Songbirds, gamebirds, butterflies and bees are among the many animals that will benefit from a new DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife program to improve grassland and pollinator habitat.
The program is called CORRIDORS, an acronym for Conservation on Rivers and Roadways Intended to Develop Opportunities for Resources and Species.
CORRIDORS will focus on four priority areas in the state: Indiana State Wildlife Action Plan Conservation Opportunity Areas; rights-of-way on interstates and state and federal highways; 100-year floodplains of rivers; and areas adjacent to a body of water.
Partners with DNR Fish & Wildlife include the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever (PF/QF).
People who own land in a priority area can participate by establishing habitat on their property through the CORRIDORS program. Qualifying landowners are eligible for technical and financial assistance. To get started, contact your DNR landscape or district wildlife biologist. A map with contact information is at wildlife.IN.gov/2716.htm.
Grassland and pollinator habitat is critical for the survival of many species, including monarch butterflies, bobwhite quail, ring-necked pheasants, Eastern meadowlarks, cottontail rabbits, native bees and the imperiled loggerhead shrike.
The DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife will provide technical assistance and, in some cases, incentive payments, and will coordinate efforts among agencies. INDOT will establish native grasses and plants where possible along rights-of-way of Indiana highways, increasing wildlife habitat while reducing maintenance costs. The NRCS will provide technical and financial assistance to private landowners through its Environmental Quality Incentive Program, improving both soil health and water quality. PF/QF will provide technical assistance through their Farm Bill biologists and promote the CORRIDORS program throughout the state.
If you aren’t a landowner but want to support the program, you can do so by spreading the word about the initiative and supporting DNR by purchasing licenses and a Gamebird Habitat Stamp.
For more information, visit wildlife.IN.gov/9405.htm