made from its bark and also for having a variety of shaped leaves from zero to three lobes.

Eighth on our 2023 most watched videos list is ID That Tree: Red Pine. This video, which debuted in February 2022, was seen 4,470 times in 2023.

8 – ID That Tree: Red Pine — This week on ID That Tree, Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee introduces you to a non-native conifer that can be found throughout the state, the Red Pine. This species, which enjoys sandy soil, is identifiable by its small, egg-shaped cones, as well as tufts of needle pairs, which can be quite brittle, and orange/reddish bark.

Number nine on our most watched list is ID That Tree: Pin Oak. This video, which debuted in December 2021, was viewed 4,100 times in 2023.

9 – ID That Tree: Pin Oak — On this edition of ID That Tree, meet a species of native Indiana oak from the broad red/black oak family, which is found in bottomlands and areas with imperfectly drained soil, the Pin Oak. This species is recognizable by round acorns with flat scales, bristle-tipped leaves with deep 90-degree angled lobes, and lower branches that angle downward.

Number 10 on our most watched list is ID That Tree: Honey Locust. This video, which debuted in October 2021, was seen 3,510 times in 2023.

10 – ID That Tree: Honey Locust — This native tree comes with its own defense system in very large thorns on the stems and trunk. Meet the honey locust. Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee explains that large, long yellow seed pods that resemble bean pods, the option of single or doubly compound leaves on the same tree and smooth gray bark also help identify this species.

To see the full article, please visit FNR News & Stories.

Resources:
ID That Tree, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube Channel (Invasive White Mulberry, Siberian Elm, Tree of Heaven)
Invasive Species Playlist, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel (Asian Bush Honeysuckle, Burning Bush, Callery Pear, Multiflora rose)
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel (Against Invasives, Garlic Mustard, Autumn Olive)
Woodland Stewardship for Landowners, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel (Common Buckthorn, Japanese Barberry)
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
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store

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


hellbender lab photoDr. Rod Williams, extension wildlife specialist Nick Burgmeier and the Help the Hellbender team were honored for their collaboration with partners, outreach to the community and awareness education with the 2023 Indiana Friend of Conservation Award on January 9 in Indianapolis. The award, sponsored by Brownfield Ag News and presented by the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (IASWCD) at its annual Conservation Awards Luncheon, recognizes individuals of entities who have made an outstanding contribution to soil and water conservation in Indiana. State level honorees are named in the corporate, individual and nonprofit/government categories.

Burgmeier and Eliza Hudson, the Farmers Helping Hellbenders Project Coordinator for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, accepted the award on the Help the Hellbender team’s behalf.

The team was nominated for the state level award in the nonprofit/government category by virtue of receiving the Washington County Soil & Water Conservation District’s Friend of Conservation Award in February.

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 play an important role in aquatic ecosystems and are indicators of clean water.
hellbender photo

For much of the last 17 years, 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 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 Help the Hellbender lab is actively collaborating with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife and The Nature Conservancy as well as several other partners across 13 states on a number of conservation projects and educational opportunities forteachers and childrenfarmers and more.

To see the full article please visit the FNR News & Stories page.

Resources:
Help the Hellbender website
Help the Hellbender Facebook page
Ask the Expert: Learn All About Hellbenders and Take a Tour, Subscribe Purdue Extension – Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube Channel
Ask the Expert video: Help the Hellbender – Dr. Stephen Spear of The Wilds, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Ask the Expert video: Live with Mesker Park Zoo and Botanical Gardens – Hellbenders, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
A Moment in the Wild video: Hellbender Hide, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
A Moment in the Wild video: Release Moment of Hellbenders,
How Anglers and Paddlers Can Help the Hellbender video, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Eastern Hellbender ID Video, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Hellbenders Rock!, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Help the Hellbender, North America’s Giant Salamander, The Education Store
How Our Zoos Help Hellbenders, The Education Store
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store
Healthy Water, Happy Home – Lesson Plan, The Education Store
Purdue Expert: Hellbender Salamander, Purdue University News YouTube Channel
FNR Assists in First Natural Breeding of Eastern Hellbender in Captivity, Purdue FNR News & Stories
Helping the Hellbender: Mesker Park Zoo Begins Captive Breeding Efforts, Purdue Agriculture News

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

Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (IASWCD)

 


Posted on January 25th, 2024 in Forestry, How To, Timber Marketing, Woodlands | No Comments »

Tax preparation time usually brings with it questions about what is deductible, how to report this income, and what you can do to save on your taxes in the future. Fortunately for woodland owners, there are several excellent resources available to help you find some guidance.National timber tax website, timbertax.org.

