Ecological Impact of White-tailed Deer on Our Forests

White-tailed deer are one of Minnesota’s most socially, economically and ecologically important critters. Their importance stems from their beauty, popularity as a prized big game animal, nutritious venison, useful hides, impressive antlers, and ability to create fun family hunting memories and boost revenue for local businesses and outdoor industries. However, deer also collide with vehicles, can damage gardens, crops and […]

Continue Reading

Help guide Extension programming by taking a short survey

A super cute deer looks out from a lush, green forest.

The University of Minnesota Extension Forestry and Wildlife programs are looking for participants to complete a survey to better understand what Minnesotans know and feel about deer in their community and woodlands. Your responses will help in developing an Extension program that will assess the impacts to forest vegetation by white-tailed deer in Minnesota. If you are interested in what […]

Continue Reading

Changing Ash Habitats and the Wildlife Impact

Fraxinus Fuss A little green bug has potential to cause quite a bother in Minnesota when it comes to our trees in the genus Fraxinus, or ash trees. This pest, the emerald ash borer (EAB), is an invasive insect from Asia. First discovered in Michigan in 2002, it has caused the death of millions of ash trees in the eastern […]

Continue Reading

Four-toed Salamander: Tougher than a Dinosaur

The four-toed salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum) is one of eight salamander species inhabiting Minnesota. It is unique in multiple ways. The first is the four toes on its hind feet. Most other Minnesota salamanders have five toes in back. All have four toes in front. It is 3-5 inches long, red-brown with dark flecks on its sides, has a bright white […]

Continue Reading

Webinar: Timber Harvesting and Wildlife Habitat

Tuesday, June 20, 2017, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Minnesota’s abundant forest ecosystems provide habitat for numerous native wildlife species. These critters in turn provide us opportunity for viewing, harvest, and enjoyment, as well as filling important roles in our forests to keep them healthy.  Thoughtful forest management and harvest improves habitat quality, however the amount of harvest on family-owned land is down […]

Continue Reading

Pileated Woodpecker – Dapper Drummer

An increase in woodpecker calls and drumming will soon mark the advance of spring. One of those noise makers will be the pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus), one of our largest, most dapper forest birds. A native, year-round resident, it’s mostly black with bold white stripes, a triangular flaming red crest, long chisel-like bill, body up to 19 inches long, and […]

Continue Reading

Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) – The Tree Fox

Gray Fox

Cat or Dog?   The gray fox is a member of the dog family, Canidae, like red fox, coyotes and wolves.  But it behaves more like a member of the cat family with its unusual and useful tree climbing skill to escape predators, find safe resting spots and obtain food.  They have been observed 32 feet high!  Extremely sharp, curved, semi-retractable […]

Continue Reading

Elk in Minnesota – A Balanced, Restoration Success

two bull elk from Grygla herd during aerial survey by Marshall Deter MN DNR

It was a perfect fall day near the Canadian border on Caribou Wildlife Management Area. While posting boundary in the golden aspen parklands landscape, suddenly there they were – a cow and calf elk. This encounter was my first with elk and a magnificent moment to recall. These stately, native creatures were once common on our prairies and in our […]

Continue Reading