Iowans who like watching activity at their backyard birdfeeders or hiking through the woods are being recruited to take notes on what types of creatures they see. It’s part of a program called NatureMapping Iowa, through the Iowa State University Wildlife Extension.Jerry Keys, environmental education coordinator for the Story County Conservation Board, says whether you see blue jays or squirrels, you catalog whatever wildlife you see and enter it into a database on a website. Officials will take the information and enter it onto a habitat map that details where the various species can be found in Iowa.Keys says more than 300 Iowans are already enrolled in NatureMapping who’ve filed more than nine thousand species reports. He hopes more people will sign on to protect and enhance the various populations of the state’s wildlife.Ten NatureMapping workshops are being held to train Iowans this year. The next one is slated for April 13th at Swan Lake State Park in Carroll County. Another is scheduled for May 4th at McFarland Park in Story County. For more information, surf to “www.extension.iastate.edu/naturemapping” or call (515) 294-6440.
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