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Conservation Choices: Upland Wildlife Habitat Management

Upland Wildlife Habitat Management

Upland Wildlife Habitat ManagementWhat it is

Planting and managing trees, shrubs and other vegetation that provide cover and food to attract wildlife to an area.

How it helps

  • Planned wildlife habitat provides food and cover for wildlife.
  • Ground cover helps reduce soil erosion, adds organic matter to the soil, filters runoff and increases infiltration.
  • It can add value to your farmstead.

Planning ahead

  • Will your planned habitat attract the type of wildlife you want?
  • Is a particular piece of land better suited for upland habitat than for livestock or crops?
  • Do you plan to allow hunting?
  • Are there threatened or endangered species in your area you could help protect?
  • How close do you want the habitat area to be to your farmstead?

Tech Notes

  • Plant the wildlife area with a vegetative cover of grass, trees or shrubs.
  • Use native plants wherever possible.
  • To attract a specific wildlife species, choose cover and habitat for that species.
  • Create a diverse habitat to attract a wider variety of wildlife.
  • Consult the local DNR wildlife biologist for the recommended wildlife populations for the upland habitat area planned for your farm.
  • Encourage shrub growth between woodlands and grasslands.
  • Include bird houses and feeding stations in habitat areas.
  • Include milkweed for pollinator habitat.


  • Annually inspect and repair structural or vegetative components.
  • Prescribed burning may be necessary to regenerate growth and eliminate undesirable species.
  • Use weed management to maintain desirable plant and animal species.
  • Re-plant vegetation and trees if habitat area is damaged by disease or poor weather.

Iowa Practice Standard