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Voluntary Fish & Wildlife Monitoring

Participate in the conservation of Indiana’s fish, wildlife, and their habitats by sharing your observations with the Division of Fish & Wildlife.

The opportunity to observe wildlife exists in every county, city, and town across the state of Indiana. Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) staff cannot observe and document all wildlife across the state, so we’ve designed several ways for Hoosiers to help provide information. This information, along with the information collected by DFW staff, improves estimates of Indiana’s wildlife populations. Improved estimates help DFW make better informed decisions to ensure that wildlife persist for future generations to enjoy.

Observing wildlife is fun!

Hoosiers who volunteer to observe and report wildlife may find their outdoor experience is enhanced in a new way as they actively search for wildlife. Wildlife viewing is a fun outdoor activity anyone can do, even while enjoying other recreation like paddling or hunting.

How can I help?

DFW staff have developed several programs to collect information. These programs make it easy to report your observations. Visit the pages listed below to learn more about each volunteer monitoring project and how you can sign up to participate.

The Archer’s Index is an opportunity for volunteer bowhunters to report wildlife observations while they are afield in the fall.

The Paddlecraft Wildlife Index is an opportunity for paddlers to volunteer to report select wildlife observations while they are paddling in the summer.

Volunteers with bats roosting on their own property or on property they have permission to enter report on bats exiting roosts in the summer.

Volunteers report observations of wild turkey hens and poults to help assess wild turkey production in the summer.

Osprey, Eagle, and Great Blue Heron Reporting

Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife is interested in reports about osprey, eagle, and great blue heron nests. Reports can be submitted to DFW@dnr.IN.gov. In your email, please include the nest location, photos of the bird(s), and photos of the nest.

As a reminder, observe nests from 330 feet away, which is roughly the length of a football field, and keep nest locations private.

Thank you

Every report that DFW receives helps us understand the status of wildlife populations across the state. With more reports, DFW can make better decisions for how to manage wildlife now and into the future.

Interested in other types of volunteering? Visit on.IN.gov/dfwvolunteer to learn about the other ways you can share your passion for natural resources with DNR.

Questions? Contact DNRVolunteer@dnr.IN.gov

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