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Conservation related articles and blogs from the staff of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Panhandle Passages: One for the Snakes

The snake uses its forked tongue, which many snake-haters find disturbing, to sense chemicals in the air and gain clues of the presence of predators and prey. (NEBRASKAland/Justin Haag)

After visiting with a Chadron community service organization last week, I wrapped up the presentation with a slideshow of wildlife photos from western Nebraska and moved on to questions. One question kind of caught me off-guard. A friend in the audience asked why I hadn’t included any photos of snakes. I didn’t even realize that I had not given any time to reptiles, but he was right. I was certainly guilty of favoring other classes above reptiles. Mammals, birds, amphibians ... Read More »

Bird Banding Coming to Chadron State Park, Wildcat Hills

Melanie Mancuso of the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory examines a red crossbill that was captured at a bird banding station at the Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area in August 2013. (NEBRASKAland/Justin Haag)

The public is invited to get up-close and personal with bird populations at two parks in the Nebraska Panhandle this fall. During the coming month, banding stations will be operating at Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area near Gering and Chadron State Park near Chadron. The public is invited to join the bird-banders during two special sessions, Saturday, Aug. 30, at Chadron and Saturday, Sept. 13, at Wildcat Hills. Attendees of the informational sessions will watch as biologists retrieve birds from ... Read More »

Special Line Recycling Bins

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The Nebraska Fish & Game Association has installed bins for recycling fishing line all around the state, NEFGA Line Bins Map.  I am a huge fan of the program not only because it gets discarded fishing line off the shores of our waters, but because I love it when anglers take ownership in the care and condition of THEIR resources!  If you are interested in contributing to, or participating in that program, make sure to check it out, NEFGA Line ... Read More »

Nebraska State Fair 2014

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Fish have been displayed at the Nebraska State Fair almost every year since 1885.  There was a year, 1898, when there was no funding for displaying fish at the state fair, and in 1976 no fish were displayed because a new aquarium complex was under construction.  That complex housed fish every year at the state fair in Lincoln until the fair moved to Grand Island.  We have not had fish at the state fair since it moved to Grand Island ... Read More »

Where the Carp Goes

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An extraordinary aspect to wildlife management these days is the extent to which technology is being used to learn more about animals. It seems telemetry, the process of using tracking devices attached to the animals to collect data, is increasingly being used to monitor a variety of species. In my time with the Game and Parks Commission, I’ve photographed researchers putting collars on animals as big as elk and as small as burrowing owls. I even read an article not ... Read More »

Carp Week?

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Every year about this time the Discovery Channel has their Shark Week.  If you are a pointy-headed fisheries biologist like me, you think that is pretty cool, especially when great white sharks are munching on seals (Ah, poor seal.)  Unfortunately, Nebraska has some really cool toothy predators, but alas no sharks.  To piggyback on the whole shark week thing some have thought it would be fun if we had “Carp Week” at the same time.  OK.  If we are going ... Read More »

LIVE Raptors at Great Outdoor Radio Show Broadcast

Denise Lewis and Great-Horned Owl. Photo Source: Fontenelle Forest Raptor Recovery.

Join me tomorrow morning for a very special edition of The Great Outdoor Radio Show I host when Denise Lewis and friends from Fontenelle Forest’s Raptor Recovery team come with a few live birds to the Waterford Assisted Living facility at Miracle Hills in Omaha. See LIVE raptors of Nebraska! We’ll be highlighting the tremendous conservation work that Fontenelle Forest’s Raptor Recovery does with injured, sick or orphaned raptors as well as the vital role that nongame wildlife such as raptors have in any ecosystem! The ... Read More »

Dragonfly Video

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I am betting that most of you who have been in the Nebraska outdoors this summer have seen at least one dragonfly.  Usually they are found near water, but not necessarily so, sometimes adult dragonflies can venture a long way from water.  However, dragonflies are definitely aquatic insects.  In fact dragonflies spend most of their lives in the water!  Adult dragonflies mate and then the females deposits eggs on the surface of the water.  Those eggs hatch into larval dragonflies ... Read More »

Wild about Wildflowers on the Wagner Farm

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Who doesn’t enjoy seeing native wildflowers in good habitat on a farm, huh? I know I do! I am so wild about wildflowers (forbs) that I have planted a number of applicable varieties on our 148 year-old southeastern Nebraska farm in our Conservation Reserve Program acres. I am proud of the pollinator habitat we have established. Here it is at work! According to the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), pollinators play a crucial role in the reproduction of many plants, including many of ... Read More »

Stop the Presses, Big Fish!

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I am going to share a photo of a big fish that was caught in Nebraska recently.  Yes, I realize that some of my blog readers will know all about this catch already, it has been making the rounds on the internet and that is where I got the photos and information.  But,  I want to blog about it because there are a lots of other folks who have not heard about it.  If there is one thing I have ... Read More »