Wildlife and Wilderness

ditch flowersWildlife and wilderness research focuses on how to maintain and protect Minnesota’s diverse land, plants and water so that both animals and humans can benefit. 

Minnesota forests, prairies and lakes are all important habitats for Minnesota wildlife. Scientists focus on preserving habitat to promote growth and health of native plants and animals and use new technologies to analyze population trends and animal behaviors.

Minnesota’s forests and natural resources are ever changing and phenology allows researchers to track and record the timing of seasonal events like leaf-out, bird migration and insect emergence. Understanding when and how these events occur is critical to ensuring the future health and productivity of our natural resources.

Scientists collaborate with volunteers around the state to help collect data about annual, seasonal events.

hiking trailOur northern woods and wilderness are primarily shaped by three factors: climate, soil and landform, and disturbances. Long-term research in northern Minnesota has allowed for detailed data collection related to the effect of disturbances (fire, wind, human activities) on Minnesota’s natural resources. Such information is vital to help develop management strategies for the future.