Wetlands Reimagined

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Published on: Feb. 15, 2013

out to help us get the job done. Organizations like Missouri Waterfowl Association, the University of Missouri Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society, and the Boone’s Lick Chapter of The Missouri Master Naturalists have been involved in wood duck box cleanup on Eagle Bluffs CA for many years. These boxes provide critical nesting habitat for wood ducks, which typically nest in old-growth bottomland hardwood forests, a habitat that has been largely lost in Missouri. The boxes at Eagle Bluffs CA have contributed to more than 250 wood duck nests during 2009–2012. They will also sometimes provide cover for unintended users, such as raccoons and screech owls.

Duck and Goose Banding Wetland area managers conduct annual Canada goose and wood duck banding operations. For wood ducks, bait piles and rocket nets are used to capture the ducks, then bands are attached to their legs. Canada geese are banded during a “goose roundup” held during the early summer when adult birds have hatched their young and have molted their flight feathers. These exercises involve corralling geese into a standing net where they can be handled easily and safely. Banded birds can be reported by hunters who harvest them during waterfowl season to the Bird Banding Lab operated by the USGS. This banding information is used by state and federal biologists to keep track of population and harvest information, which aids decisions about the length of seasons and the bag limits for different species.

Turtle Trapping During the spring and summer, we trap turtles on Eagle Bluffs CA as part of a mark-recapture program. Aquatic turtles benefit from our wetland management and use our pools to feed, rest, reproduce, and overwinter. The turtle project began in 2011 to help answer questions regarding how these animals respond to our intensive management of water and wetland habitat. So far, we have marked more than 700 turtles in two years. This project has been made possible by volunteers from the Missouri Master Naturalists, the Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society, researchers at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, the University of Missouri Herpetology Club, and local Eagle Scout groups.

Local Bird-Watching Community Many bird species pass through Missouri on their annual migration, and we try and provide habitat needs for those that come through our area. Shorebirds and wading birds are commonly seen on our area, as well as hawks and pelicans. These events are highly anticipated

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