Presentation on theme: "Attracting Iowa Wildlife On Private Lands. Iowa Wildlife Needs 98 percent of Iowa is privately owned. Wildlife depend on private landowners for habitat."— Presentation transcript:
Iowa Wildlife Needs 98 percent of Iowa is privately owned. Wildlife depend on private landowners for habitat needs. Remember the basics: food, cover, & water.
Backyard Birds More than 362 species; songbirds largest group. Beneficial management practices: grasses & forbs; nesting structures & homes; trees & shrubs. Food: Use a variety of feeders to attract a variety of species.
Backyard Birds Cover: needed for escape, roosting, nesting and brood rearing. - Trees, shrubs, grasses -Birdhouses Water: needed for bathing, drinking and regulating body temperature. –Small pool with shallow edge –Birdbath and/or fountain
Cottontail Rabbit Cottontails are found statewide-from farms to suburbia. Cottontails spend entire life within 2 to 10 acres. All habitat needs must be met within this small area. Beneficial management practices: brush piles; food plots; grasses & forbs; strip/light disking; timber management; trees & shrubs.
Cottontail Rabbit Nesting Habitat: idle grassy areas, hayfields, fence lines or brushy areas. –Mixture of undisturbed cool or warm season grasses, forbs, shrubs. –Drinking water not required. Diet provides daily water needs. Winter habitat: critical season for rabbits. –Must spend more time searching for food. –Highly visible to predators. –Feathered edge management practice provides best winter cover.
Ducks & Geese Each spring and fall millions ducks, geese and swans migrate through Iowa. More than 30 species of ducks, geese and swans call Iowa home during part of year. Nearly 35,000 waterfowl hunters harvest 150,000 ducks and 75,000 geese each year
Ducks & Geese Beneficial management practices: food plots; grasses & forbs; nesting structures & homes; wetlands. Habitat Requirements: –Need both wetland and grassland. –Nesting ducks benefit from idle grasslands, protected from haying and grazing from May until July. –Wood ducks only species needing mature trees for nesting.
Ducks & Geese Habitat Requirements (cont.) –Canada geese and trumpeter swans nest on island-like structures over the water. –Green browse and grain food plots next to wetlands are important food for migrating waterfowl. –Wetlands drawn drown in summer and regrown with annual weeds & flooded grain food plots provide excellent food for all waterfowl.
Eastern Wild Turkey Iowa’s wild turkey population estimated at more than 100,000 birds. Turkeys thrive in mature oak-hickory forests native to this region. Beneficial management practices include: food plots; timber management, trees and shrubs.
Eastern Wild Turkey Nesting Habitat: hens select nest sites in a variety of cover types but favor woodland edges near field openings. Poults need abundant insect populations for feeding, foraging habitat and protective cover. Fall/Winter Habitat: two keys are food and roosting habitats. –During fall food is crucial as birds build fat deposits for winter survival. –Favorite turkey roosting sites include clumps of large pines and trees like those found in mature oak-hickory forest.
Furbearers Iowa is home to 15 common furbearing species. Spotted skunk, river otter and bobcat are considered rare and are protected. Timbered river and stream valley corridors are the most important habitats for opossum, woodchuck, coyote, gray fox and bobcat. Other beneficial management practices: food plots, grasses & forbs, timber management, trees & shrubs.
Nongame Wildlife More than 400 (80 percent) of Iowa animal species are nongame wildlife. A management plan with the widest range of plantings and structures will attract the greatest variety of mammals, amphibians, reptiles and bats. Beneficial management practices: grasses & forbs; farm ponds; nesting structures & homes, wetlands.
Northern Bobwhite Quail Historically, bobwhite were found across much of the state—now they are found only in southern Iowa. Bobwhite prefer brushy-shrubby areas interspersed with small (20 to 80 acre) farm fields and pasture/hayland. Most live on less than 100 acres. Beneficial management practices: brush piles; food plots; grasses & forbs; pasture mgt., strip/light disking; timber mgt.; trees & shrubs.
Northern Bobwhite Quail Mixture of crop fields, pastures, meadows and woodland edges make up quality quail habitat. Nesting habitat: nests are usually found in sparse vegetation. –Hens prefer moderately grazed pastures, native grasses with forbs, idle areas, weedy food plots and brushy fences and hedgerows. Hens only need one clump of grass every 15 steps. Winter habitat:Quail seldom range more than one-quarter mile in winter so loafing, roosting and food must be in close proximity to each other.
