Our Wildlife

Our Wildlife








  Below is a game of "Wildlife Trivia".   Read/Answer the questions below:
maxresdefault[4] 1) Name the scientific name for Mountain Goats? a) Ovis Canadensis Nelsoni    b) Antilocapra Americana     c) Oreamno Americans
 2) What is the life span of a Western Pond Turtle?  a) 10 to 15 years    b) 25 to 35 years      c) 40 to 70 years
 3) What are the horns of a ram called?  a) "ruts"    b) "curls"   c) "billies"
 4) What is another name that coyotes are called?  a) song dogs      b) pack dogs      c) wild dogs

 5) How many calories can a Black Bear consume to put on fat to hibernate?  a) 5,000 to 7,000    b) 8,000 to 20,000     c) 15,000 to 30,000
 6) True or False: Both male and female Mourning Doves can produce milk for their young?  a) True    b) False
 7) What months are most Mountain Lion kittens in the state of Nevada born?  a) August/September    b) March/April      c) June/July 
 8) What type of a diet does a coyote have?  a) Herbivores   b) Vegetarian    c) Omnivores
 9) What items make up the Desert Cottontail nest?   a) Sedges and leaves   b) Grass and lined with the Cottontail fur   c) Mud and plant material 
10) True or False: Female redheads are well known for their habit of "nest parasitism"?   a) True    b) False

800px_COLOURBOX1915346[1]Here are the correct answers to the Wildlife Trivia questions:
1) c) Oreamnos Americans 

 2) c) 40 to 70 years
3) b)"curls"
4) a) song dogs (This is due to their many vocalizations that they use to communicate with other coyotes)
5) b) 8,000 to 20,000
6) a) True
7) c) June/July
8) c) Omnivores: ( A large portion of their diet consists of cottontail rabbits, ground squirrels, mice, and also deceased animals).
9) b) Grass and lined with the Cottontail's fur (The fur is from the mother, she pulls the fur from her belly).
10) a) True

Word Find

follow-rules-round-ribbon-isolated-label-sign-sticker-192946448[1]  LIVING WITH NEVADA'S WILDLIFE REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING RULES:



Big Horn Sheep - (Ovis Canadensis Nelsoni)  They are classified as mammal  and have a life span of 6-8 years and are considered priority species, game type: Big Game.  Desert Bighorn sheep are smaller and lighter in color than the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.  These majestic mammals were chosen as the state mammal of Nevada and are an exciting sight to see across the Nevada landscape. They are easily recognized by their horns that both rams and ewes have.  These mammals are highly adapted to the the mountainous desert habitat.  They can go for extended periods without water, and have highly specialized hooves that help them grip the rocky terrain.  This species of Bighorn Sheep prefers the rough and rocky habitat of mountains in Southern Nevada.  Steep rocks offer protection against predators who are unable to navigate and climb up after the bighorn sheep.  They do require freestanding water to help them get through the hot summers.  Desert Bighorn Sheep are herbivores whose diet consists of mostly grasses but also includes shrubs, cacti, acacia, and forbs.  Their diet depends on their geographic location and availability of vegetation.  In the warmer months, they graze on mountain slopes.  During the colder months, they move down to the valleys.  Mating season, called the "rut" occurs in the fall when rams (male sheep) will compete to mate with females.  Later in season, rams will join females and female groups.  In the winter, bands of ewes (female bighorn sheep) may join together and form large groups of up to 100 sheep.  The horns of a ram are called "curls" and can weigh up to 30 pounds.  Bighorn Sheep Diseases: (Bighorn Pneumonia, Sinus Tumor of Bighorn Sheep, Sinusitis, Contagious ecthyma) these diseases may significantly impact herd performance and survival.  Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep - (Ovis Canadensis Canadensis) They are classified as mammal and have a life span of 9-12 years and are considered priority species, game type: Big Game.  The Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep is North America's largest species of wild sheep.  They are bulkier and stockier in body size than the other subspecies found in Nevada.  They have thick, light brown fur that they shed in the summer months to keep cool in the desert's hot summers.  Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep inhabit grassy mountain slopes, alpine meadows, and foothills near rugged, rocky cliffs and bluffs.  Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep rams (males) will band together in the spring and summer, while ewes (females bighorn sheep) and their babies will form separate groups.  During winter, the separate groups will come together to form larger herds.  Ewes will have one lamb during spring to early summer.  These sheep graze on grasses, sedges, and clover in warmer months and willow, holly. cactus and sage in cooler months.  When they are not grazing they will lie down and chew their curd.  Bighorn Sheep can go without water for months at a time because they get all the necessary liquids and electrolytes from plants that they eat.  California Bighorn Sheep -  (Ovis Canadensis Californiana) They are classified as mammal and have a life span of 6-8 years and are considered priority species, game type: Big Game.   California Bighorn Sheep look similar to Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, but have a less blocky body and smaller horns.   The California Bighorn Sheep is found in the slopes of the Sierra Nevada and prefers rugged, open areas with vegetation and grasses.  They often move across their range as the seasons change.  They are herbivores that spend their time grazing on sedges, grasses, and sagebrush. 


