STARKVILLE, Miss. -- People often ask what they can plant to improve wildlife numbers on their property. Before seeking advice on what to plant, the first question should be, "Is food a limiting factor?"
Most often, Mother Nature has provided all the food wildlife need, assuming animals are provided the proper habitat. Still, there is an ecological principle at work called Liebig’s Law of the Minimum.
Two of the biggest current threats to wildlife in our state are wild hogs and chronic wasting disease.
The current wild hog problem and confirmation of a CWD-positive deer this year in Issaquena County are examples of how the selfish actions of a very small segment of the hunting population can set off a negative chain of reactions that reach beyond the initial impact to wildlife species.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, outdoor physical exercise and other outdoor recreation mean millions of dollars for Mississippi annually.
Mississippi State University scientists recently found that wildlife-related recreation generates about $2.9 million in economic impact to the state each year. Some of the money spent on outdoor recreation goes to small, rural Mississippi communities that would not see these expenditures otherwise.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Catching a northern snakehead fish may not seem like such a big deal until you realize that this unique critter is not native to the U.S. and it’s illegal to transport, sell or possess live snakeheads in Mississippi.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- It’s a bird…It’s a plane…It’s a flying squirrel!
While technically unable to fly like birds and bats, the southern flying squirrel is able to glide from tree to tree using the membrane between its front and back legs to stay airborne. The adaptation of gliding for this squirrel subspecies usually keeps the animals away from predators on the ground.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When I think of the beach, I picture soft, white sand and pristine, blue water. But our beaches and oceans have a dirty little secret: trash.
That's right. Several tons of trash end up in our waterways and on our beaches every year in Mississippi. In 2017 alone, volunteers with the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup collected 13 tons of trash from 40 sites along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This trash isn't just unsightly. It threatens the Gulf Coasts ecosystem.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Fishing is fun, it can make lasting memories, and passing the sport to friends and family is rewarding in many tangible and intangible ways.
There really is no better way to bond as a family than to go fishing together. Watching children land their first fish is a deeply personal experience. Perhaps most importantly, teaching others to fish is important for the future of fish conservation.
In today's technology-rich culture, we have come to expect instant communication with others, even if they are across the globe from us. But what if there were no texts, emails, blogs or instant messages? What if there were no words? How would humans communicate?
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Flowers are blooming, hardwood trees are budding and flowering, songbirds are singing, and wild turkeys are mating. Mississippi has to be the prettiest place on Earth, especially in the springtime, making it my favorite time of year.
Mississippi’s wild turkeys are majestic game birds that have always been important to people in the South. The earliest North Americans probably used the turkey as food. Since that time, the turkey has held an important niche in our economy and in the environment.
This time of year seems to be a never-ending battle with Mother Nature. As the rain pours down, water levels in ditches, creeks, rivers and storm drains rise rapidly, increasing flood risk in urban and rural areas.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- How much water do we use each day? This may sound like a simple question until we consider the direct and indirect ways we use water.
Direct water use includes the indoor and outdoor water that we physically use when we turn on a faucet in our bathrooms, kitchens or gardens. It is what most of us think of when we are asked how much water we use, but the truth is that we consume a lot of water indirectly too.
Valentine's Day may be over but not the romance. Spring is just around the corner, and that means the start of the breeding season for wildlife. The chirps and trills of spring peepers and chorus frogs now rise into the night. Bird song greets the morning. A new season of growth and life has begun.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Shock. Disbelief. Denial. Anger. Acceptance. Get busy. This pretty much sums up my range of emotions after the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks released a statement that a 4-year-old buck tested positive for chronic wasting disease, or CWD, in Issaquena County last week.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Deer season is over, and prescribed fire, timber management, planting food plots and other habitat improvements come later in the year, but one activity that's perfect for February and early March is planting trees.