Wildlife and Wildlife Preservation

Del Ramey / Flickr

Lots of animals nest, and spring is the height of nesting season.

"It is a natural behavior that crosses all continents around the world, and something that really, everybody does in some way, including humans," says wildlife biologist Jim Pease. 

Julie Englander/IPR

If you find an injured raptor in eastern Iowa, there’s a place to take it. Two people have established a new raptor rehabilitation center because they felt there was a lack of medical resources for injured birds in the area.

Photo by Sack Pephirom

Thousands of crows are befouling pathways and windows at the Iowa Capitol, and officials who oversee the capitol grounds have called in outside help.    

Janet Phipps at the Iowa Department of Administrative Services says the problem is not new, but it is worse this year than in past years.

Phipps says the USDA Wildlife Service has helped downtown Des Moines get rid of its black birds, and they’ve roosted at the capitol instead.

“USDA assists in that so we are in touch with USDA about chasing them somewhere else,” Phipps said.

John Clare/flickr

Conservationists in the Iowa House have advanced a bipartisan bill to limit hunting of potentially threatened Iowa wildlife.    

The bill would create a hunting season and bag limits for the commercial harvest of turtles, which has increased in Iowa as other states have cracked down.  

Ackworth Democrat Scott Ourth says there’s demand for several species of turtles in Tama, Johnson, and other counties.

Flickr / Coen Dijkman

If you've ever wanted your own horse, you can adoption one Saturday in Decorah for $125. About 40 animals will be available for adoption.

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management says there are approximately 58,150 horses and burros roaming the western U.S. But to maintain a healthy wild population and a healthy habitat, the agency says those numbers need to drop by more than half. 

Seney Natural History Association

As agriculture and new construction in Iowa continue to expand and occupy Iowa's wildlife habitat, humans are in contact with predators like coyotes more and more. Like a caller said today during the our broadcast, one of the ways to handle that problem is to kill the predators that threaten domestic pets and backyard chickens. 

But author John Shivik says there’s another way. “Moving forward, we need to balance lethal versus non-lethal methods of dealing with predators. We can biologically deal with the issue instead of killing them to make ourselves feel better.”  

Michael Leland

If  you’re paddling one of Iowa’s rivers, out for a walk, or even driving down a highway the sight of a big white bird passing overhead has become common, but that wasn’t always the case.

On this wildlife day edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe sits down with wildlife biologist Jim Pease to discuss Iowa’s big white birds. These birds, including pelicans, great egrets and trumpeter swans, almost disappeared from the state, but are once again common.

Carla Kishinami

There are 10 species of woodpeckers in Iowa, and while woodpeckers are the type of birds that are sometimes heard but not seen, their drumming does have a purpose. Wildlife biologist Jim Pease explains that it’s like a song.

Colleen Chisman

As wild animals have adapted to our growing cities and towns, more and more people are encountering wildlife in their own backyards. What do you do if the wild animals you find are injured, orphaned, or displaced?

Teddy Llovet / Flickr

While the Seahawks are fighting one showdown this weekend, many across the world have their eyes on a different bird battle: Horned Owls vs. Bald Eagles.

Seney Natural History Association / Flickr

Not too long ago, the call of the Trumpeter Swan was unheard in Iowa; the last nesting pair was seen in 1883. But with concentrated effort from biologists and conservationists, the species has made a comeback in the state.

Rich Herrmann

It’s deer hunting season. On this edition of River to River, hunting concerns in Iowa, including the problem of poaching.

Jeremy Weber

"Our problems with wolves stem from jealousy and competition...they're just like us," says Doug Smith, Yellowstone National Park wildlife biologist.

fieldsbh / flickr

Step outside on a brisk fall evening and sometimes you will find that the air is perfumed with the unmistakable pungent odor of a skunk.

Jill Pruetz

Not many animals will use lethal aggression towards those in their own species, but two groups do - humans, and chimpanzees.

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

He just could be the longest living animal in Iowa, not counting humans. His lifespan predates the end of World War Two and Iowa Public Radio’s Rick Fredericksen found him living a life of luxury in Des Moines.

Julie Lesnik

Iowa State University primatologist Jill Pruetz introduced the world to the spear-wielding Savannah chimpanzees of Senegal. She's just returned to Iowa from her summer in that country; and this hour, host Charity Nebbe talks with with her about her discoveries.

And later in the hour, an update on the Ape Cognition and Conservation Initiative in Des Moines, from the organization's president and staff scientist, Bill Hopkins.

