On the Radio: Native habitat to be restored


The Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge near Monroe, Iowa, features over 5,000 acres of native prairie. (Rachel Gardner / Flickr)
The Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge near Monroe, Iowa, features over 5,000 acres of native prairie. (Rachel Gardner / Flickr)
January 12, 2015

This week’s On the Radio segment looks at an upcoming prairie restoration taking place in northwest Iowa. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.

A native habitat that once covered northwestern Iowa is being partially restored.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

The bur oak savanna, a plant community of open-grown trees, tall prairie grasses and water fowl, once flourished in northwest Iowa. The introduction of new plant species, particularly high shade-producing trees, has choked out native plant growth and reduced the savanna’s size to one one-hundredth of a percent of its original size.

To conserve this native habitat near Trumbull Lake in Clay County, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will be removing non-compatible trees which outcompete younger oaks and shade out the prairie understory. The DNR will also be conducting controlled burns. Studies have shown that these measures are the most effective ways of restoring grassland habitats and species to the area. These native plant species are an important factor in maximizing water quality benefits for the area.

For more information about native habitats, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Jerry Schnoor.

On the Radio: Iowa native species making a comeback


An osprey nest at a northwest Iowa nature center. (Evan Bornholtz/Flickr)
An osprey nest at a northwest Iowa nature center. (Evan Bornholtz/Flickr)
September 29, 2014

This week’s On the Radio segment looks at ongoing efforts by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to reintroduce the osprey, a native predatory bird, to Iowa. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.

 

Transcript: Ospreys

An Iowa Department of Natural Resources program aims to increase populations of a native predatory bird throughout the state.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus

Six ospreys from Minnesota were relocated to Iowa this summer in an effort to increase nesting populations. Three of the six were released near Clear Lake in north central Iowa and the other three near Swan Lake in Carroll county. The Iowa DNR started the program in 1997 and since their first successful nesting in 2003 have produced 141 wild osprey at 78 different nests.

Ospreys are birds of prey that generally feed on fish and are known for the bone-crushing strength of their talons. These raptors can have wingspans of nearly six feet and within a lifespan can travel the equivalent of two and a half times around the globe.

For more information about ospreys, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Jerry Schnoor.

http://www.iowadnr.gov/insidednr/socialmediapressroom/newsreleases/vw/1/itemid/2087

http://www.iowadnr.gov/Environment/WildlifeStewardship/NonGameWildlife/DiversityProjects/OspreyRestoration.aspx