Eagle Dinner, photo by Mary Ellen Leicht

The Iowa DNR has the challenging task of managing over 1,000 species of wildlife. It would be impossible for the wildlife diversity staff to spend the amount of time needed to monitor all these species. Volunteers are essential in keeping track of our state’s diverse collection of animals.
The DNR relies on volunteers to submit scientifically accurate data. This data is used to write reports on some of the state’s more vulnerable animals, like bald eagles, and track those species which may be experiencing a decrease, like frogs and toads. Many of our volunteers spend years collecting records of song birds or raptor nests. Other volunteers are just interested in reporting on wildlife near their homes.

There are several programs in which volunteers can participate. We encourage people of varying skill levels, from life-long birders to those interested in learning about the wildlife in their backyards, to go through training and join our team of wildlife monitors. Explore the website and learn more about the Volunteer Wildlife Monitoring Program , the Frog and Toad Call Survey, the Breeding Bird Atlas, and how to report a Bald Eagle nest  or a colonial waterbird rookery.