Peter Eyerhalde / Iowa State University

Lead shot used by deer hunters in the Upper Midwest is getting into the digestive tracts of bald eagles, according to a two-year study by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. 

Researchers found 36 percent of leftover deer carcasses in a four-state national wildlife refuge contained lead fragments, which scavenging eagles use as a food source. 

Sandy McCurdy / Sandy McCurdy Photos

Last spring, flooding destroyed 19 percent of trumpeter swan nests in Iowa.  Then in the fall many of the juveniles, or cygnets, died from drought.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources wildlife research technician Dave Hoffman says modification of Iowa’s watershed causes this severe weather.

“Wetlands…act as sponges to clean and hold the water in the spring, but also…hold the water in the fall (to) provide the moisture we need.”

Backyard Ecosystems

Mar 10, 2014
Carsten Tolkmit / http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Join Talk of Iowa for a talk with Douglas Tallamy, Professor and Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. He says “We need to change the way we interact with nature; it should not be segregated,” and that living with nature can be very rewarding. Tallamy says that Americans use plants that are mostly from Asia as decorations.  The result is a reduced biodiversity in the places we live, work, and farm.  Hear from Tallamy  about how we can connect habitats by reinstalling native plants.

World Bank Photo Collection / flickr

Jane Goodall is famous for her groundbreaking observation of wild chimpanzees; but for the last 30 years, she’s devoted most of her time to traveling the world, telling her stories, and trying to fan the flames of an environmental movement that could save her beloved chimpanzees and so many other species from extinction.

Eric Kilby

Increasingly recognized as "the next Jane Goodall" in primatology circles, Iowa State University primatologist Jill Pruetz brings incredible research and stories back to Iowa from Senegal in western Africa, where she studies the lives of savanna chimpanzees.

Jimmy Emerson / jimmywayne

Residents of Northwood are back in their homes after being asked to evacuate yesterday due to an explosion and fire at the city's municipal airport.  Iowa Public Radio statehouse correspondent Joyce Russell discusses which bills in the legislature might become laws in 2014.  The Blank Park Zoo's Amur tiger has died, and what Iowa City is doing about a recent rash of sexual assaults in taxicabs.  Also, an Olympics update from the Des Moines Register's sports columnist Bryce Miller in Sochi.

USFWS Mountain Prairie

Every year more wildlife friendly habitat disappears from Iowa and many different species are paying the price.  Host Charity Nebbe discusses the importance of wildlife corridors and roadside prairies with wildlife biologist Jim Pease and Rebecca Kauten, program manager for Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management.  They explain how Iowa's species are suffering due to a lack of connecting habitat as well as both the history of the state's roadside prairies, and the pros and cons of these

Pat Blank

The domestication of dogs started around 30,000 years ago when wolves started to self-select to live on the edges of human society in Eurasian. It wasn’t until about 14,000 years ago that we had the animal of dog as we know it.

Jeffrey LeClere / www.HerpNet.net

Iowa is home to 67 different amphibian and reptile species all deep in hibernation right now.  Herpetologist Jeffrey LeClere has written A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reputiles of Iowa.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with him about getting up close and personal with frogs, toads, salamanders and snakes once they wake up this spring.  She also talks with the filmmaker responsible for the new documentary “Wrestling With Iowa.”

Sarah Boden / Iowa Public Radio

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) manages almost 1,400 bison spread out amongst seven herds located in Iowa, Colorado, Oklahoma, Montana, Nebraska and North Dakota.  About 70 of these bison live at the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City.

FWS aims to preserve the species genetic diversity with as little human intervention as possible by allowing the forces of natural selection determine which bison live and die.  However, because herds are isolated from each other the agency conducts genetic testing to prevent inbreeding.

DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge

Two years after massive flooding along the Missouri River, work to bring back a treasured museum exhibit has been halted.

Alan Light / Flickr

Since its beginning, the conservation movement has been focused on preserving the natural places we still have, but Joe Whitworth, president of the Freshwater Trust, says that is not good enough.  Host Charity Nebbe talks to Whitworth about his work restoring freshwater ecosystems, how he believes that clean water can co-exist with profitable agriculture, and the future of conservation.  

Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

As the weather gets colder, bats will soon head into hibernation. But Iowa’s bat population is at an important juncture: Scientists are watching to see whether a devastating fungus that has already been discovered once in the state, will infect cave-dwelling bats.

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