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Wildlife Habitat Fact Sheets

Wildlife Habitat Fact Sheets provide information about beneficial habitat management practices for Indiana’s wildlife. Wildlife biologists often recommend these practices to landowners and land managers.

  • To learn more about the basics for each practice, click on the heading.
  • Habitat fact sheets with more information are available in PDF under the heading.
  • Species that benefit from each practice are listed individually. Click on the species link to discover more.

Contact your local district wildlife biologist for more information on managing wildlife habitat or for information about state, federal and other partner habitat and hunting access cost-share programs.

  • Prescribed Burning

    Wildlife benefited:

    Prescribed burning is the thoughtful and skillful application of fire to a specific site under selected weather conditions to accomplish specific land management objectives. Prescribed burning is one of the most cost-effective methods for managing plant communities.

  • Fescue Eradication

    Wildlife benefited:

    While tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) is a mediocre forage for domestic livestock, it provides virtually no forage value for wildlife. It is an aggressive, sod-forming grass that creates a dense mat which severely limits the movement and foraging ability of ground-nesting and ground-feeding wildlife. Tall fescue monocultures reduce wildlife’s access to a diverse and nutritious diet, and its structure leaves little in the way for concealment from predators.

  • Warm Season Grass Establishment

    Wildlife benefited:

    Native warm season grasses, also referred to as prairie grasses, are native clump-forming grasses.  While most of Indiana’s wildlife does not rely exclusively on warm season grass prairies, many of Indiana’s birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects benefit from grasslands at some point in their life cycle.  Even aquatic wildlife benefits from the ability of warm season grasses to filter sediment and reduce pollutants.

  • Warm Season Grass Maintenance

    Wildlife benefited:

    Native warm season grasses must be actively managed to remain true grasslands or early successional habitat (recently disturbed habitats comprised primarily of exposed soil and short-lived plants typically noted for high seed and forage production).  If planted and left for nature to “take its course,” grasslands quickly become dominated by the grasses themselves, outcompeting other beneficial broad-leaved plants like wildflowers and legumes.  Over time, grass gives way to woody vegetation and the entire grassland can develop into a brush thicket in less than a decade and a young forest in as little as three decades.

  • Tree and Shrub Coverts

    Wildlife benefited:

    Tree and shrub coverts are thickets that provide shelter and food for a variety of wildlife

    species. A well-designed covert will provide food sources, nesting sites, and protection from snow, ice, and predators. A covert planting can be part of a reforestation plan, used to stabilize a stream bank or used to address an erosion problem. Coverts can provide other benefits to landowners such as a sight and sound barriers or windbreaks.

  • Grain Food Plots

    Wildlife benefited:

    Grain food plots can provide supplemental food and increased nutrition for managed wildlife species. While food plots in and of themselves are typically not the limiting factor for Indiana’s wildlife, they can benefit certain wildlife species when properly installed as part of a comprehensive land management program.

  • Legume Food Plots

    Wildlife benefited:

    Legume food plots can provide supplemental food and increased nutrition for managed wildlife species.  While food plots in and of themselves are typically not the limiting factor for Indiana’s wildlife, they can benefit certain wildlife species when properly installed as part of a comprehensive land management program.