Vol. 45, No. 2
LSU AgCenter scientists conduct research to identify the best insecticides to manage sugarcane insect pests without causing damage to the environment. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Louisiana sugarcane industry relied exclusively on aerial sprays of the organochlorine insecticide, Endrin, averaging more than three applications per acre annually to control the sugarcane borer.
Waterfowl managers face an unusual situation with the midcontinent population of snow geese – there are just too many. Some estimates have the population of these geese that winter in the central part of the United States, especially in Louisiana and Texas, at more than three million.
Sturgeons have inhabited lakes, streams and rivers for millions of years. Worldwide there are 24 species of sturgeon, including the beluga sturgeon of the Caspian Sea, which can reach a length of more than 16 feet and weigh more than 1,000 pounds.
Alligator populations in Louisiana have changed drastically during the last century in response to changes in management and in the environment. American alligators are strictly carnivorous reptiles whose native range was restricted to the southeastern part of the United States. They occur in a wide variety of aquatic habitats including rivers, streams, lakes and ponds but are most abundant in swamps and marshes.
This issue of Louisiana Agriculture contains articles by members of the wildlife and fisheries faculty of the recently renamed School of Renewable Natural Resources. These articles reflect the growing breadth of the school’s mission.
The Northern bobwhite, a member of the quail family, has a long history in the southeastern United States and for decades has been a premiere game species of sports enthusiasts.
Knowledge of wetlands is becoming increasingly important to study and research about wildlife.
Louisiana has been in the international spotlight because of a reported sighting of the ivory-billed woodpecker, a bird thought to have been extinct. The bird was never seen during the official 30-day search in January and February. However, search team members said they heard the unique tapping sounds made by the bird.
An abundance of opportunities for fishing, bird watching, boating and hunting lends credence to Louisiana’s claim as a “sportsman’s paradise.” If you are one of those enthusiasts who anticipates the 3 a.m. alarm, long drives, boat rides on dark and cool mornings knee-deep in mud and water, then you know that Louisiana is paradise for wildfowlers.
The brown pelican, once extinct in Louisiana, has successfully been restored to the state. These birds are seen frequently all along the Louisiana coast and have been reported as far inland as Baton Rouge in recent years.
The three little bears squealed like baby pigs as they were pulled from the bosom of their unconscious mother, curled up in a steel cage in the back of a pickup truck.
Females have one to three cubs, usually two, and often only one the first time around. They have their first cubs at age 3.
The U.S. Geological Survey Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Research Unit, also known as the Coop Unit, has been part of the wildlife and fisheries research program even longer than the LSU AgCenter has been its own separate campus of the LSU system.
Legislation designed to protect specific species dates back to early history in the United States. However, the Endangered Species Act of 1966 was the first piece of legislation specifically addressing species with a threatened or endangered status. In 1973, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was modified to include plants as well as animals.
Many fishery species rely on estuaries as critical habitat during early life stages, including redfish, menhaden, shrimp, blue crab, croaker and flounder. Because of the economic importance of many of these fishery species, the success of many coastal restoration projects is partially determined by the habitat provided for them.
Legend has it that the term “Teddy” bear resulted from a famously unsuccessful hunt of a Louisiana black bear by then U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.
In the early 1900s, bald eagles were common throughout southern Louisiana, but the deleterious effects of DDT on the birds and their eggshells had placed the species on the endangered list by the 1970s. In 1972, only six or seven nesting territories remained in South Louisiana.
Producers and managers of deer work toward improved animal performance just as those who produce livestock. For deer, this can involve relocating animals from one part of the country to another in an effort to improve animal genetics and deer characteristics, such as size, antler development and reduced disease problems.
The Louisiana black bear was once distributed throughout eastern Texas, southern Arkansas, Louisiana and southern Mississippi. By the early 1900s, however, Louisiana black bear populations in this region were decimated from excessive harvest and habitat loss and degradation.
During the last century, the Atchafalaya Basin has evolved into a highly altered and regulated floodway of the lower Mississippi River. The basin still supports a complex mosaic of aquatic and terrestrial habitats, but this unique ecosystem continues to be threatened.
The LSU AgCenter is helping landowners find alternative ways to profit from their land through a program that capitalizes on natural resources and helps revitalize the state’s rural economy. The new program is called the “Natural Resource-Based Enterprise Initiative.”
Louisiana is blessed with a variety of game animals that provide recreational benefits for sports enthusiasts. Often overlooked is the benefit many landowners derive from allowing others to lease their land for hunting.