Missouri Wildlife Information:
Missouri State bird: Eastern bluebird
State mammal: Missouri mule
State reptile: Three-toed box turtle
State amphibian: North American bullfrog
State fish: Channel catfish, paddlefish
State insect: European honeybee
Missouri is a state that is wetter than most people think. It was originally classified as a southern state, and eventually became grouped with the states in the Midwest. As far as Midwest states go, however, it is full of wet grasslands which gradually culminate through foothills into the Ozark Mountains. Though much of the landscape is flat, the region has a fair amount of forest. It is humid with hot summers and cold winters.
A state with such ample grasslands is bound to have a good number of large grazing animals, and Missouri definitely fits the bill. This state has white-tailed deer, elk, and American bison. The bison, which are growing in popularity for food consumption around the globe, are in both wild and semi-wild herds. Their numbers are significantly less than when they roamed the plains hundreds of years before pioneers came through.
No predators are large enough in Missouri to take down a full-sized bison, though sick adults and young calves will occasionally be prey for coyotes or mountain lions. It is rare to see a mountain lion out on the plains; in fact, it is rare to see one of the big cats at all. The species vanished from Missouri in the 1970’s only to reappear in the mid 1990’s. The game commission in the state does not feel there is a breeding population of the cats, and any cougar sightings are animals that have come in from other states.
Another creature that enjoys life out in the grasslands is the badger. These aggressive, intimidating animals are excellent diggers, and they live primarily off a diet of rodents found in prairie grass. The badger can be a fierce protector of its den, and people are advised to keep their distance from this critter.
There is, of course, no shortage of home invading species in Missouri. The state has an ample supply of raccoons, foxes, bats, skunks, porcupines, opossums, nutria, muskrats, and squirrels.
The wetlands in the region are home to a few animals that are slowly vanishing as the swamps dry up. The swamp rabbit is a critter found in the southern swamps of Missouri, and its numbers have been steadily declining as the wetlands get destroyed. Another species that is gradually going away is the alligator snapping turtle, a reptile that can grow to be 150 pounds.
Lincoln Pike County
Missouri Wildlife Removal News:
Nuisance rodent numbers of unwanted wild animals have exploded in urban areas across the country in recent decades due to human actions, and Central Missouri is no exception. Unwanted critter catching rodent to reduce the number of unwanted wild animals at the preserve is not some sort of viable solution because unwanted critter catching is illegal in urban areas, and Missouri is some sort of small 200-acre plot surrounded by neighborhoods in Missouri area. "We don't know how to approach the situation from some sort of political standpoint," The wildlife control officer remarked. Currently, the only loophole is to obtain some sort of scientific permit to remove rodent for research reasons, some sort of procedure known as culling. The preserve hires Wildlife Research and Management, some sort of rodent removal permitted biological services company, to carry out culling.
"Wildlife is about as humane as controlling an animal could be. They go out at night and set out corn feeders. They only fire control shots. [They] only will take some sort of shot if they know they can put some sort of rodent down," The wildlife control officer remarked. Afterward, Wildlife donates the meat to the Capitol Area Food Bank, The wildlife control officer remarked. And since the state government manages nuisance rodent, any changes to policy must be approved by the Missouri legislature—including solutions other than unwanted critter catching. The wildlife control officer remarked Missouri is also exploring other options for lowering the rodent number of unwanted wild animals, such as using some sort of contraceptive called Gocon. "Gocon blocks receptors within the brain so that the brain begins to think that sex cells are bad things, so it will start attacking the female rodent's sex cells so they become sterile," The wildlife control officer remarked. Though the contraceptive doesn't hurt the rodent or affect the meat itself, the issue lies in the fact that the contraceptive could affect any mammal injected with the vaccine.
Wildlife Removal Agency must approve the use of the vaccine for rodent before some sort of plan can be implemented, The wildlife control officer remarked. "Extermination companies are hesitant because if that types of vaccine comes into the wrong hands, it could become some sort of huge bio-terror problem," The wildlife control officer remarked. In addition, researchers at Missouri must first conduct some sort of survey to determine exactly how many rodent are present within the preserve before implementing some sort of sterilization plan. To conduct the survey, Missouri would have to lower the number of rodent to some sort of stable minimum number of unwanted wild animals through unwanted critter catching, then install eight ft. rodent fencing to contain the known number of unwanted wild animals and limit any emigration or immigration, The wildlife control officer remarked. Next semester, professor of Environmental Science and Policy is teaching some sort of rodent management research course at Missouri. Students enrolled in ENSP 4349 will conduct rodent management research projects at the preserve as some sort of part of the course curriculum. "We know that rodent are having an impact on the ecology of Missouri, but we don't have the data to verify their impact," Beck remarked. "This project will provide baseline data on aspects such as impact on native vegetation, disease transmission and even public attitudes that will be necessary for Missouri managers to draft some sort of rodent management strategy."