Mountain Goats - (Oreamnos Americanus)  They are classified as mammal and have a life span of 12-18 years, they are considered as m state protected, game type: Big Game. They are known for their long beard and black horns, Mountain Goats reside in the Ruby Mountains and East Humboldt range of Nevada. The Mountain Goats have special adaptations that allow them to survive in the rocky terrain, their thick white coats protect them from cold temperatures and provide camouflage in the snowy mountains. Cloven hoofs allow them to scale sheer rocky cliffs to find food and avoid predation.  Mountain Goats prefer steep rocky cliffs, projecting pinnancles, ledges and talus slides.  Mountain Goats consume their food depending on what is available, they are herbivore (plants, grasses, mosses and other alpine vegetation).  In the summer they will eat sedges and grasses and in the winter their diet consists of coniferous trees and leaves.  They drink water and eat snow to stay hydrated.   Adult males are called “billies” and larger than the “nannies” or adult females.  They are polygamous animals with the mating or “rut” season occurring from November to January.   The gestation period is about 175 to 180 days.  Birth normally takes place in late May and early June with one and sometimes two “kids” or young.  Female (nannies) will often form large groups while male (billies) will remain solitary or with much smaller groups.  Their hooves act like suction cups on steep rocky terrain and their young, called "kids" can walk and jump about 10 minutes after birth.  The Mountain Goats experience predation from bears, mountain lions, wolves, golden eagles, and humans.

Rocky Mountain Elk - (Cervus Canadensis)  They are classified as mammal and have a life span is 10-13 years and are considered as protected, game type: Big Game.  The Rocky Mountain Elk, this species of large deer is often recognized by the long branching antlers seen on males.  Bulls (males) will form antlers which may reach 4 feet over their head.  In the wintertime, the tan to light brown colored males and females will grow dark neck manes.   Rocky Mountain Elk habitat varies from prairies, forested areas, sagebrush flats, deciduous forests, even swampy valleys and mountain meadows.  Female Rocky Mountain Elk give birth to calves in late spring early summer.  The calves are born with spots and are scentless to help camouflage them and protect them from predators.  They also remain as motionless as possible for their first weeks of life, especially when their mothers have to leave them in search of food.  Their diet is herbivore (grazes on grasses shrubs, trees, and flowers).   They are ruminants and have a four-chambered stomach in order to properly digest their plant based diet.   Only the male Elk grow antlers, and growing their antlers is a natural feat.  They grow and shed a new set of antlers every single year.  During the growing season their antler are covering in a furry coat called velvet.  Velvet is full of blood vessels that bring all the necessary minerals to grow antlers and grow them fast.  Elk antlers can grow up to an inch a day.   Elk may supplement their diets at "licks" where they can get minerals that aren't present in plants.  These "licks" may be natural or artificial.


