Daily Archives: January 4, 2015

Moth Cocoons in the winter

Moth cocoon

Moth Cocoons in Winter

by Ted Beringer

Now that the leaves have fallen, your unobstructed eyesight may spot tiny wonderful structures constructed by moths or other insects dangling from small branches of trees and shrubs in the park or other relatively wild areas near your home (perhaps even in your own yard). Children get a kick out of discovering them. Cocoons are really hard to identify. Size and shape are your only clues.This one resembles a giant silkworm moth cocoon. It doesn’t have quite the shape of a Cecropia. It could be a Polyphemus, or maybe a Luna.There’s an excellent website dedicated to cocoons with all kinds of information. Check it out at Cocoon.org.

University of Kansas to study prairie-chickens

University will work with Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies


By The Associated Press


The University of Kansas has a $2.1 million contract to study the Lesser Prairie-chicken.

The university will work with the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies to track the federally threatened species in hopes of conserving the birds’ habitat.

A conservation plan by the association calls for voluntary cooperation from industries in Colorado, Oklahoma,Texas, New Mexico and Kansas.

Kansas has the largest prairie-chicken population of those states.

The Kansas Biological Survey, a part of KansasUniversity, for five years will monitor the location and costs of projects that impact the animal’s habitat.

The plan is to encourage industries to build in clusters rather than spreading over a lot of territory.

Kansas Biological Survey research associate Mike Houts says fewer prairie-chickens means changes to shortgrass and shrubland habitats.