The state is home to a wide variety of animals and plants, and a recent Star Tribune article chronicled the state’s 50 disappearing species. These include the Blue-eyed black lemur and the Passenger pigeon. Many more have perished. Making it important to keep an eye out for them.
The prairie vole is one of the largest mammals in Kansas. One of the most important species of vole in food chains. Affecting both the quantity and composition of vegetation. This mammal has been studied extensively and intensively. Despite how low its population numbers are. It remains a valuable species and is an important part of our ecosystem.
In February, a large percentage of the population was made up of breeding females. Their proportion of the population increased through April and May. By June, 61 percent of the population was made up of breeding females. From May to July, the number of breeding females increased again. By the end of the study, the percentage of breeding females remained relatively stable.
One important factor for vole decline is that their habitat is disappearing. The prairie vole used to be a common species in Minnesota. But farming has wiped them out. Now, the prairie vole can be found in isolated pockets of prairie. It is unknown how many prairie voles remain. Unfortunately, numbers are still low and they are disappearing fast.
The southern red-backed vole is also a common species in Minnesota. But its population has been shrinking as the prairie vole has gone extinct. This small, agile animal makes use of vegetation for food. It is an excellent climber and often exhibits territorial behavior towards other species of voles.
Northern bog lemming
The northern bog lemming is a boreal species with a range that spans Canada, Alaska, Maine, Idaho, and Washington. It is a rare and declining species that need protection from logging and development. The peatlands of these regions are extremely sensitive to sedimentation and pollution. Climate change is likely driving the southern boundary of the lemming’s range north, which makes it more vulnerable to extinction. Protection of the lemming would ensure responsible management of peatlands and the protection of watersheds.
The northern bog lemming lives in colonies in underground burrows during the summer. While also residing in nests under the snow in the winter. They eat plants and other small animals and create “hay” piles from clipped vegetation. They are often found in open meadows and have also been recorded in tamarack and black spruce forests. Their diet consists of sphagnum moss, ericaceous plants, and grasses.
It is unknown exactly why the species has disappeared from Minnesota. While the southern lemming has a similar range. The northern one has a much more northerly distribution. These two species are very similar. Though they are distinguishable by tooth morphology. During the late Pleistocene, Synaptomys borealis occupied most of its current range. As ice sheets retreated, this species migrated northward. It replaced its southern cousins in the eastern and central U.S.
These lemmings are small, herbivorous mammals that weigh between three and five inches. They have round heads and hidden ears. Their coats help them survive in colder climates.
Passenger pigeons are considered an endangered species. In 1900, the passenger pigeon was on the verge of extinction. Their plight was a major catalyst for the development of modern conservation practices. The earliest wildlife protection law in the United States was introduced by John F. Lacey in 1900.
In the past, passenger pigeons populated large tracts of forest, often on abandoned farmland. The trees in their habitat supported large numbers of the birds, which relied on nuts for food. However, with early settlers clearing forests for farming. Passenger pigeon was forced to migrate to smaller regions with sparse forest cover. Chestnut tree blight also reduced the number of mast-bearing trees. Which in turn forced the pigeon to use farmers’ grain fields.
To regain the pigeon’s native habitat, scientists are studying how to restore the passenger pigeon. In the end, the goal is to bring the passenger pigeon back from the brink of extinction. One way to do this is by using DNA from extinct species.
This version of pigeon once existed in large numbers. Unfortunately, in less than a century, the numbers of the pigeons have declined drastically. The number of the pigeons in the United States was estimated to reach five billion in the mid-1800s.
Blue-eyed black lemur
The Blue-eyed black lemur is an endangered species of lemur, with striking turquoise eyes. It is the only lemur in the world with these blue eyes, and one of the few primates to have such an eye color. However, it faces many of the same challenges that threaten other species in danger of extinction. These lemurs are threatened since they are being hunted and their habitats are being destroyed. Although the species has made a comeback in recent years, it is still considered Critically Endangered.
The Blue-eyed black lemur was first described in the late 1800s and was almost a mythical creature until a French-Madagasy expedition rediscovered the species in the 1980s. Lemurs are unusual among non-human primates, but have many traits in common with humans. They are social creatures that are very loyal to their group and share similar social behaviors.
The loss of these animals is a natural disaster that has a profound impact on their environment. Their habitats are being deforested, and their habitats are being destroyed by illegal logging and trapping. The lemurs are considered one of the 25 most threatened primates in the world, and their numbers have decreased drastically. The loss of habitat and genetic diversity is making it harder for the species to survive.
In Minnesota, the eastern chipmunk has nearly completely disappeared. Becoming extinct in many parts of the state due to habitat loss. Its burrows consist of elaborate networks of tunnels. Chipmunk’s usual tunnel system can be as long as 4 m, with a diameter of 5 cm. Most tunnels terminate in a rounded nest chamber with a single entrance. The materials used for building the nest include grasses, shredded leaves, and the fluffy seed heads of certain plants. Seeds stored beneath the nests provide the chipmunk with food for winter.
The eastern chipmunk is native to the Adirondack Mountains in Canada, and it is found throughout the eastern United States, including parts of the southern hemisphere. Its range includes the Adirondacks and the northernmost parts of Minnesota. It lives in forests of mixed and deciduous types. The species prefers secluded areas with plenty of oak trees, and it can dig up abandoned burrows of other animals. Being able to dig its own burrows, or renovate those of other animals. Deep burrows are useful because the chipmunk can protect its nest and food hoard from flooding. To prevent flooding, the chipmunk plugs its secondary entrance with leaves.
The eastern chipmunk is a polygamous species with a range that extends between 0.5 and 1.0 acres.
Its home ranges may overlap with those of other chipmunk species.
Provided by Antonio Westley
Disclaimer: This article is meant to be seen as an overview of this subject and not a reflection of viewpoints or opinions as nothing is definitive. So, make sure to do your research and feel free to use this information at your own discretion.