Ring-necked Pheasant Most important game bird in Iowa with a population of up to 6 million. Population peaked in 1940 at 500/square mile. Lack of safe nesting habitat lead to a drop to less than 15/square mile. Beneficial management practices: food plots, grasses & forbs, trees & shrubs and wetlands.
Ring-necked Pheasant Nesting habitat: Hens conceal nests in erect, undisturbed grassy vegetation at least 8 to 10 inches tall. –Research shows nests in blocks of habitat greater than 40 acres have a higher chance of hatching. –Fast growth rate requires a high protein diet of insects for chicks. Winter habitat:pheasants prefer tall, grassy habitats for roosting at night and shrubby/brushy habitats for loafing during the day. –Corn/sorghum food plots are very important.
Ruffed Grouse Ruffed grouse were found nearly statewide during the mid-19th century, but by 1930 they were restricted to northeast Iowa. Ruffed grouse is a ground-dwelling, native forest game bird that lives in young deciduous and mixed woodlands. Beneficial management practices: food plots; timber management; trees & shrubs.
Ruffed Grouse Nesting habitat: nests are usually situated at the base of a solid object like a tree or stump. –Best sites provide hens a good view of immediate surroundings and a ready escape from predators. Winter habitat: ideal habitat is dense brushy or shrubby vegetation that provide insulation and cover at least 15 feet tall. –In much of Iowa, red cedar provide thick cover for wintering grouse.
Whitetail Deer Deer occur in every county, with highest densities in southern third and northeast corner of Iowa. Areas with the largest amount of timber have the biggest deer populations. Good deer habitat will support up to 25 deer/square mile. Beneficial management practices include: food plots; grasses & forbs; timber management; trees & shrubs
Whitetail Deer Habitat requirements: annual home range varies from one-half to one square mile according to suitable habitat, food and water –Does seek seclusion for fawning in brushy fields, heavily vegetated stream bottoms, forest edges, pastures, CRP fields and grasslands. –Standing corn is used for food, travel and escape cover in the fall. –In winter deer concentrate in heavy timber, cattails, tall weeds and brush. –Feathering back timber edges is very beneficial for fawning and wintering deer.
Habitat Practices Brushpiles:mound of material with a maze of cavities that provide protection from weather or predators. Prescribed Burning: uses planned fires to nurture plants, harm others and fertilize with a quick release of nutrients.
Habitat Practices Farm Ponds:best ponds have about 20 acres of watershed for each acre of surface area. Ponds have multiple uses from recreation to livestock watering.
Habitat Practices Food plots: can be single grain or a diverse mixture to attract a variety of game and non-game species. Location is a key consideration when planning a food plot.
Habitat Practices Grasses & Forbs: most of Iowa’s songbirds, gamebirds and mammals require diverse grassland habitats. Legumes: provide direct food value through seeds or through the insects they harbor.
Habitat Practices Mowing/Haying: Targeted mowing, after Aug. 1, allows species to efficiently use habitat. Nesting Structures & Homes:providing additional home and nesting sites is very important for waterfowl and some nongame species.
Habitat Practices Pasture Management: the most critical elements are extent and timing of grazing and pasture vegetation or forage. Pastures grazed below 6 inches are detrimental to nesting wildlife.
Habitat Practices Strip/Light Disking: provides additional bare ground for dusting and brood rearing. It is most often used along timber edges or large tracts of grassland.
Habitat Practices Timber Management: activities beneficial to wildlife include timber harvesting, thinning, creating or improving woodland corridors and using human-made habitat structures.
Habitat Practices Trees & Shrubs: provide excellent wildlife benefits year round for a variety of wildlife. This practice includes shelterbelts and riparian buffers. Wetlands:a simple way to enhance a wetland for wildlife is to provide nest structures for wildlife.
Help for Establishing Habitat USDA Programs –Wetland Reserve Program –Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program –Environmental Quality Incentives Program –Conservation Reserve Program –Continuous Conservation Reserve Program –Conservation Technical Assistance Iowa DNR –IDNR Shelterbelts –Forestry Programs
Help for Establishing Habitat Fish and Wildlife Service –Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program Private Organizations –Pheasants Forever –Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation –Ducks Unlimited –National Wild Turkey Federation