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Iowa's Wildlife Action Plan


“Securing a Future for Fish and Wildlife: A Conservation Legacy for Iowans”

First approved in 2006, the Iowa Wildlife Action Plan (IWAP) is a 25-year strategy for conservation of all wildlife in Iowa. The IWAP is a proactive plan designed to conserve all wildlife in Iowa before they become rare and more costly to protect.

Developed by a coalition of scientists, sportsmen and women, conservationists, and members of the public, this plan can help us protect wildlife and the places they live for future generations. If the steps in the action plan are successfully carried out, Iowa will have cleaner water and air - a healthy environment for people and wildlife.

The 2015 comprehensive review and revision to the Plan has now been completed and approved, and is available for download.

Iowa Wildlife Action Plan Table of Contents
Iowa Wildlife Action Plan Executive Summary
Iowa Wildlife Action Plan Chapters 1-11 (199 pages, 12 MB)
Iowa Wildlife Action Plan Appendices 1-24 (169 pages, 6 MB)

If you have a slower connection, or only need to download a particular section, please select item(s) for download from the following list:

If you wish for a copy on CD-ROM to mailed to you, please request by telephone at 515-494-6136, by email to katy.reeder@dnr.iowa.gov, or by writing: Katy Reeder, Wildlife Action Plan Manager, Wallace Bldg., 502 East 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319-0034. Please remember to include your address.

Landform Regions of Iowa

The glacial history and topography of each landform affect the type and distribution of current wildlife habitats and agricultural land use.

+ The Loess Hills (Tallgrass Prairie)
+ The Des Moines Lobe (Prairie Potholes)
+ Southern Iowa Drift Plain (Tallgrass Prairie)
+ The Iowan Surface (Eastern Tallgrass Prairie)
+ Northwest Iowa Plain (Eastern Tallgrass Prairie)
+ Paleozoic Plateau (Prairie to Hardwood)
+ Alluvial Plains (often called floodplains)
+ Landform Regions of Iowa (Graphical Map)
Habitat Types
+ Terrestrial Habitat Types Used in the IWAP
+ Aquatic Habitat Classes Used in the IWAP
Implementation Committee

The Iowa Wildlife Action Plan (IWAP) called for the formation of an "implementation Team with representatives from all stakeholder organizations (p. 163)." Therefore, an Implementation Committee was established and held its first meeting in March of 2008.

The IWAP is a statewide Plan, not a DNR Plan, and the goals and visions it contains will require cooperation among a variety of stakeholders. Therefore, the Implementation Committee includes representatives from the following agencies and organizations:

+ Federal
+ State
+ County
+ Educational
+ Non-Profit
+ Environmental Consulting Firms

The Implementation Committee oversees several Working Groups, some of which also oversee smaller subcommittees designed to tackle certain issues. The Working Groups were created in accordance with the 6 vision elements of the plan. Therefore, the Working Groups are as follows:

  1. Wildlife:
    Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies and Damselflies, Fish, Land Snails, Mammals, Mussels, Reptiles and Amphibians
  2. Wildlife Habitat:
    NE, SE, SW and NW Ecoregional Subgroups, Farm Bill Subcommittee, Biorenewables Subcommittee
  3. Wildlife Management
  4. Education and Recreation:
    Multiple Use of Public Lands Subcommittee
  5. Funding
  6. Climate Change

A Vision for the Future

To establish a focus for future wildlife conservation activities, the Advisory Committee to the Iowa Wildlife Action Plan - a group of fish and wildlife professionals, educators, researchers, private conservation organizations, concerned citizens and representatives of the agricultural community - developed a vision for the status of Iowa's wildlife in 25 years. The vision statement has six elements that include benefits to fish and wildlife, the citizens who enjoy and support them, and the private landowners who must embrace them if the vision is to be realized. With each vision element the Advisory Committee developed specific conservation actions that need to be implemented to reach the Plan's goals in a 25-year framework.

These vision elements and conservation actions are not specifically designed to be implemented by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. They are designed to provide a broad framework of actions that can be undertaken by conservationists at all levels of government, by private conservation organizations and by private citizens. Extensive coordination will be necessary between these stakeholders to make the vision a reality.

A Vision for Iowa's Wildlife
By 2030 Iowa will have viable wildlife populations that are compatible with modern landscapes and human social tolerance.

A Vision for Wildlife Habitats
By 2030 Iowa will have healthy ecosystems that incorporate diverse, native habitats capable of sustaining viable wildlife populations.

A Vision for Wildlife Management
Diverse wildlife communities will be developed on public and private lands and waters through the use of adaptive ecological management principles.

A Vision for Wildlife-Associated Recreation
More Iowans will participate in wildlife-associated recreation, and all Iowans will have access to publicly owned recreation areas to enjoy wildlife in its many forms.

A Vision for Wildlife Education
Iowans will respect wildlife for its many values and they will advocate effectively for conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitats.

A Vision to Fund Wildlife Conservation
Stable, permanent funding will be dedicated to the management of wildlife at a level adequate to achieve the visions of this plan.