Archive for the 'Management' Category

Is Switchgrass the Next Cash Crop?

For the past month and half there has been a lot of talk about cellulosic ethanol. The majority of this discussion has stemmed from the President mentioning switchgrass on multiple occasions when speaking on the topic of energy dependence and biofuels. Recently President Bush has called for a huge, government-mandated increase in renewable energy production – mainly ethanol. Ken Cook, of Mulch describes Bush’s plan in more detail in this article.

The problem with the President’s plan is that it could possibly cause a reduction in the amount of land currently enrolled in the CRP. Many believe this could put pressure on corn growers to switch CRP land over into corn production. It has been well known that for the US to achieve greater levels of ethanol production without exhausting our current corn industry, a transition must be made to cellulosic ethanol production. Enter stage right, switchgrass.

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Winter Weather and Quail Survival

With the harsh winter conditions that much of the midwest United States has faced over the past few weeks, landowners and wildlife managers are concerned about the survival of quail. Prolonged periods of snow and ice cover is hard on all wildlife but especially bird like quail that make their living on the ground. Quail get their food off the ground and a layer of ice makes that hard to do.

Donnie Buckland, of Quail Unlimited, has a nice podcast that addresses some of the questions and concerns related to harsh winter weather and quail survival. You can listen to that by clicking here. In the podcast he talks about supplemental feeding of quail during tough times, and discusses how feeding can a double edged sword for quail. The surplus of available food is an obvious benefit, however quail are most at risk for predation when feeding.

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Increasing Nest Predators Deadly for Quail and Other Songbirds

Bobwhite nestIt should be no secret that loss of habitat is the primary reason behind the decline of the nation’s quail population. However, in the complicated web that is nature, other reason’s play a part in the survival of a quail. A much debated and sometimes controversial topic is nest predation. For years wildlife professionals and quail enthusiasts alike have agreed that predation of quail is a natural phenomena that does not drastically affect quail numbers. But, the tables may be turning.

R.J. Robel, a retired Kansas State professor and acclaimed upland bird biologist, along with Ron Klataske, Audubon of Kansas executive director; believe that an increasing raccoon population in the state of Kansas could be taking its toll on quail as well as a variety of other ground nesting birds, as stated in a recent Wichita Eagle article.

And they are not alone. Across the country predator control management plans are being put into place to curb the number of quail nests that are being depredated by raccoons and other mesopredators such as opossums and skunks.

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Conservation Contractors Put Professional Wildlife Management Within Reach of Private Landowners

By Jim Low – Parties on both sides of these arrangements are pleased with the results.

When Craig Allee knocks off at the end of the work day, he can see the results of his labor. One day, it might be several hundred yards of sheared-off trees and brush piles. Another, it is a new wildlife food plot. His clients – both human and wild – appreciate his work, too.

Allee, owner operator of Allee Brush Clearing Service LLC, is a conservation contractor, one of a new breed of wildlife managers. He is an entrepreneur, rather than a government employee, doing custom wildlife management work for private landowners. He has the satisfaction of knowing that wildlife will thrive as a result of his labor. His clients find it convenient and economical to have the work done by a professional.

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