Wildlife

Providing food, water, and shelter are important if you want wildlife on your acreage.  Find out what species of wildlife are native to your area.  Decide which of the native wildlife you would like to manage.  Learn as much as possible about the requirements of those species.  Determine habitat enhancement needs on your property, and design short-term and long-term plans for habitat improvements.

Mouse Trapping 101
By Barb Ogg, UNL Extension Educator

Mouse in washing machine

The house mouse (Mus musculus) is a common pest outdoors around homes and farms. In the fall, mice come indoors seeking warmth because, unlike other animals, they do not have the ability to hibernate. A mouse living in a warm place indoors will need less food and have a greater chance of surviving the cold winter months, than one living outside.

Some people do not want to kill mice, but these people may not understand the health and safety implications of living with them. Mice are incontinent and dribble urine everywhere they travel. (This disgusting habit is very useful to mice because it helps them locate hiding places, even ones from earlier infestations.) Mice contaminate food-preparation surfaces with their feces, which can contain salmonella bacteria and food poisoning. Gnawing causes damage to structures and electrical wiring and may be the cause of fires and failure of appliances.

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Wildlife Habitat Design Guidelines

  1. Select plants that provide cover and food.
  2. Plant a variety of plant types; intersperse, creating a mixed stand.
  3. Plant in locations that form corridors or connections between different larger habitat plantings.
Image of a mallard

Erwin and Peggy Bauer, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bugwood.org
  1. Promote and plant woodland, grassland, riparian and wetland habitats.
  2. Create a number of each type of habitat so different habitat are adjacent, forming as many "edge" areas as possible.

Read on for tips on creating woodland, grassland, urban, and wetland habitats. 

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Reducing Wildlife Damage

Deer browsingProactive prevention is the best way to minimize wildlife damage.  Try to protect high-value items with fences and physical deterents.  Supply alternative resources so wildlife has less need for desired items.  Provide feed stations, water and nesting material.  Chemical repellents are an option.  They work best when there are enough alternative resources in the area. 

Competition and predation witnessed first-hand may make some people uncomfortable.  Yet, competition and predation are natural in a diverse system of habitat, and cannot be eliminated. 

The Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management is a non-profit, grant funded site that provides research-based information on how to responsibly handle wildlife damage problems. The Center is a collaborative effort by Cornell University, Clemson University, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, and Utah State University.

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Windmill Image

Animal of the Month

 

UNL Publications

Wildlife Management

Including:
Habitat Improvement
Urban Wildlife
Wildlife Damage Control

Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage

Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management

Reptiles & Amphibians of Nebraska

Want to learn more about Nebraska's native snakes, frogs or turtles? Visit the Reptiles and Amphibians of Nebraska web site for pictures, natural habitat, size, diet, natural history and maps of native range. Learn about the reptiles that live in your area simply by clicking on your county and viewing the list of snakes, turtles or frogs.

Or test your knowledge by clicking on the "Games" tab. See how many reptiles you can identify!