State’s Rivers Become a Part of Wildlife Federation Poster Contest

Nebraska has more miles of rivers than any other state.

Because the Loup, the Calamus, the Republican, the Platte, the Missouri, the Snake, the Niobrara, and the Elkhorn are teeming with native wildlife, the Nebraska Wildlife Federation for its 2017 Wildlife Poster Contest has chosen the theme “Rivers of Nebraska.”

These rivers and their associated habitats (riparian woodlands, wetlands and sandbars) offer suitable habitat for many native wildlife species.  Bald eagles use the trees along the river to survey the terrain and do their hunting.  The habitat needs of raccoons and squirrels are met by these riparian woodlands and associated drinking water. The use of the Platte River by sandhill cranes and whooping cranes is legendary, as they use the river for safe roosting spots on their six-week stopover during spring migration.  Piping plovers and interior least terns use river sandbars for their nesting activities.

One bird species that makes particularly good use of the river is the belted kingfisher.  He not only carves out nest cavities in the riverbank but also uses associated trees for perches as he does his fishing.

The Federation calls upon 4th, 5th, and 6th grade teachers to enroll students in the contest, which offers four awards per grade.  Winners will be listed in the Prairie Blade newsletter, and an awards ceremony will be held on Wild Adventure Day at Pioneers Park Nature Center in Lincoln on Saturday, April 29. For details, go to: www.nebraskawildlife.org