Daily Archives: June 26, 2014

Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus)

Nine-banded Armadillo by Tom Friedel / Creative Commons

Nine-banded Armadillo by Tom Friedel / Creative Commons

Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus)

Photo Credit: Tom Friedel/Creative Commons

Nine-banded armadillos are typically found in the southeastern United States, but their range has been expanding northward for the last hundred years. Climate warming will further extend their northern range. In Kansas they are typically found in shrubby or woodlands. Their most conspicuous trait is their protective armor. It consists of front and rear upper bony plates that are joined by nine moveable bony bands. Armor helps to protect armadillos from predators. However their tendency to jump up when threatened makes them frequent “road kill”. Nine-banded armadillos are nocturnal but their eyesight is poor because they lack cone cells in their retinas. Therefore they lack color vision. Their abandoned burrows are used by rabbits, opossums and burrowing owls. They feed on insects and their larvae, beetles, snails, white grubs and ants. Their young are identical quadruplets, each vulnerable to predation since they have not yet formed their hardened carapace.

Registration Open for Tuttle Creek Assisted Deer Hunt

Youth and disabled hunters are encouraged to apply for this limited hunt now through July 31

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Riley County Fish and Game Association, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers atTuttleCreekLake are currently accepting applications through July 31 for the upcoming 2014 Tuttle Creek Youth/Disabled Assisted Deer Hunt, September 6 and 7. This hunt, which is offered free of charge, is open to resident youth age 11-16 and those with a certified disability.

Participants will need a Kansas hunting license, deer permit, and, if required by Kansas law, must have completed an approved hunter education course. Assistance meeting these requirements, including scholarship assistance to purchase a hunting license and deer permit, can be provided.

If needed, rifles and ammunition will also be available to hunters. Each participant will be guided by an experienced hunter, and arrangements have been made with area lockers to provide basic processing of harvested deer free of charge. Other items provided for this hunt include accessible hunting blinds, hunting locations, hunter orange hats and vests, and transportation to and from the field.

Participants will be required to attend a firearm safety presentation and sight-in at the FancyCreekShootingRange at 4 p.m., Sunday, August 17.

For more information, or to obtain an application, contact U.S. Army Corps of Engineers natural resource specialist Steve Prockish at (785) 539-8511, ext. 3167, or by e-mail at [email protected]. Applications can also be found by visiting:http://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/Portals/29/docs/lakesites/tuttlecreek/DeerHunt.pdf

This event is made possible by Friends of Fancy Creek Range, Kansas City Chapter of Safari Club International, Kansas State Rifle Association and the Tuttle Creek Lake Association.

Western Ornate Box Turtle

Photo from Catcher in My Eye

Photo from Catcher in My Eye

Western Ornate Box Turtle (Terrapene ornate) is the Kansas State Reptile.

The following comments are adapted from Catcher In My Eye’s Flicker album.

The Western Ornate Box Turtle is 4-5 inches long with a flattened-dome carapace (top shell) that is dark brown or black with bright yellow lines that radiate to form a starburst pattern. The plastron (under shell) is marked with yellow and brown lines. The head is dark brown with spots of white or yellow. I have found her enjoying Mulberries fallen off the Mulberry tree on my property. A mature female box turtle will lay 3-6 eggs each spring in a shallow nest. The unguarded eggs hatch in late summer or early fall. Box turtles commonly reach 25-30 years of age (some have lived 40-50 years).The habitat of a Western Box Turtle is grasslands and open wooded areas of the Plains states. Generally male box turtles have orange or red eyes and a slightly concave plastron, while females have brown or light orange eyes and a nearly flat plastron.