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K-State Research and Extension News

Outbound: Kansas

Each week, K-State Research and Extension wildlife specialist Charlie Lee joins Eric Atkinson, agriculture director for the K-State Radio Network, to discuss a wide variety of wildlife issues of interest to farmers, ranchers, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts of all kinds.  Each feature is approximately 5-minutes in length.

Send comments, questions or requests for copies of past programs to ksrenews@ksu.edu.

Program Date

Segment Title
and Description

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06-22-18ROADRUNNERS IN KANSAS– Likely because of increased habitat availability, the greater roadrunner can be found more frequently these days in the southern half of Kansas.  It’s a quite unique bird, and is enjoyable to observe when possible. Learn more about the biology of the roadrunner and the findings from an interesting study of its habitat preferences. OUT 06-22
06-15-18LIVESTOCK PREDATION EVIDENCE– As part of his assignment as an Extension wildlife specialist, K-State’s Charlie Lee travels the state, helping livestock producers identify wildlife predation on their stock. Before heading to the site to assess a situation, he asks producers to preserve the scene as much as possible, so that it can be confirmed that a predator is in fact responsible for that loss of livestock.   OUT 06-15
06-08-18PRAIRIE RATTLESNAKES IN KANSAS– While the prairie rattlesnake is often misunderstood and feared,  it actually poses little danger – if left alone. Knowing where you’re most likely to find prairie rattlesnakes in Kansas and what to do if you happen to cross paths with one is extremely important.OUT 06-08
06-01-18CURBING WOODPECKER DAMAGE– Every year, woodpeckers cause widespread damage to wood-sided homes and outbuildings. There’s been a lot of research in how to prevent this damage. But, what works and doesn't work?OUT 06-01
05-25-18WESTERN MEADOWLARK STATUS– For nearly a century, the western meadowlark has been designated as the state bird of Kansas.  Historically, it has thrived in the central plains environment.  But wildlife experts have noted that western meadowlark numbers have declined some in recent decades, and that deserves some attention. OUT 05-25
05-18-18RIVER OTTER RECOVERY– For years, the river otter was in a state of decline in this country.  However, through a concerted national effort to restore the otter, it has now made a highly-successful comeback.  And it can now be found commonly in many Kansas rivers and streams. OUT 05-18
05-11-18DEER TICK CONTROL– The ticks are out in full force this spring.  Deer and rodents are common carriers of ticks, and therefore can be at the center of tick control efforts.  This week, K-State wildlife specialist Charlie Lee covers some of the research-proven approaches to reducing tick numbers in a given setting, including a new system that is showing good promise.OUT 05-11 
05-04-18HUMMINGBIRD FEEDING APPROACH– The ever-popular hummingbirds are now migrating northward, and have already been seen in Kansas.  So it’s time for homeowners who want to encourage hummingbirds to stick around to put out their feeders. OUT 05-04
04-27-18CRAPPIE BEHAVIOR STUDY– The peak time for crappie fishing will soon be at hand.  The challenge for anglers is finding the crappie ahead of and during spawning.  That’s where the findings of a new study out of Kentucky may prove helpful.   OUT 04-27
04-20-18SERIOUS BAT DISEASE– A punishing disease called white-nose syndrome is hitting bat populations hard throughout the eastern half of the U.S.  And now, it has been confirmed in two counties in Kansas. Bats are a vastly underappreciated species that deserve preservation, and a multi-agency effort is now underway to address this serious disease problem.OUT 04-20
04-13-18DEER REFLECTOR SIGNS– As a way to combat the problem of deer collisions with vehicles, some states have deployed what are called wildlife warning reflectors along the sides of roadways.  These are intended to frighten deer away from the road as a vehicle approaches.  A recent study evaluated how well those perform, and arrived at a surprising result.OUT 04-13
04-06-18NORWAY RAT CONTROL– The property damage that Norway rats can inflict around homes and farmsteads can be substantial. However, taking measures to control these common rodents is a simple multi-step process. OUT 04-06
03-30-18CORMORANT CONTROL LIMITATIONS– The double-breasted cormorant is a large migratory bird that spends time in Kansas during its travels. It can be a problem species, in that it will consume substantial volumes of fish from ponds and lakes, and its roosting can cause sanitation issues. However, it is a protected species, and a new court ruling limits the landowner’s ability to take cormorants as a control option.OUT 03-30 
03-23-18BLUEBIRDS AND SPARROWS– Many folks enjoy watching bluebirds inhabit their backyards and other places around the home or farmstead.  Some go to the trouble of putting up a bluebird nest box to attract them in.  In those cases, preventing house sparrows from invading nest boxes, or even attacking bluebirds directly, would be very much in order.OUT 03-23
03-16-18VOLES IN CORN– They’re not a problem every year, but when they do show up, voles can inflict major damage on newly-planted corn, especially in no-till conditions. But at what point does a producer need to act with a control program?OUT 03-16
03-09-18LEAD AND RAPTORS– Some landowners routinely invite hunters in as an attempt to control nuisance wildlife.  One such species, the ground squirrel, was the subject of a recent study.  It sought to find out if the lead shot used to reduce ground squirrel numbers is a potential health threat to avian raptors which might feed on the remains.OUT 03-09
03-02-18DURABILITY OF WOODPECKERS– The self-inflicted health impacts of pecking by woodpeckers was the subject of a recent study.  It illustrated that woodpeckers have, over time, adapted to the negative consequences of their pecking habit. OUT 03-02 
02-23-18RAPTORS AND PASTURE BURNING– Prescribed pasture burning is a routine management practice across the grasslands of the central plains.  Up until recently, there had been no study of the activity of common birds of prey before, during and after a prescribed burn.  Just such a study was conducted in Oklahoma, and revealed some interesting numbers.OUT 02-23
02-16-18RENOVATING FARM PONDS– Despite all the issues the persistently dry weather has created, it also has opened up an opportunity for many landowners to renovate leaky farm ponds. This can be accomplished a couple of ways. However, the first step is to identify the reason for the leaking.OUT 02-16 
02-09-18SNOWY OWL PLIGHT– Kansans may notice snowy owls in the state seem more abundant this winter.  And the wildlife surveys back that up. However, snowy owls tend to struggle for survival during Kansas winters. As a result, some form of conservation action in support of these birds of prey might be worth considering.OUT 02-09
02-02-18AQUACULTURE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE– Commercial fish production does have a presence in the central plains. Those interested in aquaculture are encouraged to attend a major informational conference February 9th-10th near Kansas City. K-State is part of the conference sponsor, the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center. OUT 02-02
01-26-18PRAIRIE CHICKEN STUDY– The concern over declining prairie chicken numbers continues.  In light of that, a new study out of K-State looked at a relatively new approach to grassland management, called “patch-burn” grazing, and its impact on prairie chicken survival.  It was compared to the more frequently-used intensive grazing approach, which includes annual full-pasture burning. OUT 01-26
01-19-18RODENT FUMIGATION SYSTEM– There’s an experimental new approach to fumigating burrowing rodents that was recently evaluated in a K-State field trial.  While this method is not yet approved for use in Kansas, it has caught the attention of numerous farmers and other landowners who are combating rodent problems. OUT 01-19
01-12-18CATS AND COYOTES– Feral cats can cause an assortment of problems in populated areas.  What to do about those problems has long been discussed and debated.  One idea that has come up is the possibility of allowing coyotes to prey on feral cats in a natural setting.  A new study explored whether that approach has any merit.OUT 01-12
01-05-18BIRD FEEDER PLACEMENT– There is a strategy to feeding songbirds in the yard through the winter…and that starts with proper placement of the feeder itself.OUT 01-05