A national site addressing tax issues for woodland owners is the National Timber Tax Website. This site provides updated tax tips for the 2023 filing year, as well as many guides and references to help you effectively plan a tax strategy for your property.

The first link you will see on the National Timber Tax website is the recent timber tax tips by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service:
Tax Tips for Forest Landowners: 2023 Tax Year (pdf 176KB)

Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources Extension offers some publications covering taxation issues for timber sales and tree planting.
How to Treat Timber Sale Income
Determining Tax Basis of Timber
Financial and Tax Aspects of Tree Planting

If you sold timber or planted trees for timber production last year, the references above may help you understand your options and possibly provide some tax savings.

Familiarizing yourself with the special treatment timber sales and tree plantings, which may be given in the tax code, can also help you more effectively plan for future tax returns.

Other resources:
U.S. Forest Service
The Education Store, Purdue Extension (place in search field: “timber”)

Lenny Farlee, Extension Forester
Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center (HTIRC)
Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University


Are you curious about eastern hellbender salamanders? Learn about their biology, ecology and the work that is being done in IndianaHellbender info photo and beyond to restore the populations of this endangered species in a newly released webinar from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

The “Conservation of the Hellbender: Experts Unite” webinar, which originally took place on Nov. 14, 2023, features a panel discussion between FNR Extension wildlife specialist Nick Burgmeier, Nate Engbrecht, Indiana state herpetologist, and Leigh Ramon, animal curator at Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Gardens).

The webinar is now available on the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ YouTube channel.

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. Beginning January 2024, Dr. Jason Hoverman will act as lead investigator for the Help the Hellbender lab’s work at Purdue.

Purdue’s hellbender lab is actively collaborating with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife and The Nature Conservancy as well as several other partners across 13 states on a number of conservation projects and educational opportunities forteachers and childrenfarmers and more.Hellbender Panelists Photo

The “Farmers Helping Hellbenders” project, led by Williams and Purdue Extension wildlife specialist/Help the Hellbender project coordinator Nick Burgmeier, was selected in August 2022 to receive $2.7 million in funding through the RCCP Classic fund. The project aims to improve hellbender habitat in a four-county region in south central Indiana, the only remaining habitat for hellbenders in the state, by expanding the use of agricultural conservation practices that lead to decreased sedimentation in local rivers systems. Williams talks more about hellbenders and the project in this YouTube video.

The Indiana Hellbender Partnership is a collaboration between the Indiana DNR and Purdue University with funding support from the Indiana DNR Nongame Wildlife Fund, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and partners in local governments, universities, non-governmental organizations, and zoos that are working to recover the state-endangered hellbender. Developed over 15 years, the Indiana Hellbender Partnership is the largest and most comprehensive group working to recover an imperiled amphibian in Indiana.

Resources:
Help the Hellbender website
Help the Hellbender Facebook page
Ask the Expert: Learn All About Hellbenders and Take a Tour, Subscribe Purdue Extension – Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube Channel
Ask the Expert video: Help the Hellbender – Dr. Stephen Spear of The Wilds, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Ask the Expert video: Live with Mesker Park Zoo and Botanical Gardens – Hellbenders, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
A Moment in the Wild video: Hellbender Hide, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
A Moment in the Wild video: Release Moment of Hellbenders, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
How Anglers and Paddlers Can Help the Hellbender video, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Eastern Hellbender ID Video, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Hellbenders Rock!, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Help the Hellbender, North America’s Giant Salamander, The Education Store
How Our Zoos Help Hellbenders, The Education Store
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store
Healthy Water, Happy Home – Lesson Plan, The Education Store

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

Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IN DNR)


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.

Highlights from the current Newsletter include:IN Woodland Steward Newsletter Main Page

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
Birdfeeder tips, The National Audubon Society
Birds and Residential Window Strikes: Tips for Prevention, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Breeding Birds and Forest Management: the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment and the Central Hardwoods Region, The Education Store
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


Posted on January 20th, 2024 in Forestry, Plants, Safety, Wildlife | No Comments »

Cicada sitting on a blade of grassFor first time in 221 years, two cicada broods to emerge in Indiana simultaneously, The Indianapolis Star: Cicadas are buzzing back to Indiana in 2024, and in a big way say bug experts.

