Wildlife and Wildlife Preservation

Seney Natural History Association / Flickr

Not too long ago, the call of the Trumpeter Swan was unheard in Iowa; the last nesting pair was seen in 1883. But with concentrated effort from biologists and conservationists, the species has made a comeback in the state.

Rich Herrmann

It’s deer hunting season. On this edition of River to River, hunting concerns in Iowa, including the problem of poaching.

Jeremy Weber

"Our problems with wolves stem from jealousy and competition...they're just like us," says Doug Smith, Yellowstone National Park wildlife biologist.

fieldsbh / flickr

Step outside on a brisk fall evening and sometimes you will find that the air is perfumed with the unmistakable pungent odor of a skunk.

Jill Pruetz

Not many animals will use lethal aggression towards those in their own species, but two groups do - humans, and chimpanzees.

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

He just could be the longest living animal in Iowa, not counting humans. His lifespan predates the end of World War Two and Iowa Public Radio’s Rick Fredericksen found him living a life of luxury in Des Moines.

Julie Lesnik

Iowa State University primatologist Jill Pruetz introduced the world to the spear-wielding Savannah chimpanzees of Senegal. She's just returned to Iowa from her summer in that country; and this hour, host Charity Nebbe talks with with her about her discoveries.

And later in the hour, an update on the Ape Cognition and Conservation Initiative in Des Moines, from the organization's president and staff scientist, Bill Hopkins.

Peter Eyerhalde / Iowa State University

Lead shot used by deer hunters in the Upper Midwest is getting into the digestive tracts of bald eagles, according to a two-year study by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. 

Researchers found 36 percent of leftover deer carcasses in a four-state national wildlife refuge contained lead fragments, which scavenging eagles use as a food source. 

Sandy McCurdy / Sandy McCurdy Photos

Last spring, flooding destroyed 19 percent of trumpeter swan nests in Iowa.  Then in the fall many of the juveniles, or cygnets, died from drought.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources wildlife research technician Dave Hoffman says modification of Iowa’s watershed causes this severe weather.

“Wetlands…act as sponges to clean and hold the water in the spring, but also…hold the water in the fall (to) provide the moisture we need.”

Carsten Tolkmit / http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Join Talk of Iowa for a talk with Douglas Tallamy, Professor and Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. He says “We need to change the way we interact with nature; it should not be segregated,” and that living with nature can be very rewarding. Tallamy says that Americans use plants that are mostly from Asia as decorations.  The result is a reduced biodiversity in the places we live, work, and farm.  Hear from Tallamy  about how we can connect habitats by reinstalling native plants.

World Bank Photo Collection / flickr

Jane Goodall is famous for her groundbreaking observation of wild chimpanzees; but for the last 30 years, she’s devoted most of her time to traveling the world, telling her stories, and trying to fan the flames of an environmental movement that could save her beloved chimpanzees and so many other species from extinction.

Eric Kilby

Increasingly recognized as "the next Jane Goodall" in primatology circles, Iowa State University primatologist Jill Pruetz brings incredible research and stories back to Iowa from Senegal in western Africa, where she studies the lives of savanna chimpanzees.

Jimmy Emerson / jimmywayne

Residents of Northwood are back in their homes after being asked to evacuate yesterday due to an explosion and fire at the city's municipal airport.  Iowa Public Radio statehouse correspondent Joyce Russell discusses which bills in the legislature might become laws in 2014.  The Blank Park Zoo's Amur tiger has died, and what Iowa City is doing about a recent rash of sexual assaults in taxicabs.  Also, an Olympics update from the Des Moines Register's sports columnist Bryce Miller in Sochi.

USFWS Mountain Prairie

Every year more wildlife friendly habitat disappears from Iowa and many different species are paying the price.  Host Charity Nebbe discusses the importance of wildlife corridors and roadside prairies with wildlife biologist Jim Pease and Rebecca Kauten, program manager for Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management.  They explain how Iowa's species are suffering due to a lack of connecting habitat as well as both the history of the state's roadside prairies, and the pros and cons of these

Pat Blank

The domestication of dogs started around 30,000 years ago when wolves started to self-select to live on the edges of human society in Eurasian. It wasn’t until about 14,000 years ago that we had the animal of dog as we know it.

