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Nongame Wildlife

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What is Nongame Wildlife?


Nebraska's great variety of wildlife and wild plants ... and the forests, grasslands and wetlands they inhabit ... represent a natural heritage of enormous interest and priceless value.

What is Nongame Wildlife?

Nebraska's great variety of wildlife and wild plants ... and the forests, grasslands and wetlands they inhabit ... represent a natural heritage of enormous interest and priceless value.

Herons, bitterns and frogs are conspicuous occupants of marshes-a rapidly vanishing habitat in Nebraska. Our many rivers and streams harbor creatures such as the rare northern redbelly dace, the wintering bald eagle, and the house wren. Our forests would not be forests without the sights and sounds of the woodpeckers and owls, and the stately figure of a bur oak or ponderosa pine. Grasslands are brought alive by the presence of the melodious meadowlark and the prairie falcon diving with a ground squirrel in its sights. The urban environment, with its cardinals, robins and purple martins, constitutes an important element of man's well-being because of its closeness to the everyday life of the city dweller.

More than 95 percent of our state's wildlife are not hunted and are collectively referred to as "nongame" species. Over 450 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians fit this classification.  There are tens of thousands of uncounted invertebrates that are also in this category.  Some of these species are endangered; on the brink of extinction. Others are declining or likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future.

What is the value of Nebraska’s animals and plants?

Swift foxAnimals and plants provide economic and cultural benefits. Approximately one third of the world’s crop production depends on pollination by insects. Many of the clothes we wear are dependent on animals and plants.  Many of our medicines were derived from plants.  Wild species serve as a barometer of our environment. For example, the decline of the peregrine falcon called attention to the ominous buildup of DDT in our environment. Scientists study wildlife to learn how the environment works and how it supports all creatures, including humans.  Watching wildlife and photography are increasing in popularity, which generates financial benefits for local economies.  Many of us simply see, hear and appreciate wild things in our parks, our fields and our backyards. No one can calculate the value of wild creatures, but we know that our world would be virtually intolerable without them.



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