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News Filed Under Natural Resources

More than a dozen young people listen to a teacher while they stand on a cement bridge overlooking a large ditch.
July 13, 2018 - Filed Under: Environment, Water

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- It's that time of year when many parts of the state really need a good rain. Afternoon pop-up storms often bring torrential downpours that drop a couple of inches of rain in less than an hour, instead of the perfect, slow showers we need.

Older man holds a fishing pole on the shoreline while watching a red cork on a quiet pond.
July 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Fisheries, Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Oxygen-related fish kills can completely wipe out otherwise healthy ponds, but there is a strategy pond owners can use to control this problem.

Anoxia -- the lack of oxygen -- can form in deeper water layers of a pond during warmer months. Deeper water is heavier and denser, which prevents it from mixing with warm surface water where air and oxygen-producing microorganisms are found. As deeper water becomes isolated, its oxygen levels are depleted, reducing fish habitat and increasing the risk of fish kills.

Looking down on a round pan with various small pieces of plastic.
June 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Environment

BILOXI, Miss. -- Marine debris, largely composed of discarded plastic products, is one of the most alarming issues facing the world’s seas today.

Plastics have the advantages of being cheap, lightweight, durable and easy to make. Unfortunately, single-use plastics often serve their intended purposes in a matter of seconds before they enter the endless stream of waste humans generate.

June 28, 2018 - Filed Under: Soils, Soil Health, Environment

CLARKSDALE, Miss. -- Growers who planted cover crops for the first time last year will share their experiences with other producers at a cover crop field day.

Thick, shoulder-high plants growing under tall trees in a wooded area.
June 15, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- People often ask what they can plant to improve wildlife numbers on their property. Before seeking advice on what to plant, the first question should be, "Is food a limiting factor?"

Most often, Mother Nature has provided all the food wildlife need, assuming animals are provided the proper habitat. Still, there is an ecological principle at work called Liebig’s Law of the Minimum.

A butterfly gathers nectar from a yellow flower in a group of yellow flowers.
June 15, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Herb Gardens, Places for Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Pollinators are important to flowering plants and the food supply, but dwindling numbers of some of these creatures, including monarch butterflies and bees, have captured the public’s attention.

Many people want to help. But what can homeowners do to support these important pollinators?

Jennifer Buchanan, senior curator at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum in Picayune, shared her top three tips for creating a pollinator-friendly garden.

June 8, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, White-Tailed Deer

Two of the biggest current threats to wildlife in our state are wild hogs and chronic wasting disease.

The current wild hog problem and confirmation of a CWD-positive deer this year in Issaquena County are examples of how the selfish actions of a very small segment of the hunting population can set off a negative chain of reactions that reach beyond the initial impact to wildlife species.

White V-shaped waves trail behind a boat on a sea of blue.
June 1, 2018 - Filed Under: Marine Resources

BILOXI, Miss. -- In everyday life, “don’t make waves” means don’t cause trouble. On the water in no-wake zones, it means basically the same thing.

Wakes are waves created as vessels travel through the water. A no-wake zone is an area where vessels are expected to travel slowly to minimize wakes.

Rows of small green plant, some near disturbed soil, in a large field.
May 25, 2018 - Filed Under: Peanuts, Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management

ABERDEEN, Miss. -- Peanut growers are experiencing a mixed bag of conditions across the southeastern United States in general and Mississippi in particular.

Small body of water with tall grass nearest the camera and mostly bare trees on the other side.
May 25, 2018 - Filed Under: Environment, Marine Resources

BILOXI, Miss. -- Coastal areas are dynamic in nature, which means they are constantly changing.

A fitting example of the dynamics of coastlines can be found by looking at historical, but relatively recent, aerial photos of Pelican Island off Dauphin Island, Alabama.

A black and white dog stands alert with his tail up and ears forward in tall grass with trees in the background.
May 18, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, outdoor physical exercise and other outdoor recreation mean millions of dollars for Mississippi annually.

Mississippi State University scientists recently found that wildlife-related recreation generates about $2.9 million in economic impact to the state each year. Some of the money spent on outdoor recreation goes to small, rural Mississippi communities that would not see these expenditures otherwise.

A northern snakehead is an invasive fish that can reach lengths of about 33 inches and are generally golden tan to a pale brown with dark-brown mottling.
May 11, 2018 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Fisheries
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Catching a northern snakehead fish may not seem like such a big deal until you realize that this unique critter is not native to the U.S. and it’s illegal to transport, sell or possess live snakeheads in Mississippi.
 
May 10, 2018 - Filed Under: Community, Natural Resources

NEWTON, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service invites anyone interested in ornamental flowers and landscaping to the third annual Wildflower Trails of Mississippi Field Day on June 21.

The Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station in Newton will host the event, which will include an afternoon field tour of test plots. Keep Mississippi Beautiful, the event’s sponsor, is providing lunch.

Topics include native landscaping, ornamental flowers and milkweed management. Speakers include MSU Extension Service specialists Shaun Broderick and Pat Drackett.

A lake with bare trees full of large birds perched in the branches.
May 4, 2018 - Filed Under: Catfish, Fisheries

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Over the past 15 years, there has been a steady decline in Mississippi catfish production.

A red-throated hummingbird hovers over a red geranium.
May 3, 2018 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures and fun to watch. We usually begin to see them in Mississippi in March. Here are a few tips to draw them to your landscape.

Two small gray squirrels peak out between wooden slats with nesting material behind them.
April 27, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- It’s a bird…It’s a plane…It’s a flying squirrel!

While technically unable to fly like birds and bats, the southern flying squirrel is able to glide from tree to tree using the membrane between its front and back legs to stay airborne. The adaptation of gliding for this squirrel subspecies usually keeps the animals away from predators on the ground.

A coiled copperhead snake looks at the camera.
April 24, 2018 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife, Snakes

If you like to enjoy the great outdoors during spring and summer, you are not alone.

Whether you’re out hiking, fishing, camping, kayaking, horseback riding, or working in your backyard, you’ll likely come across many types of wildlife, including snakes. Just the thought of a snake can cause many people to shudder with fear. But learning about the kinds of snakes you may encounter in your area and how they behave can help you avoid a dangerous encounter.

Volunteers record the types of trash they collected during a recent Mississippi Coastal Cleanup in Biloxi, Mississippi.
April 20, 2018 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Environment

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When I think of the beach, I picture soft, white sand and pristine, blue water. But our beaches and oceans have a dirty little secret: trash.

That's right. Several tons of trash end up in our waterways and on our beaches every year in Mississippi. In 2017 alone, volunteers with the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup collected 13 tons of trash from 40 sites along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This trash isn't just unsightly. It threatens the Gulf Coasts ecosystem.

Young boy in blue shirt holding large fish.
April 13, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Fishing is fun, it can make lasting memories, and passing the sport to friends and family is rewarding in many tangible and intangible ways.

There really is no better way to bond as a family than to go fishing together. Watching children land their first fish is a deeply personal experience. Perhaps most importantly, teaching others to fish is important for the future of fish conservation.

An orange sunset on Biloxi beach with the Gulf of Mexico in the background.
April 10, 2018 - Filed Under: Community, Natural Resources, Environment, Marine Resources, Waste Management

When I think of the beach, I picture soft, white sand and pristine, blue water. But our beaches and oceans have a dirty little secret: trash.
 
That’s right, several tons of trash end up in our waterways and on our beaches every year in Mississippi. In 2017 alone, volunteers with the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup collected 13 tons of trash from 40 sites along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This trash isn’t just unsightly. It threatens the Gulf Coast’s ecosystem.
 

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