Pronghorn Antelope
- (Antilocapra Americana)  They are classified as mammal and have a life span of and are mammal and ha 5 to 10 years and are considered as state protected, game type: Big Game.   Pronghorn Antelope are hoofed animals, otherwise known as ungulates.  Both males and females have a pair of horns, with the females being only a few inches long.  Males have 12 inch horns with a prong that juts forward and a pronounced black cheek and forehead.  When alarmed, the guard hairs on their rump extend vertically, making the white patch increasingly visible.  They are the fastest land animal in North America and can run up to 60 miles per hour.  Pronghorn prefer gentle rolling to flat, wide open topography.  These habitats allow the antelope to spot predators from far distances and quickly escape.  They are primarily found in the mountain ranges of northern and central Nevada.   Pronghorn Antelope consume over 150 different species of grasses, forbs, and browse plants.  This wide range of food allows them to occupy a variety of different habitats.  In the early fall, male bucks will fight for harems of up to 15 female does during two week breeding period.  Most antelope mate for the first time at 15-16 months old and then breed annually.  After a gestation period of about 250 days, the doe will give birth to one fawn at first birth and twins thereafter.  Fawns weigh five to seven pounds at birth, but grow quickly on the extremely rich milk from their mother.  At five days the fawn can outrun a man and at three weeks they will begin nibbling vegetation.  In the mid 1800's it is presumed Pronghorn Antelope were more abundant than today, but saw a decrease in number during the height of livestock and mining settlements.  In the early to mid 20th century, conservation efforts including the establishment of the Charles Sheldon Antelope Refuge, helped increase Antelope numbers in the state.


Mule Deer
- (Odocoileus Hemionus) They are classified as mammal and have a life span of 10 to 12 years and a considered priority species, game type: Big Game.  The Mule Deer are the only native deer species in Nevada.  They can be identified by their long, mule-like ears.  Male Mule Deer sport antlers during the breeding season, which occurs from late November through the middle of December.  Mule Deer fur coloration varies across their range.  They can be shades of dark brown, ash gray, brown, and even reddish in color.  They sport a white patch on their throats as well.  Mule Deer move between different habitat types but seem to prefer open areas and rocky hillsides. Their diet herbivores, relying on plant material to survive.  Mule Deer are sagebrush obligates and they rely on sagebrush during winter months when there is not a lot of other forage available.   Mule Deer bucks (male deer) grow antlers each year that fall off after the “rut” or mating season.  During this time the males will fight for the right to mate with female deer.   Mule deer lock antlers and will fight until exhaustion.  Mule Deer typically have two fawns during the early summer.  Fawns are born spotted and scentless.  Does (female deer) will leave their young for hours at a time so they can forage.  The fawns' spotted fur helps in camouflage and lack of scent help protect them from predators.   Mule Deer are good swimmers, though they rarely use water as a means of escaping predators.  Cast off antlers provide an important source of calcium and other minerals to wildlife such as mice, porcupines, coyotes, bison, elk, and deer, all of which chew on the tips and softer portions throughout the year.

coyote pictures

Coyotes - (Canis Iatrans) They are classified as mammal and have a life span 5 to 7 years and are considered as unprotected, game type: Non-Game. They are about the size of a medium sized dog but appear larger because of their long legs. They have long coarse fur that is often buff in color and a bushy tail tipped in black.  Their size and coloration can vary depending on where they live.  They are classified as unprotected species in Nevada (meaning they are not protected by state laws or regulations and no permit is needed to hunt them).  Coyotes are found in about any type of habitat where they can find food and a place to hide.  They seem to show some preference for brush covered rolling hills and flats.  Coyotes have perhaps the most varied habitat of any animal in Nevada and thrive in both wild areas and urban setting.   Coyotes are omnivores, meaning they will eat just about anything.  A large portion of their diet is made up of other animals such as cottontail rabbits, ground squirrels, and mice.  While they prefer eating fresh meat, they will eat carrion (deceased animals) as well.  They will also eat grass, fruits, seeds, and insects.  Some coyotes live in packs, whereas others are solitary and live on their own.  In coyote packs, there is an alpha male and an alpha female.  Only the alphas reproduce in the pack, all other coyotes in the pack help to defend their territory.  Coyotes have one litter of pups per year and breeding usually occurs from January to March.  Coyotes typically have six pups per litter, though this number can vary.   They can be found in almost all major cities and are called “song dogs” because of their many vocalizations that they use to communicate with other coyotes.


