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News Filed Under Wildlife

Turtle crossing the road
May 6, 2022 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

In the South, there’s a legend that says rain is on the way any time you see a turtle cross the road. There’s very little truth to this myth, even though it does seem like rain is in the forecast after we see one of these creatures slowly making its way across the street. 

Baby bunnies on log.
March 29, 2022 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

Spring is when we see a lot of baby wildlife. You’ll likely start seeing young animals tagging along behind one or both their parents, and boy, is it cute.

three different pictures of caterpillars.
March 22, 2022 - Filed Under: Insects, Lawn and Garden, Insects-Vegetable Gardens, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

Butterflies aren’t just beautiful. They are important pollinators for wildflowers and woody plants. But before they transform into the colorful, winged adults you see fluttering around your landscape, they are caterpillars hatched from eggs. Mississippi is home to more than 50 species of butterflies. Have you seen any of these three common butterfly caterpillars in your yard?

Purple martins flying around white gourds.
March 11, 2022 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture, Natural Resources, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

Purple martins are a real treat to have grace your landscape. They offer hours of bird watching entertainment with their musical chatter, beautiful colors, and aerial acrobatics. Each year, purple martins migrate to North America from South America to nest. They arrive at varying times, but most tend to show up in March in Mississippi. To help welcome purple martins to your home, make sure you have the right kind of habitats for them. 

March 4, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit, Beef, Beekeeping, Equine, Goats and Sheep, Vegetable Gardens, Forestry, Wildlife

Central Mississippi agricultural producers and industry professionals met with Mississippi State University personnel to discuss research and education priorities at the 2022 Producer Advisory Council meeting on Feb. 23 in Raymond. The annual event is aimed at helping clients improve their productivity. Attendees gathered in small commodity groups to share their ideas with agents, researchers and specialists with the MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

February 21, 2022 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

For most hunters and bird enthusiasts in the Southeast, the term “game bird” conjures up images of a turkey gobbler in full strut, a covey of quail flushing from the brush and tall grass or an incoming group of mourning doves on the horizon. But the American Woodcock garners little attention despite being one of the most common game bird species.

February 7, 2022 - Filed Under: Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. -- Hunters and landowners in Mississippi are invited to an upcoming group discussion on chronic wasting disease.

“White-Tailed Deer and Chronic Wasting Disease: Hunter and Landowner Group Discussion” will be hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service Feb. 25 at the Extension office in Marshall County. This event was moved from its original scheduled date in January to allow for more participation.

Three birds on a bird feeder.
January 28, 2022 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

If there’s one thing we southerners love, it’s our backyard birds. There’s something enjoyable about watching birds fly around and chirp with each other in the yard. However, as brutal as the winter months can be to us, it can be even more challenging to our feathered friends. Many trees and shrubs become bare during the cold weather, eliminating their primary sources of shelter and food. To help provide food, water, and shelter to your backyard buddies, consider creating a welcoming habitat that will prepare them for cold weather.

A form submission box with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks logo.
January 6, 2022 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Chronic Wasting Disease, White-Tailed Deer

HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. -- Hunters and landowners in Mississippi are invited to an upcoming group discussion on chronic wasting disease.

“White-Tailed Deer and Chronic Wasting Disease: Hunter and Landowner Group Discussion” will be hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service Jan. 13 at the Extension office in Marshall County.

MSU Extension faculty and specialists will gather input on how the deer disease affects hunting leases and land values through structured question-and-answer sessions with participants on their perceptions and experiences.

A coyote walking.
December 3, 2021 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

At a quick glance, coyotes can be mistaken for a domestic dog, like a German shepherd or collie. But this wild dog species can be trouble if they take up residence in your neighborhood. 

Coyotes are abundant in Mississippi and are natural predators, preying on animals like small dogs, cats, birds, and rodents. They also can damage land. 

Two male deer locking horns
November 24, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Each year in Mississippi, thousands of hunters spend time in the woods hoping to see and harvest a buck. Last year, hunters in the Magnolia State harvested about 122,000 bucks, producing venison for the table and antlers to admire for a lifetime.

Even without having to worry about hunters, however, life for a buck is no cakewalk.

A man holds items in an open shed.
November 3, 2021 - Filed Under: Chronic Wasting Disease, White-Tailed Deer

A prion disease spreading through Mississippi whitetail deer populations has changed how herds are managed and may reduce the economic benefit of hunting in the state. Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, has been found in whitetail deer populations in 26 states as of August 2021.

Mouse in a field.
October 29, 2021 - Filed Under: Urban and Backyard Wildlife

As cooler weather arrives, mice are looking for any source of heat and food they can find. Sometimes, they find their way into homes. You may notice the faint pitter-patter of small feet inside walls and attics. It’s just the mice looking for a warm place to stay!

An open wooden shed houses miscellaneous items.
October 28, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

The appearance of chronic wasting disease on the Mississippi landscape is making significant changes in the lives and hobbies of hunters, and many are ready to do what it takes to limit this disease. Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is a prion disease of white-tailed deer that is easily transmissible to deer through saliva, feces, urine or a contaminated environment

An unhealthy deer stands next to a wall.
October 21, 2021 - Filed Under: White-Tailed Deer

A 100% fatal, transmissible, neurogenerative disease has entered the Mississippi white-tailed deer population, and hunters play a big part in controlling this disease. Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is a prion disease that is easily transmissible to deer through saliva, feces, urine or a contaminated environment.

Buck.
September 30, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

The white-tailed deer is one of the most popular game species in Mississippi. We have over 2 million white-tailed deer in the state, and we rank second behind Texas for the densest population of deer in the nation.

Bird feeder, bottle of bleach and cleaning brush.
September 29, 2021 - Filed Under: Plants and Wildlife, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife
RAYMOND, Miss. -- After an active year for disease-related wild bird deaths in the U.S., people should follow best practices when providing backyard feeders and water sources for wild birds this fall and winter.
 
Disease in wildlife populations is normal and is one of the many mechanisms that regulate wildlife populations. Many things can cause diseases in wildlife, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, along with exposure to toxic substances. 
 
Nine-banded armadillo
September 2, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

Armadillos are one of the most unique looking critters out there. These animals are covered in silver, armor-like plates that protect them The word “armadillo” actually means “little armored one” in Spanish!  

An adult male turkey is in a field.
August 24, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife

It seems that wild turkeys don’t like humidity any more than people do. That is a finding of a study conducted by the MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center, or FWRC, in response to concerns that Mississippi’s turkey season was not timed properly.

Raccoon.
August 2, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

The Northern raccoon, also known as the backyard bandit, is no stranger to Mississippi. Known for the black bandit mask on its face and its striped tail, these raccoons can be found in a variety of environments. They easily adapt to their surroundings, whether that be in forested areas or cities. 

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