Monthly Archives: October 2014

Party at KU Natural History Museum On October 18

Party in the Panorama

 

Help raise support for bird, animal and fossil exhibits and programs by attending the Party in the Panorama, a science soiree for adults at the KU Natural History Museum. On October 18, the museum will be transformed into a science festival.

Join friends of the KU Biodiversity Institute and NaturalHistoryMuseum for a night of science games and activities, jazz, food and libations: it’s time for the Party in the Panorama! Try your hand at the Anatomy Alex game and test your bar science knowledge. Take your photo with Comanche and Lewis Lindsay Dyche. Practice the fish-painting art of gyotaku and check out some of the weird and wonderful specimens of the Biodiversity Institute collections. Bid for fossil casts and shop in the museum galleries for ways to help museum exhibits and programs, from restoring the Panorama prairie dog to summer camp scholarships.

In addition to these activities, the evening includes wine, beer and hors’dourves. Music provided by Floyd the Barber, and photo booth by Oh, Snap! Photography. Casual Dress.

Tickets are $40 per person or $75 per couple and include food and drink.

Questions? Contact [email protected] or 785-864-4450. Proceeds from Party in the Panorama will support the exhibits and programs of the KU Natural History Museum.

Party in the Panorama

7-10 p.m.

Saturday, October 18

KU NaturalHistoryMuseum

1345 Jayhawk Blvd.

Lawrence, KS66045

785.864.4450

Get your tickets to Party in the Panorama at http://kualumni.org/panoramaparty.

 

North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife & Parks

Another chance in North Dakota

 

Two years ago, we reported on how the effort to respond to North Dakota’s oil and gas boom by dedicating a portion of the state extraction tax revenue to conservation had failed:

http://refugeassociation.org/?p=6429#north

Now, North Dakota voters have a second chance to vote on this proposal. Last month, North Dakota’s Secretary of State announced that an attempt to place the issue on the November ballot had qualified, with more than 41,000 voters signing the initiative petition.

The North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife & Parks measure – known as “Measure 5” on the ballot – is intended dedicate five percent of the state’s oil and gas extraction tax revenue to protect North Dakota’s clean water and lands through a voluntary grant program administered by a citizen advisory board and the Governor, Attorney General, and Agriculture Commissioner.

Potential projects would include protecting clean water in rivers, lakes, and streams; preserving critical habitat for fish and wildlife; creating and improving parks and other areas for recreation, hunting, and fishing; protecting communities and private property from flooding with natural flood controls; and providing more opportunities and places to learn about and to enjoy the outdoors.

The proposal is supported by a coalition of concerned citizens, including teachers, family farmers and members of the health community, conservation organizations, hunters, anglers, and small business owners from across the state.

Because North Dakota is at the very center of North America’s “duck factory,” and is also home to Yellow Rails, Sprague’s Pipits, Baird’s, Nelsons, and LeConte’s Sparrows, and Chestnut-collared Longspurs, this is potentially a very important ballot initiative for Kansans and other Central Flyway states.

For more on Measure 5, see here: www.cleanwaterwildlifeparks.org/

Donate to North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife & Parks by going online at http://cleanwaterwildlifeparks.ngpvanhost.com/form/6650135886928611072 or by sending your check to:

North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks

118 Broadway, Suite 716

Fargo, ND58102

Kansas Game Wardens needed­

Five openings to be filled; more vacancies will occur in 2015

 

If you want an office with a view, enjoy the outdoors and like working with both wildlife and people, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) may have an opening for you. KDWPT invites interested applicants to test for entry level game warden positions within the Law Enforcement Division. Successful applicants will become part of a pool of eligible persons who may receive offers to become a Natural Resource Officer I, commonly known as a Game Warden or Conservation Officer. There are five vacancies to be filled immediately. Additional vacancies will become available during 2015.

Kansas Game Wardens are responsible for enforcing wildlife laws and regulations, patrolling the waters of Kansas, investigating hunting and boating accidents and conducting boat safety inspections and BUI checks. Wardens also promote outdoor safety by conducting hunting and boating safety programs and teaching hunter education and boating safety courses. As certified law enforcement officers, Game Wardens also assist other law enforcement agencies with search and rescue operations, fugitive searches, illegal drug investigations and more.

The deadline to apply is November 7th, and the applications must be postmarked on or before that date. Testing will be held on December 20th, 2014 in Salina, Kansas. More detailed information will be provided to those applicants that meet the minimum qualifications and are selected for testing.

For complete information visit www.ksoutdoors.com/KDWPT-Info/Jobs, then click on “Current KDWPT Employment Opportunities – Permanent Positions.”

Questions regarding the Natural Resource Officer I hiring process should be directed to the KDWPT Human Resources Section at the Pratt Operations Office, (620) 672-5911, or by email at [email protected], or contact Captain Marvin Jensen at Kansas Wildlife, Parks, & Tourism, 1001 McArtor Road, Dodge City, Kansas 67801, 620-227-8609 (office), 620-966-0073 (cell), or at [email protected].

