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IDNR works on survey of area wildlife

Lead Summary

The Iowa DNR is once again gearing up to begin its yearly August Roadside Study which helps determine where the wildlife numbers stand in each county.Each year the Iowa Department of Natural Resources uses a roadside survey to assess its upland game populations. The survey is conducted on sunny, calm mornings, with a heavy dew on the grass, in August of each year with results posted in September.Conservation Officer for Howard and Chickasaw Counties Marc Waterlander said he has between Aug.1 and Aug. 15 to complete the study.This time frame allows the officers to pick optimal weather conditions.“It allows me to wait until we have really good conditions,” said Waterlander.The counts are done most often early in the morning when the wildlife is most active. Most upland wildlife, particularly pheasants, hate to be wet. On mornings with a heavy dew, pheasants come to the roadsides to dry off before they begin feeding. This natural tendency allows the birds to be counted and reproduction can be evaluated by counting the number of broods seen and their size.Waterlander did conduct the survey for Chickasaw last year as well and said the county is up from numbers that have been recorded in previous years.Survey routes are 30 miles long and are entirely on gravel roads with the officers counting all the pheasants, quail, partridge, rabbits, and jackrabbits seen.The conservation officers drive the same routes each year for scientific purposes with Waterlander’s route beginning west of Lime Springs and ending at the Howard/Chickasaw County line. 

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