Missouri Department of Conservation

Bobwhite Quail
6:41 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Bobwhite Quail Makes Comeback In Mo., Thanks To Hot Dry Summer

Mo. Dept. of Conservation

This summer’s devastating drought and heat wave actually benefited some of Missouri’s native birds, in particular the bobwhite quail.


Bobwhite quail build their nests on the ground, and the hot and dry weather from both this summer and last provided better conditions for incubation.  Max Alleger is a wildlife ecologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).  He says the bobwhite quail population took a big hit in 2008 due to record-setting rainfall, as it was hard for them to keep their eggs warm on wet ground.

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Fall foliage
4:32 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Recent Rainfall May Salvage Missouri's 2012 Fall Foliage

Several trees near the Mo. Capitol have already begun turning...this photo was taken on Sept. 28th, 2012.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s fall foliage may not be a bust this year, after all.


Jim Low  with the Missouri Department of Conservation says things looked pretty grim until a cold front this week dumped several inches of rain in portions of Missouri.


“Trees were very stressed because of the lack of moisture," Low said.  "The photosynthesis going on in those leaves was minimal."

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Elk deaths
11:04 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Heat, stress of move likely led to deaths of reintroduced elk

Some of the elk before their reintroduction in 2011.

Kurt Schilligo contributed reporting for this story.

The record summer heat has probably contributed to the death of some of the elk herd recently reintroduced in the Missouri Ozarks.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says six female adults and four calves died in mid-to-late July. The mothers of two of the calves were among the dead females.

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Emerald ash borer
6:22 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Mo. campers urged to use local firewood

The Mo. Dept. of Conservation is urging the use of local firewood to stop the spread of the emerald ash borer, pictured here.
(via Flickr/US Department of Agriculture)

Jacob McCleland contributed reporting for this story.

With the unofficial start of the summer season behind us, the Missouri Department of Conservation is urging campers not to transport firewood - in an effort to stop the spread of the emerald ash borer.

"Don't move firewood," said MDC forest entomologist Rob Lawrence. "It's not only the emerald ash borer that we're concerned about, and it's not just ash wood. There are a lot of pests that are not native to North America that have gotten carried in here, and they hitchhike on firewood."

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Elk restoration audit
5:15 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Elk restoration plan comes under fire from state auditor

State auditor Tom Schweich has faulted the budgeting of a Mo. Dept. of Conservation project to restore elk in the state.
(Missouri Dept. of Conservation)

A controversial Missouri Department of Conservation plan to reintroduce elk into southeastern Missouri is under fire from Republican state auditor Tom Schweich.

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Conservation - Endangered Species
11:25 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Breeding program at St. Louis Zoo gives hope for giant Ozark salamander

For the first time ever, an endangered amphibian found only in a few Missouri and Arkansas counties has been successfully bred in captivity.

Officials with the St. Louis Zoo and Missouri Department of Conservation said Wednesday that 63 Ozark hellbenders have been bred at the zoo. The first hatched on Nov. 15, and an additional 120 eggs are expected to hatch within the next week.

The breeding is the result of a decade-long collaboration of the zoo and the conservation department. 

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Deer hunting
3:18 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Unusual antlered does reported to MDC by Mo. deer hunters

Deer hunters display their unusual find - a female deer with developed antlers.
(via Missouri Department of Conservation/Amy Nold)

Some Missouri deer hunters made unexpected discoveries while hunting this fall. Five female deer have been reported by hunters to the Missouri Department of Conservation sporting fully formed antlers. The antlered deer, analyzed by MDC Resource Scientist Emily Flinn, appear to be externally female. Flinn specializes in deer biology and says this phenomenon all comes down to hormones.

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Elk restoration
4:18 pm
Thu June 2, 2011

Elk released from holding pen, some with new calves

The elk brought to Missouri early last month as part of a restoration project have been released from their holding pen.

The Missouri Department of Conservation released the 34 elk along with five newborn calves on Wednesday.

The adult elk and calves have been fitted with GPS radio collars as part of a cooperative research project with the University of Missouri-Columbia. The collars will help researchers track the elk's health, movement patterns and preferred types of vegetation.

Elk reintroduction
12:04 pm
Thu May 5, 2011

Elk officially back in Missouri

Conservation Commissioner Chip McGeehan helps unload Missouri’s first elk from the truck that brought them from Kentucky to their new home at Peck Ranch Conservation Area.
(Missouri Department of Conservation/Jim Low)

For the first time since the Civil War, elk are back on Missouri soil.

The 34 elk spent three months in quarantine in Kentucky before arriving today in southeast Missouri. They'll be housed temporarily at the Peck Ranch Conservation Area, which is part of the elk restoration zone.

The elk's arrival was delayed from April 30 so conservation officials could complete all the necessary health tests.

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Elk Reintroduction
2:48 pm
Fri April 29, 2011

Elk reintroduction: a different kind of Missouri comeback

You can also see photos of the elk and find out more about the reintroduction above. And, for more information about  the elk restoration efforts prior to their arrival in Missouri, see the video below the story text.

Starting tomorrow*, elk will be back in Missouri. They haven’t been here since the mid-1800s, when hunting and habitat loss drove eastern elk to extinction.

States from Arkansas to Pennsylvania have since reestablished their elk populations. And now Missouri is trying to do the same.

But not everyone is happy about the state’s elk reintroduction plans.

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