Got Nature? Blog

Propeller with muscles attachedWild Bulletin, Indiana Department of Natural Resources: As you prepare your boat or recreational equipment to get back on the water this spring, remember to look for aquatic hitchhikers. Zebra mussels, aquatic plants like Eurasian watermilfoil or starry stonewort, and many other invasive species continue to be a threat to Indiana’s waters by degrading fish habitat and negatively affecting recreational boating and fishing. The most common locations where plants, mussels, and animals hitch a ride include:

  • Transom well near the drain plug
  • Axle of the trailer
  • Lower unit and propeller on the boat motor
  • The rollers and bunks that guide the boat onto the trailer
  • Anchor and lines
  • Bait bucket and live well

Boat owners are asked to drain water from bait buckets, live wells, and boats before leaving the boat landing; leave drain plugs out while travelling on land; clean and dry anything that came in contact with water; and dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. Learn more about aquatic invasive species and how to prevent their movement.

Learn how to stop aquatic hitchhikers.

Find more information about  aquatic invasive plants and aquatic invasive invertebrates. Subscribe and receive the Wild Bulletin, Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Resources:
Invasive plants: Impact on Environment and People, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR)
Aquatic Invasive Species in the Great Lakes: The Quagga Mussel, Purdue Extension – FNR
Lampreys, Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Animal Informational Series
Aquatic Invaders in the Marketplace, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
Great Lakes Sea Grant Network (GLERL), NOAA – Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
A Field Guide to Fish Invaders of the Great Lake Regions, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
Purdue Researchers Get to the Bottom of Another Quagga Mussel Impact, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
Protect Your Waters, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service & U.S. Coast Guard
Nongame and Endangered Wildlife, Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Indiana Department of Natural Resources


Posted on April 27th, 2022 in Aquatic/Aquaculture Resources, Wildlife | No Comments »

In this episode of A Moment in the Wild, wildlife technician Zach Truelock introduces you to the southern two-lined salamander, a member of the lungless salamander family, which true to their name do nearly all of their respiration through their skin.

If you have any questions regarding wildlife, trees, forest management, wood products, natural resource planning, or other natural resource topics, feel free to contact us by using our Ask an Expert web page.

Resources
Question: Which salamander is this?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Salamanders of Indiana Book, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Amphibians: Frogs, Toads, and Salamanders, Purdue Nature of Teaching
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Hellbender ID, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
A Moment in the Wild, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Help the Hellbender, YouTube Playlist & Website

Zach Truelock, Hellbender Technician
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Rod Williams, Assistant Provost for Engagement/Professor of Wildlife Science
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Environmental Planning in Community Plans

Indiana communities use several kinds of plans to help guide decisions about development, quality of life, and public safety. Comprehensive plans, parks and recreation plans, multi-hazard mitigation plans, and sub-area plans are conducted by local governments for these purposes. This Environmental Planning in Community Plan include opportunities for addressing environmental concerns. This document provides examples of the connection between each type of plan and environmental planning, along with instructive examples from Indiana communities.

Although this document focuses on the connection between local government and watershed plans and their connections to environmental planning, several state and federal regulatory agencies also impact environmental planning. Some of the major agencies are discussed in this publication, and links to additional resources are provided.

Communities create comprehensive plans to guide decisions about development, quality of life and public safety, parks and recreation plans, multi-hazard mitigation plans, and sub-area plans. Such plans include opportunities to address environmental concerns. Using instructive examples from Indiana communities, this publication examines the connection between those plans and environmental planning.

Resources:
Sustainable Communities Extension Program Website, Purdue Extension
Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces Program Video, Purdue Extension
Implementation Examples of Smart Growth Strategies in Indiana, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Climate Change and Sustainable Development, The Education Store
Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces: Creating Healthy Communities, The Education Store
Subscribe to Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel

Dan Walker, Community Planning Extension Specialist
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

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


Posted on April 24th, 2022 in Aquatic/Aquaculture Resources, Wildlife | No Comments »

Dr. Rod Williams‘ hellbender research, the Purdue rearing lab and more than 12 years of the lab’s work are featured in a new documentary, Hellbender in the Blue,Hellbender in the blue  produced by Teardrop Pictures.

The film premiered on January 12 at the Kan-Kan Cinema and Brasserie in Indianapolis and is now available to purchase and stream through Vimeo on Demand. Hellbender in the Blue is also heading out on the festival tour, including the Indiana Humanities Waterways Film Tour.

