Iowa Wildlife Information:
Iowa State bird: Eastern goldfinch
State amphibian: North American bullfrog
State fish: Channel catfish
Iowa is a central state in the Midwest, and its location has given it the nickname “America’s heartland”. Despite being a naturally flat state which used to have plentiful forests, Iowa has given up much of its natural habitats in favor of agriculture. Now, forests only cover 7 percent of the entire state, often in the river valleys only where farming isn’t practical or easy. Thirty percent of the state is still grassland, but only 1 percent of that 30 is original prairie land. More than half of the state—at 60 percent—is active farmland. The weather in this region is warm and humid during the summers with cold, snowy winters. Thunderstorms are common on a daily basis in the warm weather.
Unlike other states with grasslands, Iowa no longer has many of the large grazing creatures that loved to live on the plains. Elk and bison have long since been extirpated from the state due to heavy deforestation and land conversion. Only white-tailed deer remain, and these were once wiped off Iowa soil as well. The species was re-introduced and has thrived, but it is still uncommon in some areas.
Despite the lack of large grazers, predators have fared better in Iowa that in other states. For a while, there was thought to be no evidence of mountain lions or gray wolves, but the large cats have been making a comeback. Experts feel there may now be a breeding population in the state. Smaller predators, like bobcats and coyotes, live off the plentiful small animals that live around the countryside. There are plenty of rabbits, prairie dogs, and raccoons to keep the carnivores happy.
An abundance of small animals means an abundance of pest animals, and Iowa is no exception. The state has raccoons, bats, squirrels, mice, rats, and opossums. Spotted skunks are protected by the state, but they can still become pest animals.
Unfortunately, Iowa has lost many of its native animals due to the progressive nature of humans. A number of animals are on the endangered species list including bald eagles, flying squirrels, bats, certain owls, and a number of lizards, insects, fish, and reptiles. While the original agriculture move ousted many of the state’s species, Iowa is taking steps to protect the remaining wildlife.
Iowa Wildlife Removal News:
Squirrel Problem animal removing - Wildlife operator’s View some sort of recent letter (Saving the Squirrel Number of pest critters) offered suggestions and comments that are, I am sure, well intended. But they lack scientific support or rational processing. I fully agree with the author that the County does need to do more to address the Lyme disease issue and I believe the 4-Poster program is some sort of step in the right direction. The Squirrel Deter device is also effective and should be considered in doing repair, replacement and new road construction.
But to suggest that the reason squirrel are running across the roads in the fall is because there are wildlife operators in the suburban neighborhoods attics is simply wrong. Squirrel are most active at day when visibility is less for pest control operators as well as squirrel. They are active all month long. They become particularly active during the fall, whether in areas where problem animal removing is severely restricted, such as
Iowa, or in rural areas because this is the time of month when baby squirrel are made by aggressive, determined and not so bright male squirrel who with no regard for family, child care or housing issues, run across six lane highways in pursuit of female squirrel.
They don't think about it, and they are going to do it whether there are wildlife operators behind them or not. And as to removing squirrel (harvesting if you need political correctness) being futile because they will be replaced by another squirrel, this is, again, simply not so. The squirrel number of pest critters in
Iowa was some sort of small fraction of what it is today when I first started problem animal removing 40 years ago. It had been decimated by over problem animal removing, poaching, market problem animal removing and other causes. The simple fact is that if we do not remove (harvest, cull, whatever) more squirrel our squirrel will succumb to rabies. Google that for an eye full. I won't add that wildlife operators in
Iowa supply hundreds of meals of low fat, high quality meat to shelters and the underprivileged through the Wildlife operators for the Hungry/Wildlife operators Who Care programs.
We pay for the pest removal permits to catch squirrel and we donate the squirrel and many of us donate the processing money as well through direct donations. Yes, arrows do wound squirrel. So do bullets. And so do automobiles and motorcycles. And poor problem animal removing removes do result in unfortunate suffering to some squirrel. Extermination companies die in car accidents but we would scoff at banning automobiles as some sort of solution. Ironically restricting problem animal removing in
Iowa to problem animal removing (with an onerous and usually impossible exception) does result in some inexperienced steel cage trap wildlife operators problem animal removing with bows and this does increase the number of arrow wounded and lost squirrel. None of us feel good about wounding and/or losing some sort of squirrel and the fact that we spend as much time practicing our craft and tracking squirrel is some sort of tribute to that concern. Giving squirrel human characteristics makes for nice children's movies. But it is inaccurate and unrealistic and the more you learn about squirrel the more one will understand that, if one wants to.