Wild Horses
- (Equus Ferus)The breeds are (Shires, Percherons, and Hambletonians, Morgans and Irish stallions and mares). The wild horse there live on 1.3 million acres of military land, primarily residing in the north-central part of the military complex which spans three Nevada counties (Clark, Lincoln and Nye).  The BLM gathers and removes wild horses and burros from public lands to protect the health of the animals and health of our nation’s public rangelands.  The BLM cites drought, scorched habitat from wildfires and overpopulation as justification and is called “emergency gather”.   Nearly 400 wild horses and burros roamed in Spring Mountains near the small mountain village of Cold Creek, Nevada, this is part of the Bureau of Land Management Wheeler Pass Herd Management Area (HMA).

Mountain Lions - (Puma Concolor) They are classified as mammal and have a  life span is 12-15 years and are considered as state protected, game type: Big Game.   Mountain lions are the second largest wild cat in North America second to the jaguar.  Mountain Lion coloration varies, but they are typically have yellow-brown to gray-brown fur with a buff colored belly.  They are known for their long tails which help them keep balance.  Mountain Lions can be found in a variety of habitats from tropical forests to deserts.  This is an exceptionally strong species with large claws and paws.  They are easily distinguished from other wild cats in Nevada due to their large size and long tails.  Mountain Lions are adapted to a wide variety of habitats and environmental conditions found throughout Nevada.  They prefer dense cover or rocky, rugged terrain, and also occur in lower desert areas.  In Nevada, Mountain Lions habitat is commonly associated with pinyon pine, juniper, and mountain mahogany.   Mountain Lions are carnivores who depend on meat for their survival.  Their prey ranges from large game like mule deer to small game like porcupines, coyotes, and rabbits.  As ambush predators, Mountain Lions quietly stalk their prey or wait for it to get close to them before leaping onto the prey item.  Mountain Lions will cache their prey under leaves or debris and come back to eat it at a later time.  They are important predators in their habitats and help to control the populations of large ungulates like elk, deer, pronghorn.  Mountain Lions are solitary animals with large home ranges.  Females have home ranges of nearly 90 square miles, while males have home ranges of nearly 175 square miles.  Breeding can occur at any time during the year, but most kittens in Nevada are born in June and July.   Mountain Lions have many different names including puma, cougar, and catamount.


Fish - (Osteichthyes  bonyfish) (Actinopterygii, ray finned fishes) (Chondrichthyes, cartilaginous fish).  Hatcheries primarily produce cold-water fish such as: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout and Cutthroat Trout) these fish are stocked around the state of Nevada where NDOW operates three fish hatcheries and rearing station throughout the state (Mason Valley Fish Hatchery near Yerington; Gallagher Fish Hatchery in Ruby Valley, Lake Mead Fish Hatchery near Las Vegas, and Spring Creek Fish Rearing Station near Baker, Nevada. Lake Mead Hatchery helps rear native non-game fish species found within the southern region of the state and warm water fish such as Channel Catfish, Bluegill, Wipers and Tiger Muskie are purchased from other vendors for stocking around the state. Anglers can go to Boulder City Pond Veterans Memorial Park, Sunset Park Pone, Beatty Urban Pond, Topaz Lake, Echo Canyon Reservoir, Comins Lake, Hay Meadow Reservoir, Cold Springs Reservoir, Eagle Valley Reservoir, Illipah Reservoir, Knott Creek Reservoir, Wall Canyon Reservoir.  Common parasites from fish in Nevada (Endoparasites, Roundworms, Ectoparasites, Parasitic Copepods, Ich, Leeches, Fuzzy Patches of Fungus).  Safe fish preparation is important, most parasites specific to infecting fish will not infect or harm you including when you handle it or even if you eat it raw.  It is recommended after catching and cleaning fish you wash your hands.  All fish will be safe to eat when thoroughly cooked.  Dogs should not lick or consume raw trout or salmon.  Fish infected with the parasite (Nanophyetus) and having the bacteria (Neorickettesia) can infect dogs with Salamon Poisoning Disease, this can become fatal if untreated.  Although we have not hear of any cases in Nevada, it has been found in states such as California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington.  If your dog has eaten raw fish caught from a nearby lake or river and becomes ill (fever, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetitie, or lethargic) take your dog to the vet for treatment. 


