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Paddlecraft Wildlife Index

Person and dog kayaking

Paddle and provide data to promote wildlife!

Paddling is a great way to enjoy Indiana’s natural beauty, observe wildlife, and connect with nature. Indiana paddlers have a unique opportunity to observe wildlife while enjoying Indiana’s countless water resources. Indiana DNR would like more information about the wildlife that spend time around Indiana’s waterways. The Indiana Paddlecraft Wildlife Index compiles wildlife observations from people who use canoes, kayaks, or other non-motorized paddlecraft on Indiana’s waterways. Volunteer paddlers can help by completing a paddling trip postcard documenting the wildlife they observed while floating from June 1 to July 31.

The DNR has selected some key species that are either challenging to study or are lacking Indiana-specific information. The species selected are also those paddlers may be able to easily identify. These include:

Indiana Paddlecraft Index form

What do biologists do with this data?

The Paddlecraft Wildlife Index documents the number of wildlife seen per hours floated and per miles floated. After several years, these numbers will allow wildlife managers to estimate changes in key wildlife populations over time. With paddlers’ help, Indiana DNR may also gain insight into new locations where these wildlife are living.

How can I help?

Hoosiers who paddle can help Indiana DNR to collect information that will help Indiana manage wildlife for future generations. If you are a paddler and enjoy wildlife watching while paddling, this might be the volunteer opportunity for you. Forms, instructions, and simple identification keys for the selected wildlife to monitor will be mailed a few weeks before the survey period begins.

Want to find a place to paddle? Learn about Indiana water trails.

Questions about the survey? Contact us.

Please help spread the word to fellow paddlers about this opportunity. The more volunteers, the better we’ll understand wildlife in Indiana. Are you a paddler interested in participating?