The Indiana Humanities Waterways Film Tour is a nine-city tour featuring six short documentary films about Indiana’s waterways. The films feature stories told by individuals from across the state and highlight their diverse relationships with water. Screenings are free and open to the public, although advance registration is requested. Select events will also include a panel featuring the filmmakers prior to the screening.

  • Thursday, March 31, 6 p.m. CT/7 ET; New Harmony Antheneum, 401 Arthur St., New Harmony, IN 47631
  • Tuesday, April 5, 6 p.m. ET; Jefferson County Public Library, 420 W. Main St., Madison, IN 47250
  • Thursday, April 7, 8 p.m. ET; Taggart Amphitheatre (outdoor screening), 1856 Burdsal Pkwy., Indianapolis, IN 46208
  • Tuesday, April 19, 6 p.m. ET; Fowler Theatre, 111 E. 5th St., Fowler, IN 47944
  • Wednesday, April 20, 6:30 p.m. ET; Strand Theatre, 221 S. Main St., Kendallville, IN 46755
  • Friday, April 29, 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET; Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts, 540 S. Lake St., Gary, IN 46403
  • Wednesday, May 11, 6:30 p.m. ET; Harrison County Arts, 113 E. Beaver St., Corydon, IN 47112
  • Tuesday, May 17, 6:30 p.m. ET; Studebaker 112, 635 S. Lafayette Blvd., South Bend, IN 46601
  • Tuesday, June 22, 6:30 p.m. ET; Richmond Art Museum, 350 Hub Etchison Pkwy., Richmond, IN 47374

The soundtrack to Hellbender in the Blue is available on Spotify, care of Eric Salazar, also known as @theclarinetguy on Instagram.

Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources’ involvement in the Hellbender in the Blue project began in April 2020, when Katelyn Calhoun, a documentary film maker with Teardrop Pictures, contacted Williams and research biologist/extension wildlife specialist Nick Burgmeier, regarding her desire to make a film about hellbenders in Indiana, as well the efforts Purdue, The Nature Conservancy and others have undertaken to protect/restore their populations and the efforts to remove dams from their habitat. The eventual goal is to make a more wide-ranging documentary about hellbenders throughout their range.

“We hope the film helps reach a broader audience to expand awareness of the project and encourages people to support efforts to protect hellbenders and Indiana’s water resources,” Burgmeier said.

Full article > > >

Resources:
A Moment in the Wild, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
Improving Water Quality by Protecting Sinkholes on Your Property, Video, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
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
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
Help the Hellbender, North America’s Giant Salamander, The Education Store

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

Rod Williams, Assistant Provost for Engagement/Professor of Wildlife Science
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

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


Posted on April 21st, 2022 in Aquaculture/Fish, Wildlife | No Comments »

In this episode of A Moment in the Wild, wildlife technician Zach Truelock introduces you to the streamside salamander. This salamander lives in underground burrows and lays its eggs in small headwater streams in the winter/early spring. This species also has a twin species in Indiana, the small-mouthed salamander.

If you have any questions regarding wildlife, trees, forest management, wood products, natural resource planning, or other natural resource topics, feel free to contact us by using our Ask an Expert web page.

Resources
Question: Which salamander is this?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Salamanders of Indiana Book, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Amphibians: Frogs, Toads, and Salamanders, Purdue Nature of Teaching
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Hellbender ID, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
A Moment in the Wild, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Help the Hellbender, YouTube Playlist & Website

Zach Truelock, Hellbender Technician
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Rod Williams, Assistant Provost for Engagement/Professor of Wildlife Science
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


American Paddlefish Farmed Fish Fact Sheet

This publication  American Paddlefish FNR-625-W is the fifth in a series of consumer guides that describe fish and shellfish farmed in the Midwest region of the United States. The fact sheet also includes culinary characteristics, cooking tips and a recipe for Zesty Grilled Paddlefish.

Paddlefish lack scales and bones, with one exception— the have a jawbone. They have smooth skin that is similar in appearance to sturgeon, also a scaleless fish in the order Acipenseriformes, and have skeletons comprised primarily of cartilage. They have small eyes, large mouths, large tapering gill covers, and shark-like tails. They are dark bluish gray, with lighter sides and white bellies. Their most distinguishing feature is their elongated snout, called a rostrum, which looks like a paddle.

