• LDSP_0002

    Burrowing owls, unlike most other owls, are active during the day and nest in burrows instead of trees. These owls can dig their own burrows but more commonly use abandoned burrows.

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    Bald eagles do not mate until they reach around five years of age. When courting, they lock talons and free fall, separating just before hitting the ground. The bald eagle nest is the largest of any bird in North America; it is used repeatedly over many years, with new material added each year.

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    Mountain lions once roamed throughout the Americas. Territorial and solitary, they only pair for two weeks to mate. Females breed every other year, spending more than one year teaching their spotted kittens to hunt.

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    Wolves are shy animals that have come close to extinction. Mexican wolves are the smallest, rarest and most genetically distinct subspecies of grey wolves. From only seven founding wolves, these endangered animals are being reintroduced into the wild.

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    Bison are the largest land animals in the Americas. They once ranged from Canada to Mexico in huge herds. An estimated 60 million bison roamed the continent before Europeans arrived. Almost all were exterminated and less that one thousand remained by 1900.

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    Javelina are very social and live in family groups. They have a keen sense of smell and identify each other by large scent glands on their lower backs. These glands emit a strong odor especially when they are excited. Javelina rub each other head to rump in greeting.

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    The black-tailed prairie dog is a social rodent that is a vital part of a balanced shortgrass prairie ecosystem. They live in towns of thousands, digging elaborate burrows with nesting, sleeping, food storage and latrine chambers along with entrances surrounded by a cone of soil to prevent flooding.

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    An adult western diamondback rattlesnake. Solitary outside of mating season, they are one of the more aggressive rattlesnake species found in North America because they rarely back away from confrontation. When threatened they usually coil and rattle to warn aggressors.

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    An adolescent western diamondback rattlesnake. Although adult specimens have no natural predators, hawks, eagles, and other snakes have been known to prey on young or adolescent individuals.

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    (Daily Press Photo)

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    (Daily Press Photo)

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    (Daily Press Photo)

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    (Daily Press Photo)

  • LDSP_0123

    The gardens at the park feature many succulent plants, water-retaining plants adapted to arid climates or soil conditions. Succulent plants store water in their leaves, stems, and also in roots.