For the first time in 221 years, two different broods of cicadas — the 17-year Brood XIII and the 13-year Brood XIX — will appear in parts of Indiana and other states. A dual emergence is rare, according to Dr. Gene Kritsky of Cincinnati’s Mount St. Joseph University.

The last time two broods of cicadas emerged at once in Indiana, the year was 1803 and Thomas Jefferson was President. Different broods of cicadas have popped up in other states, however, such as Missouri in 1998, or when rock album “Windows from Heaven” was released by Jefferson Starship.

Here’s what we know about this unique, natural event happening in Indiana and large swaths of the Midwest.

How often do cicadas appear in Indiana?
While annual cicadas appear every 2-5 years, broods of periodical cicadas will emerge once every 17 years across the Hoosier state. There are two broods, however, that emerge every 13 years, according to Purdue University.

These black-bodied, red-eyed, winged insects crawl out of the ground from around late May to June to reproduce and begin their life-cycle anew. Cicadas can be found on every continent except Antarctica. There are more than 3,000 different species of cicadas around the world, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Brood XIII (17-year brood) cicadas are coming to the Midwest in 2024
Brood XIII cicadas will emerge in parts of Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin and possibly Michigan, according to CicadaMania.org, but are expected to be concentrated in Illinois. These cicadas last emerged in 2007.

This year, cicadas in Illinois will create some unique challenges for entomologists, according to the University of Connecticut. The Prairie State is home to both the 17- and 13-year cicada broods.

Where will Brood XIII cicadas appear in Indiana in 2024?
In 2024, Brood XIII cicadas will appear in areas of LakeLaPorte, and Porter counties in the upper northwestern side of Indiana, according to Purdue University.

Do cicadas bite?
Cicadas might look scary with their red eyes, huge wings and prickly feet, but they’re harmless to humans.

They don’t sting or carry diseases, and they don’t bite. In fact, cicadas don’t have mouth parts that can bite, said Elizabeth Barnes, an entomologist with Purdue University in a previous article by IndyStar.

No, they won’t bite: Debunking 8 common myths about cicadas

What about the other species of cicadas? Where will Brood XIX (13-year brood) cicadas appear?
This year the Brood XIX cicadas are set to emerge in 15 states across the country. They’ll appear in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia.

Where will Brood XIX cicadas appear in Indiana in 2024?
In 2024, the 13-year Brood XIX cicadas will appear in 8 western counties across the Hoosier State, according to Purdue University, from Posey and Warrick counties near Evansville in the south, to Newton and Jasper counties on the north.

To see the full story and video please visit the IndyStar.

Resources:
Periodical Cicadas, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Entomology
Billions of Cicadas Are Coming This Spring; What Does That Mean for Wildlife?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR)
17 Ways to Make the Most of the 17-year Cicada Emergence, Purdue College of Agriculture
Ask an Expert: Cicada Emergence Video, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension-FNR
Periodical Cicada in Indiana, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Cicada Killers, The Education Store
Purdue Cicada Tracker, Purdue Extension-Master Gardener Program
Cicada, Youth and Entomology, Purdue Extension
Indiana Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology

Tim Gibb, Insect Diagnostician and Extension Specialist
Purdue Department of Entomology

Indy Star


Photo from HEENewsletterThe Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE) just updated their newsletter for the fall/winter season. The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE) was developed to study the effectiveness of different forest management methods in promoting successful oak and hickory regeneration and the effects of these management practices on plant and animal species. With nine partnering universities and agencies conducting research on the ecological and social impacts of long-term forest management, HEE has been an integral part of completed research for over 30 plus M.S. and Ph.D. level graduate students. The project has also employed more than 250 undergraduate and post-graduate students to conduct summer field work.

Newsletter topics include:

Squirrel & Small Mammal Crew

  • Sarah Baker (PhD Candidate, Purdue) and three Wildlife Technicians conducted squirrel point count surveys. Camera trapping for squirrels and small mammals was also conducted.

Cerulean Warbler Crew

  • Julian Grudens (MS Candidate, BSU) and Brit Nahorney (MS Candidate, BSU) worked with two Technicians to conduct aural surveys, nest searching, and mist netting.
    They also collected caterpillar droppings to investigate the dietary preferences of Ceruleans.

Bat Crew

  • Josie Hoppenworth (MS Candidate, UIUC) and Reed Crawford (PhD Candidate, UIUC) worked with two Technicians to conduct mist netting and find and catalogue roost trees.

