Wildlife Week 2014: Wildlife and Water

Mallards and other ducks nest in wetlands, and use rivers, wetlands and lakes as they migrate each year. Photo by Donna Dewhurst, US FWS.

Mallards and other ducks nest in wetlands, and use rivers, wetlands and lakes as they migrate each year. Photo by Donna Dewhurst, US FWS.

From the mighty Missouri to tiny Walnut Creek, streams provide habitat for fish, birds, mammals and other wildlife the length and breadth of Nebraska. The Platte River is internationally known for hosting the annual Sandhill and Whooping Crane migration, one of the most spectacular wildlife migrations on the planet.

The middle part of the Niobrara is a National Scenic River, and the lower part a National Recreation River. The mighty Missouri itself provides habitat for the rare pallid sturgeon, least terns and piping plovers, and a host of catfish, bass and other fish.

Our Rainwater Basin wetlands are a stopover point for millions of ducks and geese. Nebraska’s rivers, lakes and wetlands are vital habitat for fish, of course, but they also provide habitat for frogs, turtles, many bird species, beaver, muskrat and river otter.

Sadly, more than one-third of Nebraska’s historic wetlands have been drained or filled. Flows in the Central Platte have been reduced by two-thirds from upstream users. Pumpkin Creek, Frenchman Creek, and other rivers have gone dry due to over-use.

Help celebrate Nebraska Wildlife Week 2014, March 17-23, by celebrating water and its vital importance for Nebraska wildlife!

We congratulate the winners of the Federation’s 2014 Wildlife Week Poster Contest!

As you celebrate Nebraska Wildlife Week, check out more great resources available on the National Wildlife Federation web site.