LINCOLN, Neb. – Wildlife numbers are generally lower compared to a year ago, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s July Rural Mail Carrier Survey.
The 2012 drought affected wildlife across the state, exacerbated by habitat loss caused by emergency haying and grazing on Conservation Reserve Program land in all counties.
In general, statewide indices for pheasant, turkey, grouse, cottontail and jackrabbit were lower in 2013 than in 2012. Although some of these species experienced regional increases, overall, the regional indices were lower. Indices for quail were comparable between years, statewide, but were higher in some regions in 2013.
Indices of abundance from quail whistle counts conducted this June showed a 16 percent statewide increase in the number of calling males heard compared to 2012.
In July, 426 rural mail carriers reported observations of wildlife while driving 175,181 miles in 89 counties. Sixty of the carriers reported seeing no wildlife.