Missouri Department of Conservation

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A bird that was extirpated from Missouri is once again living among short-leaf pines in the Mark Twain National Forest.

The brown-headed nuthatch is a resident or a non-migratory bird, according to state ornithologist, Sarah Kendrick, with the Missouri Department of Conservation.

They excavate cavities in dead pine trees to nest in each year.  Kendrick said they’re a pine woodland obligate, which means they need pine trees with open spacing between them to survive.  And they have a distinct call.

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A bird hanging out along the Current River near Doniphan right now must be wondering where it is.  Birders have identified the gray and white bird as a brown booby.  And their habitat is nowhere near here.

Steve Paes is a forester for the Missouri Department of Conservation.  He said he’s not a bird expert, though he enjoys birding, but this is what experts have told him.

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The emerald ash borer has been found in three more counties in the state:  Chariton, Layfayette and Moniteau, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.  That brings the total of counties known to have the pest  in the state to 78.

EAB is a small, metallic green beetle native to Asia that attacks all species of ash trees.  It kills more than 99 percent of the trees it attacks.


The U.S. Forest Service has announced the public can no longer hunt feral hogs in the Mark Twain National Forest, with exceptions.  It’s allowing the opportunistic take of feral hogs in the forest during all deer and turkey hunting seasons.  According to a news release from the Missouri Department of Conservation, only those hunters with an unfilled permit in compliance with the permit conditions may take hogs. 

Missouri Department of Conservation

Emerald Ash Borer has been found in 16 more counties in Missouri, including Douglas, Howell and Ozark in southern Missouri.

The beetle, also known as EAB, kills ash trees by feeding on tissues under the bark, slowly cutting off the trees’ flow of water and nutrients, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the insect kills more than 99 percent of the trees it attacks.

Michele Skalicky

Dickerson Park Zoo rescued five young barn owls earlier this summer, and, Thursday, the Missouri Department of Conservation took them to their new homes in rural parts of southwest Missouri.

MDC initially took the owlets from a location in Lawrence County after it received a call from a landowner and sent an agent to check on the birds.

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A few weeks after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that an invasive pathogen had been introduced into Missouri on nursery stock, the Missouri Department of Conservation and other organizations are being extra vigilant.

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The Missouri Department of Conservation is holding meetings across the state for people to learn more about black bears.  The first is Tuesday, July 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center, 4601 S. Nature Center Way. 

MDC furbearer biologist, Laura Conlee, said the open houses are a chance for the public to comment on the department’s draft black bear management plan.

KSMU's Michele Skalicky met up with Missouri Department of Conservation urban forester, Cindy Garner, recently at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center to talk about diseases and insects that can affect trees.  MDC will hold a tree pest clinic Tuesday, June 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the nature center, 4601 S. Nature Center Way. 

Garner pointed to a hawthorn that has cedar hawthorn rust, which she said is common in Missouri.  It’s caused by spores that infect the tree at the time it flowers.

The Missouri Department of Conservation has released numbers from its 2018-2019 disease-surveillance efforts.  Forty-one new positive test results for chronic wasting disease (CWD) were confirmed during the sampling and testing of more than 32,000 free-ranging Missouri deer.  That brings the total number of CWD detections in Missouri to 116 since 2012.

Some of the most recent positive cases of CWD were in Southwest Missouri.  Three were in Polk County, one in Stone and one in Taney County.

Dickerson Park Zoo

Many people in Springfield have seen Phoenix, a bald eagle at Dickerson Park Zoo, at the zoo or during a program she was part of.  And if they haven’t, they’ve probably heard of her.  But they might not know her story, and how she came to live at the zoo. 

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People who say they represent tree removal services have been going door to door in Monett and the surrounding area telling people that the tree pest, the emerald ash borer, has been found there and that they need to have work done on their trees.

MO Department of Conservation

A Neosho man is the most recent record-breaking angler in Missouri.  Paul Crews hooked a brown trout on Lake Taneycomo using a rod and reel.

The new pole and line record brown trout caught in February 23 weighed 34 pounds, 10 ounces.  That beats the previous record by six pounds and two ounces.

MO Department of Conservation

The Missouri Department of Conservation is seeking information in a poaching case in Shannon County.  According to MDC, two adult elk were shot Friday, Feb. 8, near the Log Yard area of the county. One of the elk was a 10-year-old bull, brought to the state from Kentucky in 2011. The other was an adult cow, born in Missouri. Conservation agents say no parts of either animal were removed.  They say most poaching incidents are done for fun or out of spite and have nothing to do with providing meat for a family.

Missouri Department of Conservation

An invasive species in Missouri is causing damage to the landscape, threatening native species and spreading disease.  The Missouri Department of Conservation, on its website, calls feral hogs “a menace that must be destroyed.”

Last year, MDC eliminated more than 9300 feral hogs in the state.  The goal is to completely eradicate them in Missouri.