 

The attached photo depicts a Kansas Game Warden checking on a successful antelope hunt in northwest Kansas.

 

Sierra Club Presentation: Preserving the Greater Prairie Chicken

Sierra Club Logo

Preserving an icon of the Tallgrass Prairie– a program to restore the Greater Prairie Chicken in Missouri and Iowa

In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, the Kanza Group presents this program on efforts to preserve the Greater Prairie Chicken (GPC), a major indicator species in the Tallgrass Prairie Ecosystem, whose numbers are declining throughout its range due to lose of habitat. The MDC has partnered with The Nature Conservancy, private landowners, and the Iowa DNR to increase the population of the GPC in northern Missouri and southern Iowa for several years. Activities include habitat restoration, transplanting birds from neighboring states, and monitoring bird locations with radio collars.

Presenter: Stephen Buback, Natural History Biologist, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC)

Time/Date: Tuesday October 14 6:30 – 8:30 PM

Place: Overland Park Lutheran Church, 7810 West 79th, Overland Park

Public invited to Neosho Wildlife Area information night

Topics covered include renovations, water conditions and more

 

Sportsmen and women, and anyone who visits the Neosho Wildlife Area, are invited to attend a public information meeting Oct. 14 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will take place at Function Junction, north of the Highway 59/ Highway 47 junction, on the east side of the road and will feature local Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) staff, and Ducks Unlimited (DU) representatives, who will discuss the status of the area.

Topics for the evening include:

▪ Neosho Wildlife Area renovation project and funding

▪ South Unit pump project

▪ Pool 5 water control structure

▪ Population status and fall flight forecast

▪ Kansas wetland conditions

▪ 2013-14 waterfowl harvest and hunter numbers

▪ iSportsman daily hunt permits

Attendees will have the opportunity to express their opinions and ask wildlife area staff questions.

For more information, contact the Neosho Wildlife Area office at (620) 449-2539.

Quail Initiative habitat tour and dinner, October 15th

Reserve your spot by Oct. 15

Landowners and anyone interested in improving quail habitat on their property are invited to attend a quail habitat tour and free dinner Tuesday, October 21 at Melvern Wildlife Area, Reading. Starting at 4:30 p.m., a tour of completed and active habitat projects on Melvern Wildlife Area will be conducted, followed by a catered meal at the ReadingCityBuilding around 6 p.m., compliments of the Neosho Valley Quail Forever and Emporia Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation chapters. Those interested in attending are asked to meet at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) office, 2272 Road 250, on the east side of Reading.

Following dinner, KDWPT staff will update participants on the progress of the Quail Initiative Project and present information on bobwhite biology and habitat management. Local Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) personnel will also be on hand to discuss relevant cost-share programs available, as well as representatives from other local conservation organizations. The evening will wrap up with a time for questions, discussion, and the opportunity to sign up for habitat planning assistance.

The Kansas Quail Initiative is an effort spearheaded by KDWPT to implement additional funding in two areas of eastern Kansas to improve habitat for quail and monitor the changes over the next five years. The goal is to improve quail populations by 50 percent in these focus areas. The area of focus for this meeting includes the Melvern Wildlife Area and more than 190,000 acres in portions of Lyon, Wabaunsee, Osage and Coffey counties.

“We plan to offer 100 percent cost-sharing for landowners in these areas to implement ‘quail friendly practices’ on their land,” said Jim Pitman, KDWPT small game coordinator. “KDWPT has designated $100,000 each year to this effort and those dollars can be used to supplement the normal 75 percent cost-share rate from federal habitat programs. The bottom line is that landowners in this focal area will work with biologists to plan habitat improvements for quail and cost-share payments will cover all the costs,” Pitman added.

Some of the practices eligible for cost-share funding include native grass and forb planting, removal of invading trees from grasslands, prescribed burning, hedgerow renovation and prescribed grazing. During its first two years, the initiative has directly impacted nearly 1,300 private land acres and 4,400 public land acres.

To register for the tour and dinner, call (620) 342-0658 by October 15.

For more information on the Kansas Quail Initiative, contact KDWPT district biologist, Pat Riese, at (620) 583-5049.

 

Kansas Wetlands Education Center to host hunter breakfast Oct. 11

Breakfast will be accompanied by info booths, raffle, silent auction

 

Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area offers fantastic duck hunting opportunities and memories to last a lifetime, but now the wildlife area has even more to offer. On Oct. 11, opening day of the Low Plains Early Zone duck season, the Kansas Wetlands Education Center (KWEC), 592 NE K-156 Hwy, Great Bend, in conjunction with Great BendRegionalHospital, will host a hunter appreciation breakfast from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Not only can hunters come away from a hunt with dinner in hand, but a stomach full of hot biscuits and gravy, coffee, and juice.

After filling up on good eats, hunters can learn about the wetland’s history at the education center, peruse through items in the Cheyenne Bottoms Ducks Unlimited Chapter raffle and silent auction, as well visit waterfowl identification and waterfowl hunting information booths.