There are only two known paddlefish species- one native to the Mississippi River basin, and one which was native to the Yangtze River in China. The Chinese paddlefish is believed to have been extinct2 for some time now, making paddlefish a uniquely North American fish. Paddlefish are primarily produced for caviar, although the meat makes for great table fare. Paddlefish are commercially harvested from the wild, farmed, and even ranched. Paddlefish products are specialty items and, therefore, can be a little hard to find. Paddlefish products can be purchased from restaurants, specialty stores, and directly from producers.

Resources:
Walleye Farmed Fish Fact Sheet, The Education Store
Pacific White Shrimp Farmed Fact Sheet, The Education Store
Yellow Perch Farmed Fish Fact Sheet, The Education Store
Tilapia Farmed Fish Fact Sheet, The Education Store
Rainbow Trout Farmed Fish Fact Sheet, The Education Store
Eat Midwest Fish, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant online resource hub
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG), Illinoi-Indiana Sea Grant

Amy Shambach, Aquaculture Marketing Outreach Associate
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources/Illinois Indiana Sea Grant Program


Posted on April 8th, 2022 in Aquatic/Aquaculture Resources, Wildlife | No Comments »

In this episode of A Moment in the Wild, wildlife technician Zach Truelock introduces you to another member of the lungless salamander family, the cave salamander. This species, identifiable by its bright orange/red coloration covered in black spots, lives in caves as well as crevices along streams, rocky bluffs and springs.

If you have any questions regarding wildlife, trees, forest management, wood products, natural resource planning, or other natural resource topics, feel free to contact us by using our Ask an Expert web page.

Resources
Question: Which salamander is this?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Salamanders of Indiana Book, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Amphibians: Frogs, Toads, and Salamanders, Purdue Nature of Teaching
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Hellbender ID, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
A Moment in the Wild, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Help the Hellbender, YouTube Playlist & Website

Zach Truelock, Hellbender Technician
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Rod Williams, Assistant Provost for Engagement/Professor of Wildlife Science
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


When Lindsey PurcellMatt Ginzel and Cliff Sadof began working on a research grant for Rotam North America regarding the use of trunk-injected emamectin benzoate to manage emerald ash borer, they set out to compare three commercially available insecticide injection systems.

Lindsey Purcell headshotThey looked at the variance in number of injection points, whether or not ports were plugged and more, while also conducting a long-term study examining the difference in protection provided by spring and fall injections.

“We know that Emamectin benzoate is an excellent tool for protecting ash trees,” Sadof explained. “The trick is to get it into the tree before the tree has exhibited substantial decline. After the tree’s vascular tissue has been compromised, it becomes less able to transport the insecticide through the phloem into the canopy where it can kill leaves.”

A publication detailing the results of the research will be published soon in an article titled “Diffusion and Efficacy of Trunk-injected Emamectin Benzoate to Manage Emerald Ash Borer.”

Sadof and Ginzel also published a separate article “Factors influencing efficacy of an area-wide pest management program in three urban forests” in Urban Forestry and Urban Greening in March 2021, which details how early applications of insecticide can help with area wide protection of ash trees.

Due to his involvement in the Rotam grant, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and SymTree Science owner Terry Marie Braniecki asked Purcell if he would contribute his expertise and time as a plant healthcare subject matter expert toward PNNL’s better, more environmentally sensitive and economical delivery solution for their tree-health products.

After two years of research and development sponsored by Elemental Enzymes, and several iterations of prototypes made on 3D printers, the patented device, designed by the team of PNNL staff, Purdue faculty and private companies, is currently being beta tested by the industry with select distributors for commercial use.

“There are several similar devices out in the plant health care industry, but SymTree Science and Elemental Enzyme asked me what do you use, what do you like to use and can we make something better,” Purcell said. “Out of research always comes additional research and innovation, so I said here’s what I have in mind and PNNL’s engineers took my input and made it happen. It was initially made to deliver pesticides. However, it can also be used for micronutrient packages to correct deficiencies in the tree or applied for emerald ash borer control. Additionally, a product is in development for dates and coconut palms, which have major pest problems that are hard to control. These chemical injections can help the tree proactively and reactively to manage current infestations, but also act to prevent infestation.”

The reusable injection device works in conjunction with prepackaged recyclable injectors, which are installed directly into the tree vascular system at the root flare. If a tree is translocating efficiently, chemicals can be fully injected in minutes.

