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Waterfowl habitat improvements made during drought

November 10, 2012
By GARRY BRANDENBURG , Times-Republican

DROUGHT can be tough to deal with. We have to adapt. Wildlife adapts too. I'm inclined to think that wildlife take drought years in stride just as they do excessively wet years. Tough times demand flexibility in order to survive. Waterfowl have been at this survival game for many eons of geological time. While Iowa was extra dry this year, abundant rains in Canadian prairie pothole regions were responsible for excellent hatches of many species of ducks. The problem for Iowa duck hunters is and will be the almost absolute lack of water in area wetlands and marshes. Add to this the propensity for some migrating waterfowl to catch just the right high altitude tail wind in the Dakotas or Minnesota and fly right through Iowa on their way to the rice fields of Arkansas's Mississippi River floodplain wetlands. If Iowa wetlands had water, there would be at least some birds stopping to rest and feed. Not so this year.



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