For more information about the breakfast, call the KWEC at (877) 243-9268.

Plant a Prairie Fire Crabapple Tree to Feed Birds in Autumn and Winter.

Cedar Waxwing eating crabapples in my Prairie Fire crab tree.

Cedar Waxwing eating crabapples in my Prairie Fire crab tree.

Prairie Fire crabapple (Malus) is a slow growing deciduous tree that produces small crabapples (half inch diameter) that can be made into jam or allowed to hang on the tree for birds when many other food sources are scant. In the spring before many leaves appear, it produces prolific blooms emerging as dark red flowers and evolving to pinkish red. The early spring foliage is purplish that changes to green in the early summer, then finally into beautiful reddish orange in the fall. The small crabapples are very edible but have a bitter taste early, then becoming very tart with a hint of sweetness. Perfect for your best jam recipe. So don’t pick them too early. The crabapples will persist on the tree into winter even after a hard freeze but many will fall on the ground before becoming ripe. Birds won’t touch them until they are ripe. The fruit becomes most attractive to birds seemingly after the first frost. Once a few birds begin to harvest the fruit, other birds flock to the tree to avoid missing out. Many fruits fall to the ground and can become a mess if the tree is planted near a sidewalk or driveway where

Blue Jay in Prairie Fire crab.

Blue Jay in Prairie Fire crab.

mine is. My tree attracts Robins, Sparrows, Blue Jays, Chicadees and Cedar Waxwings. Each year for several weeks during the fall or winter you’ll wonder why the birds haven’t noticed the crabapples on the tree; but they’ve been keeping track. And then all of a sudden, all of these birds may visit my tree all at one time, flying in and out of it and making a riot of noise. Another important attribute is its resistance to diseases like apple scab, cedar-apple rust, fireblight and mildew. In some parts of the country they may get apple maggot but unlikely in Kansas. My tree is 20 years old and has never had a single disease or insect problem. Its smaller branches can occasionally grow in a rather disorganized manner at times, directing their growth towards the ground. If you don’t like this wild characteristic and you prefer more formally shaped trees, this tree may not be for you. But the birds will love it.

-by Ted Beringer

Central Stoneroller

Central Stoneroller, photo by Lance Merry

Central Stoneroller, photo by Lance Merry

Central Stoneroller (Campostoma anomalum)

North American Native Fishes Association; photo by Lance Merry

The Central Stoneroller is a small minnow 3-5 inches in length with a blunt snout and relatively small eyes. It is widespread in Kansas as well as most of the eastern and central United States. It prefers freshwater streams of mid to high gradients with riffles. It is active in the mid to bottom level of streams where it feeds predominantly on algae scraped from rocks with the cartilaginous ridge on its lower jaw. It will also consume rotifers, diatoms and microcrustacea plus the occasional aquatic insect. They may feed in schools and can often be seen leaping above the surface of the water. They in turn are part of the diet of smallmouth & largemouth bass, herons and bitterns. Adult males and females are similar in appearance, having a dark, olive colored dorsal surface fading to a white ventral surface. Randomly distributed dark spots are scattered along the length of the body. Fins are pale or nearly colorless. Breeding males are further distinguished by orange and black splashes on their fins and large pointed tubercles on their head (see photo above) with smaller one along the dorsal and lateral part of the body. In preparation for spawning, these fish may need to migrate upstream to calmer waters where breeding males build nests in late winter throughout midsummer. They excavate depressions in the stony bottom of calm waters using their noses to roll pebbles and stones out of the way. Females roam the available nests occupied by larger males. Eggs are attached by an adhesive substance to pebbles and hatch in less than 72 hours. Their population suffers with both aquatic and riparian habitat fragmentation, fluctuating stream flows, siltation, and excessive aquatic vegetation.

Cleanup at the De Soto Ramp – Oct. 18

Friends of the Kaw is working with the City of De Soto and Westar Green Team to clean up an area on the Kaw just below the De Soto access ramp (see photo below) and we need some volunteer assistance.  The clean up will start at 9:00am and end once the job is done or at 4pm so you can come for the morning or afternoon or both.  The Green Team will be using a line truck to lift objects over to the ramp where a skid loader will transport heavy items up the ramp to a dumpster. Because we are using heavy equipment the activity on the ramp is not appropriate for kids under 18 years old.  Younger folks are welcome to come and will be able to help do some maintenance on the demonstration rain garden near the access ramp or pick up litter in RiverfestPark.

Many of Friends of the Kaw’s group float trips start at the De Soto ramp and cleaning up this area will give float participants a better first impression of the river.  We are grateful for the efforts of the City of De Soto and Westar Green Team and also a grant from REI to accomplish this clean up.

Please wear long pants, gloves and sturdy shoes that can get wet.  We will do a hot dog roast for lunch at 12:30pm for volunteers.

It would help us get a count for the hot dog roast if folks would RSVP with the Kansas Riverkeeper – also contact us for more infomation!

Trash on the Kaw