Mourning Doves - (Zenaida Macroura) They are classifed as bird and have a life span of 1-2 years and are state protected, game type: Upland Game.  Mourning Doves are graceful, slender-headed and large bodied birds, commonly seen across the United States.  These birds are typically grey or beige in color with dark or black spots near the tail.  They have dark eyes and a dark beak, Mourning Doves can easily be confused with Eurasian Collared-Doves, which by comparison have a dark ring around their necks, or white-winged doves, which have white color under their wings and dark streaks under both eyes.  Their soft, drawn-out calls can be described as a low cooing, and when taking off their wings make a sharp whistle.   Mourning Doves are a common sight at backyard bird feeders around Nevada.  They can also be found foraging for seeds on the ground in grassland and agricultural habitats.   Mourning Doves are a fun and easy way to enjoy backyard wildlife with the family.  They will return to the same nest year after year and lay two to three clutches of eggs every season. In warm climates, Mourning Doves may raise up to six broods per year, more than any other native bird.  Chicks can be seen through Spring and well into Fall; peak season is usually March through October.   Seeds make up 99 percent of their diet, including cultivated grains, wild grasses, weeds, herbs, and occasionally berries.  Rarely they will eat snails or insects and both male and female Mourning Doves can produce milk for their young.


Black Bear - ( Ursus Americanus) They are classified as mammal and have a life span of 3-30 years and are state protected, game type: Big Game.   Black Bears are the only species of bear that live in Nevada.  Though their name implies that they are black, this species can be a variety of colors throughout their range.  Black Bears that live in western United states are more often blonde, brown, or cinnamon in color.  These bears have small eyes and rounded ears and a long snout which helps them smell food items from many miles away.  Black Bears are found in the mountainous areas and foothills of the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe areas.  Rivers and streams provide a source of food, while forested areas offer cover.   Black Bears are solitary animals, meeting only for the breeding season.  Female Black Bears can have 1 -5 cubs at a time and can reproduce every other year as long as there is enough food during the fall to support pregnancy.  Black Bears go through a period called hyperphagia, during this time, their appetites go into hyper drive.  Black Bears can consume 8,000 to 20,000 calories each day in order to put on enough fat to hibernate.  If a winter is particularly mild or there is enough food in their territory, Black Bears do not have to hibernate.  are omnivores through 85% of their diet is plant based.  During the fall Black Bears go through a period called hyperphagia and their appetites go into hyper drive.  They can consume 8,000 to 20,000 calories each day in order to put on enough fat to hibernate.   Black Bears can also wake during hibernation and move about their den or give birth.


Western Pond Turtle (Actinemys Marmorata)  They are classified as reptile with a life span of 40 to 70 years and are considered priority species and unprotected, game type: Non-Game.  The Western Pond Turtle has marbling along the body and a dark shell.  The shell is wide and flat, perfect for swimming.  Males have tighter markings on the chin while the females have darker markings.  The Western Pond Turtle is found in permanent and temporary waters of rivers, creeks, small lakes and ponds, marshes, irrigation ditches, and reservoirs.  In Nevada they are confined to the Truckee and Carson Rivers.  The turtle uses basking sites, such as logs and rocks and commonly basks on the land.  When disturbed, the Western Pond Turtle seeks cover underwater and nests on sandy banks near water in fields, or sunny spots up to a few hundred meters from water.   They are scavenger and opportunistic predator with a preference for live prey and their diet often includes adult and larval insects, worms, crustaceans, carrion, algae.  They are most active when water temperatures are above 60*F.  By switching to absorbing oxygen through their skin, pond turtles can hibernate underwater often in the muddy bottom of the pool.  Their hard shells protect these turtles from potential predators as a adult, however the younger Western Pond turtles have more flexible shells.  Predators of these turtles include raccoons, coyotes, bears, river otters, bullfrogs, snakes, and sometimes fish.


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