Video captured by Texas Wild at Caprock Canyon State Park. Special thanks to Donald Beard for always welcoming us!
Basic Facts of the Bison….
American Bison: (Bison bison)
- •Once numbered 30 Million
- •Brought to brink of extinction primarily from commercial hide hunting (peaked during 1871-1882)
- •Reached highest densities on mixed and short grass prairies
- •Rut occurs in July & August
- •Gestation: 285 days
- •Single calf
- •Sexual maturity 2 years
- •Males: 460-907kg
- •Females: 360-544kg
- •Largest land mammal native to the Western Hemisphere
This is a pair of raccoons Texas Wild filmed on our travels to Richland Creek WMA. We sat in the truck for hours in the hot hot heat waiting for these two to emerge. We instead captured the playfulness of these two raccoons.
Brief Intro to the Northern Raccoon….
Northern raccoon (Procyon lotor)
- • Range from the tropics to the cold temperate regions of North America
- • Introduced and widespread in Europe and Asia
- • Found everywhere there is water
- • Commonly associated with humans
- • High abundance can occur (up to 69 per km2 in urban areas)
- • Very omnivorous and adaptable physiologically (e.g., broad temperature tolerances)
- • Up to 23 lbs.
Brief Overview of the Bobcat…..
Bobcat (Lynx rufus):
- • Most widely distributed cat in North America
- • Habitat generalist
- • Feeds on mammals (from mice to deer), fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and insects
- • Reproduction
- • Usually breed in winter or spring
- • Avg. 3 young (range 1-8) after 62-day gestation period
- • Size – M: 7-31 kg (68 lbs.), avg 12 kg; F: 4-24 kg (53 lbs.)
Basics of the Common Gray Fox…..
Common gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus):
- • Widespread in U.S.
- • Known for their tree-climbing ability
- • Forelegs can rotate more than those of other canids
- • Occur in forests to desert scrub
- • Males up to 15 lbs.
Theses poor black-necked stilts had a rough time keeping still in the winds at Aransas Pass this spring. They strike me as black-tie weather vanes.
Aoudad or Barbary sheep are exotic species introduced ca 1950 by several wildlife departments in an attempt to provide more opportunities for big game hunting. At that time, numbers of white-tailed and mule deer were so low that some states considered them extirpated! Native to north Africa, Aoudad do well in west Texas and New Mexico. Their ability to climb, hide under overhangs and in caves, and coat color make these mammals real ghosts of the canyon lands of the Texas Panhandle and beyond.
Basic Facts of the Aoudad…..
Aoudad (Ammotragus lervia):
- •Endemic to North Africa
- •Intro to US through the zoo trade in the 1900s
- •Low breeding success in captivity prompting private ownership
- •Wild populations were est. through of private ownership (i.e. released)
- •One of the largest wild populations of Aoudad can be found in PDCSP.
- •Use of helicopters for population counts have yielded most accurate accounts.
- •Recognized in US as important game species
- •In North Africa, Aoudad harvested for hide, meat and horns.
- • Inhabits semiarid and arid lands
- • Recorded in SW United State at elevation levels of over 1800 m
- • Food
- • Browsers: woody vegetation and grasses. (Large consumption of grasses recorded during winter months)
- • True Horns
- • Reproduction
- • Autumn rut: Sept – Nov. Year around mating have been recorded.
- • Gestation period of 22-23 weeks
- • Twins have been produced in captivity.
Feral pigs are widespread and common in much of Texas including the Panhandle. It seams each year I seem to see more pigs and more sign of their presence around Canyon. I filmed this group of sows and piglets around Quitique. Note how much variation in color is present in this group.
Beavers are the largest rodent in North America and can weigh in excess of 80 lbs. They are herbivores that feed on the outer bark of trees like cottonwood, willow and many other species. Their diet also includes leaves and vegetation. The video sadly does not contain the rodent in question as video of the species had eluded me. But the viewer will see some beautiful dams constructed by beavers, beaver lodges, slides, and feeding sign. Useful viewing for anyone who wants to learn a little more about our giant rodent.
Basic Facts of the Bighorn…..
Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis):
- • Occur in remote mountain areas of Rocky Mountains and southwestern states
- • Occur in southwest Texas
Basic Facts of the Pronghorn….
Only member of their family and endemic to North America
Fastest N.A. land mammal
Found in open habitats
Many scattered populations from the Great Plains westward
Not a deer
Breed in September
Size – Males: 42-59 kg (130 lbs.); Females: 41-50 kg (110 lbs.)
Gestation period long for size (~250 days)
Most (98%) older females have twins
Fastest N.A. land mammal
Generally do not jump fences and certain types of fences are barriers
Pronghorn have Horns not Antlers…..
Found in males and females (much larger in males)
Sheath is shed annually