Additional Work

  • Longhorn beetle trapping was conducted (Purdue).
  • Moth samples were collected (Drake University).

Introducing New HEE Staff
Rae Garrett – Field Coordinator
Rae began as the Field Coordinator in May 2023. Recently she graduated from Purdue University with a BS in Wildlife Biology with a minor in Insect Biology. Since then, she has worked in various temporary positions gaining experience in field work and outreach. She looks forward to assisting HEE Researchers with continuing data collection and working with Kat to reach new goals in outreach.

Kat Shay – Project Coordinator
Kat began as the Project Coordinator in September 2023. She has an MS in Environmental Science and an MPA from Indiana University, where she worked in Dr. Kim Novick’s lab on various phenology, carbon flux, oak leaf-miner, and cicada projects in Morgan Monroe and Yellowwood. She holds a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Alabama, where she worked in the Spatial Ecology Lab. She previously worked for NOAA at the Beaufort Lab in NC, conducting research on carbon flux and storage in salt marshes. Most recently she worked in the San Bernardino National Forest in southern California, managing conservation, recreation, and restoration projects. She has lived in Scotland, Germany, and all over the US and loves reading, traveling, and sports (especially soccer and rugby). She’s excited Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment Fall/Winter 2023 to join the HEE team and continue working in the forests she loves.

To view the full newsletter visit: HEE Newsletter.

If you would like to receive the HEE e-newsletter send your name, email, address and your interests to Kat Shay, forest project coordinator, at koshay@purdue.edu.

Resources:
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment – Wildlife Responses to Timber Harvesting, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment: Indiana Forestry and Wildlife, The Education Store
Breeding Birds and Forest Management: the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment and the Central Hardwoods Region, The Education Store
The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment: 2006-2016, The Education Store
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment Playlist, Subscribe to Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube Channel
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment – Prescribed Fire, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
Finding help from a professional forester, Indiana Forestry & Woodland Owners Association

Kat Shay, Forest Project Coordinator
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE)
Purdue Forestry & Natural Resources


Posted on January 4th, 2024 in Community Development, How To | No Comments »

Aerial view of Indiana rural town with sunset in the background.Purdue Extension is launching the Purdue Broadband Team (PBT) to harness the power of Indiana’s land-grant institution to help expand broadband access, adoption, and use as an essential catalyst for economic growth in the state. The Purdue Extension PBT is part a collaborative effort between Purdue, the Indiana Broadband Office, and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. Coordinated by Purdue’s Office of Engagement, the Purdue Broadband Team will include Purdue Extension, 4-H, the Purdue Center for Regional Development and the Purdue for Life Foundation. View Purdue News – Purdue launches broadband team, effort to increase high-speed internet access, adoption and use throughout Indiana.

“The lack of affordable high-speed broadband affects economic development and quality of life in various communities in our state,” Purdue President Mung Chiang said. “Continuing our long-standing tradition as Indiana’s land-grant institution, Purdue is honored to play a small and hopefully useful role as the state government plans the next-level broadband deployment.”

Why PBT?
The federal government, in partnership with states, is deploying broadband funds through the Broadband Equity, Adoption, and Deployment program, also known as BEAD. Indiana is receiving close to $870 million starting mid to late 2024. A map put together by the Federal Communications Commission or FCC, the government entity that regulates telecommunications, will dictate where these funds go.

So, PBT needs to make sure Indiana’s broadband map is as accurate as possible.

The PBT will help by spreading the word on resources that will make Indiana’s broadband map more accurate and help with broadband adoption which includes:

  • Validating your address and internet service available on the FCC map
  • Applying for the Indiana Connectivity Program or ICP
  • Conducting speed tests or reporting a lack of connectivity at your address
  • Learning more about the Affordable Connectivity Program or ACP

To learn more about the PBT and how you can get involved, along with how to test your internet connection, view the : Purdue Broadband Team website.

Resources:
The Time for Broadband is Now – Purdue University is Playing its Part, Purdue Extension News
Thinking Broadly About Broadband, Purdue Extension News
Purdue Extension Community Development, programs include: Digital Ready Business; Digital Ready Community; Remote Work Certificate Program; Essential Digital Employability Skills Program; and much more.
Broadband, Purdue Center for Regional Development
Connecting Indiana: Broadband for the Future is Now, Purdue Center for Regional Development

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

Purdue Extension


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