Jeffrey LeClere / www.HerpNet.net

Iowa is home to 67 different amphibian and reptile species all deep in hibernation right now.  Herpetologist Jeffrey LeClere has written A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reputiles of Iowa.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with him about getting up close and personal with frogs, toads, salamanders and snakes once they wake up this spring.  She also talks with the filmmaker responsible for the new documentary “Wrestling With Iowa.”

Sarah Boden / Iowa Public Radio

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) manages almost 1,400 bison spread out amongst seven herds located in Iowa, Colorado, Oklahoma, Montana, Nebraska and North Dakota.  About 70 of these bison live at the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City.

FWS aims to preserve the species genetic diversity with as little human intervention as possible by allowing the forces of natural selection determine which bison live and die.  However, because herds are isolated from each other the agency conducts genetic testing to prevent inbreeding.

DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge

Two years after massive flooding along the Missouri River, work to bring back a treasured museum exhibit has been halted.

Alan Light / Flickr

Since its beginning, the conservation movement has been focused on preserving the natural places we still have, but Joe Whitworth, president of the Freshwater Trust, says that is not good enough.  Host Charity Nebbe talks to Whitworth about his work restoring freshwater ecosystems, how he believes that clean water can co-exist with profitable agriculture, and the future of conservation.  

Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

As the weather gets colder, bats will soon head into hibernation. But Iowa’s bat population is at an important juncture: Scientists are watching to see whether a devastating fungus that has already been discovered once in the state, will infect cave-dwelling bats.

Wildlife Day: Bats

Aug 13, 2013
Ryan von Linden / New York Department of Environmental Conservation / Microbe World / Flickr

Host Charity Nebbe and wildlife biologist Jim Pease discuss the role bats play in Iowa's ecosystem, human-bat interactions and White Nose Syndrome--a disease that has killed more than 5.7 million bats in the U.S. since 2006 when it was discovered in New York State.

Phil Thomson

Over the weekend, at least 30,000 people were estimated to be at the sixth annual 80/35 music festival in downtown Des Moines. That’s according to festival organizers. 

patries71 /flickr

Approximately a thousand chimpanzees are held in U.S. laboratories for experiments. This week the federal government announced a proposal to list captive chimpanzees as endangered, a move that would increase protections for them.  Today on River To River - two opposing views over whether this is a good idea and how it might affect advances in the field of medicine.

Sarah Boden / Iowa Public Radio

The eastern black rhinoceros is an endangered species, but two eastern black rhinos--Ayana and Kiano--are safe and sound at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines.  Host Charity Nebbe visits with Ayana, Kiano and the staff of the Blank P

Charity Nebbe / Iowa Public Radio

Last summer many wild animals suffered because of a lack of water, this year nests have been washed out and wild babies have been separated from their mothers through floods and storms. Host Charity Nebbe talks with wildlife biologist Jim Pease about how natural disasters affect the boom and bust cycles of Iowa's wildlife populations.

U.S. Government

President Obama has chosen U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice to replace Tom Donilon as National Security Advisor.  Rice withdrew her name from consideration as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's replacement after drawing criticism from Republicans for statements made about the attack on the U.S.

Flickr / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Midwest Region

They were once more common than white tailed deer, but now bison live only in controlled and managed herds.  Today on Talk of Iowa Charity Nebbe talks about why bison are so captivating as well as the future of bison in North America.

University of Iowa Press / James Landenberger

There is no substitute for seeing a soaring red tailed hawk, circling turkey vulture or bald eagle snatching a fish out of a river, but the paintings of the late James Landenberger capture some of the majesty of these moments.  Talk of Iowa talks about Iowa's birds of prey with Jon Stravers, is the the Driftless Area Coordinator for the National Audubon Society's

National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque is now home to more than 200 turtles and tortoises.  We explore the new exhibit “Turtles: Secrets of the Shell”, discuss the challenges facing turtles worldwide, and find out about Cashew, a leopard tortoise who has gone missing.

Dennis Matheson / Flickr

Wolf 832, one of the most recognized and beloved wolves in Yellowstone, was recently shot and killed legally by a hunter. Charity Nebbe talks with Rolf Peterson, a scientist on Isle Royale, about his research and the wolf population on Isle Royale in Michigan. He talks about the future for the species and human induced population control.

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