Base of tree showing roots and injection set up, Lindsey Purcell's Microinjector.“The device is user friendly, it is simple and it protects the applicator because they have little to no exposure to chemicals and the environment has no exposure to chemicals,” Purcell explained. “It is very focused on the tree. It is not like you are broadcast spraying, where chemicals are vulnerable to drift. It is very safe for the environment and the people around it.”

On the PNNL website, the device, its design and functionality are described as follows:
“The Tree Micro-Injector delivers nutrition, pesticides and fungicides faster and easier than similar commercially available injectors. The device resembles a laboratory syringe, with an exterior housing holding a uniquely designed compressible pod. The housing and pod are made of polypropylene, a versatile, recyclable materials. An internal steel spring holds the pod in place and allows it to be precisely compressed to eject a liquid formulation through the housing’s nozzle. The single-use disposable pod can be prefilled with a variety of specialty formulations, such as nutrition fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or plant growth regulators.”

Purcell worked in conjunction with Kevin Simmons, Allan Tuan, Dustin Clelland, Stan Owsley and David Long from PNNL; as well as Terry Marie Braniecki, owner of Symtree Science LLC; and Stacie Schumer, product manager at Elemental Enzymes, on the project.

The group was recognized for their work with the Excellence in Technology Transfer Award presented by the 2022 Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer. The Excellence in Technology Transfer Award recognizes employees of FLC member laboratories and non-laboratory staff who have accomplished outstanding work in the process of transferring federally developed technology. The award is based on contributions during the past 10 years.

The annual FLC awards are among the most reputed honors in the technology transfer field. PNNL has received 98 FLC awards since the program’s inception in 1984, including three in 2022. In addition to the injector, PNNL developed an airport security device that scans passengers’ shoes, which earned the Interagency Partnership Award; and a home energy efficiency assessment tool, which received the FLC Impact Award.

The FLC winners will be recognized at the 2022 FLC national meeting on April 6 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Full Article>>>

Resources:
Find an Arborist, Trees are Good
Tree wounds and healing, Got Nature? Blog
Ask an Expert: Tree Selection and Planting, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube Channel
Planting Your Tree Part 1: Choosing Your Tree, Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Channel
Tree Installation: Process and Practices, The Education Store
Tree Pruning Essentials, The Education Store
Subscribe to Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Channel

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

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


Posted on April 6th, 2022 in Wildlife | No Comments »

In this edition of A Moment in the Wild, meet one of our early spring breeding species of frogs, the wood frog. This species may vary in color from tan and browns to reds and pinks, but is identifiable by a black mask which runs through the eye to the upper jaw. Wood frogs also have the unique ability to freeze solid, even stopping their heart beat and blood flow during the winter months.

If you have any questions regarding wildlife, trees, forest management, wood products, natural resource planning, or other natural resource topics, feel free to contact us by using our Ask an Expert web page.

Resources
Sounds of Frogs & Toads, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR)
Frogs & toads of Indiana, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Salamanders of Indiana Book, The Education Store
Amphibians: Frogs, Toads, and Salamanders, Purdue Nature of Teaching
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store
Hellbender ID, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
A Moment in the Wild, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel

Zach Truelock, Hellbender Technician
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Rod Williams, Assistant Provost for Engagement/Professor of Wildlife Science
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


In this HEE Prescribed Fire video, Charlotte Owings, project coordinator on the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE) explains the forest management technique of prescribed fire and how it is being utilized on the HEE.

What is HEE?
The focus of forest science is increasingly shifting to the management of forests as complex systems rather than as simple agricultural landscapes—with a much greater appreciation for the interactive ecosystem processes. In addition, now for many forest landowners, the ecological value of their land is at least as important as the economic return. It is, therefore, vital to understand how forest management affects not only timber production, but also the overall function of forested ecosystems.

The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE) is a long-term, large-scale experimental study of forest management and its impacts. The project was initiated in 2006 with partners including: Ball State University, Drake University, Indiana State University, Purdue Entomology, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IN DNR), and the Indiana Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society.

For information about study sites, harvesting treatments, sampling design, and more, see our Study Design page and US Forest Service General Technical Report NRS-P-108, The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment: A Framework For Studying Responses to Forest Management.

Resources
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment, Website
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE), YouTube Playlist, Purdue Extension–Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR)
Ask an Expert: Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE) Birds and Salamander Research, Video, Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Channel
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

Charlotte Owings, Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment Project Coordinator
Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


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