X

Watershed Wildlife

Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation has begun to inventory the wildlife that exists on our landscape. This is a long-term effort, and we encourage your participation to collect these natural history recordings. Phenology is the scientific study of periodic biological phenomena, such as flowering, breeding, and migration, in relation to climatic conditions. You can be a “Citizen Scientist” by sending us timely information, such as when you saw the first wildflowers or sandhill cranes in spring.

Submit your information using the “What Did You See?” form.

Why do we do this? One important measure of land health is the biodiversity present on that landscape. Generally, the greater the complexity of biota, the more intact and functioning the ecosystem. For example: the presence of predators such as eagles, cranes, coyotes and river otters are all indicators of land health.

We all have to eat.
A predator will not exist and thrive without a healthy forage base that is diverse and somewhat stable or abundant throughout the seasons. Predators are apex species; when they are present, a structure of forage is maintaining them. That structure is a flowing life force of critters and plants, fueled by sunlight, water and soil. Many parts and pieces of the biota are dependent on each other to create the required structure to support an apex species. When it all comes together you have an indication of land health, and a red tail hawk is soaring in the blue sky above you.

We all need a place to live and be with our friends.
The landscape scale needs to be large enough to allow animals to safely range for genetic exchange in order to successfully breed and raise their young. Most importantly, the quality of the wildlife habitat needs to be able to sustain the essential life needs of diverse species, providing food, shelter, and reproductive opportunity.

We all need to appreciate diversity and get along.
Wildlife is the living manifestation of our natural history. Having wild things present adds richness and connection to our landscape. When you see a bald eagle, beaver or a river otter, it’s a special day. The abundance of healthy land gives us wildlife diversity, and we hope you will help us to protect it.

We all need to learn from the land.
A CLCF goal is to improve our watershed land health. One way to measure that is to assess the wildlife diversity and overall carrying capacity of our land. By inventorying our species, we hope to identify the best habitat, learn from those compositions and actively improve our land management.