Hello Iowans! My name is Billy Beck - your new Forestry Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
In keeping with a theme from my last blog titled “What the heck is habitat”, this month I explore another critical question within the language of conservation. What’s a wetland?
Iowans interested in the care of trees, forests and natural resources should consider attending a forestry field day this fall, held by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and various public and private partners.
Many rural residents in Iowa rely on private wells as their source of water for drinking, cooking, washing clothes, and watering livestock. Even if your well and the area around it have remained unchanged, it is important to test water annually for indicators of contamination, including nit
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced an extension of the deadline to determine whether the monarch butterfly is warranted for listing under the Endangered Species Act. The new deadline, December 15, 2020, was originally June 30, 2019.
Wild turkey. Ring-necked pheasant. Trumpeter swan. Turkey vulture. Northern bobwhite. These are the remarkable birds of Iowa’s rural landscapes. They’re large, conspicuous, and broadly recognized.
Iowa’s pig farmers are collaborating with Iowa State University on a research project to discover ways to provide more habitat for monarch butterflies. The project is focused on the use and success of establishing habitat near pig barns....
Monarch butterflies receive a great deal of attention these days. While children chase the vibrant orange-black fluttering across yards and gardens, adults are paying attention and taking actions to increase milkweed stands and native plantings in hopes of rebuilding monarch populations.
As I write this, in the waning days of February, many of the wildlife that grace Iowa’s cities and farms during the spring and summer, are far away.
I have seen a wide gamut of responses to the question posed in the title of this post. While preparing for my Ph.D. candidacy exams, I was asked a version of this question as it related to ducks and agonized over the response for months (you’ll see elements of my answer below).
Taking Iowa State University resources and personalizing them for a specific area of the state can be a challenge. Researchers in Ames have knowledge and experience dealing with big-picture issues, while local conservationists are plugged into opportunities and challenges in their home area.
This week, the World Wildlife Fund released its 2018-2019 overwintering monarch population report. Adult monarch butterflies covered approximately 15 acres of forest canopy in Mexico, a doubling of last year’s population, and a level not seen since 10 years ago.
For many of us, conservation is our way of life. Finding ways to connect with and improve the land, the soil, the water, and wildlife consumes our thoughts and free time.
Liberty is at the heart of the American experiment: that fundamental concept that says the will of the majority should not supersede the rights of individuals. Emerging from this pillar however is a fundamental question: to what extent can one actor infringe on the rights of another?
White-tailed deer are as synonymous with the ‘acreage living’ experience as fences and ragweed. We find them everywhere in Iowa, thriving in urban forests and remote sections of cropland with little more than a ditch for cover.
In February of 2018, wildlife biologists and veterinarians investigated the suspicious death of 32 trumpeter swans in a Clinton County wetland.
The 57 species of wild mammals routinely found in Iowa is the focus of a new Iowa State University Extension and Outreach publication titled “Mammals of Iowa” (WL 0006).
Perhaps the greatest reward for living in a place with four well-defined seasons is the marked return of spring. It’s now that the long, motionless days of winter are, seemingly overnight, replaced with the sights and sounds of species whose likeness we haven’t seen for months.
Despite what can feel like Arctic weather sweeping into Iowa during the winter, the state still finds itself a long way from the Arctic tundra. So it would be surprising to find Arctic tundra wildlife soaring over Iowa’s picked corn fields or perching on the state’s telephone poles.
One my favorite quotes from Iowa native and conservation icon Aldo Leopold goes like this: “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.” I think about that quote often this time of year because every fall, after the grand finale of summer
It’s easy to forget they’re mammals just like us. They give live birth, they nurse their young, they feed and sleep and do otherwise mundane things to stay alive and stay healthy.
Conservation is ensuring the greatest good for the greatest number of people. This idea is credited to American forester Gifford Pinchot, but many have arrived at the same conclusion.
The title to this article is the answer to a question I get often.
Most wildlife biologists and hunters, like me, admittedly have less of a mainstream attitude toward weeds. Those of us who spend fall mornings behind bird dogs or summer days glassing butterflies look upon field edges and odd areas in a different light...
We can learn about our land in a variety of ways. Local history books report on the native cultures that hunted, gathered, farmed and traded there. General Land Office surveys from the 19th century record the locations of natural features and early settlements.