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Kansas School Naturalist


KSN - Vol 27, No 3 - Kansas Nongame & Endangered Wildlife

Volume 27, Number 3 - February 1981

Kansas Nongame &
Endangered Wildlife 

by Marvin Schwilling

PDF of Issue

ABOUT THIS ISSUE

Published by Emporia State University

Prepared and issued by The Division of Biology

Editor: Robert F. Clarke

Editorial Committee: Gilbert A. Leisman, Tom Eddy, Robert J. Boles, John Ransom

Online format by: Terri Weast

The Kansas School Naturalist is sent upon request, free of charge, to Kansas teachers, school board members and administrators, librarians, conservationists, youth leaders, and other adults interested in nature education. Back numbers are sent free as long as supply lasts, except Vol.5, No.3, Poisonous Snakes of Kansas. Copies of this issue may be obtained for 25 cents each postpaid. Send orders to The Kansas School Naturalist, Division of Biology, Emporia Kansas State College, Emporia, Kansas, 66801.

The Kansas School Naturalist is published in October, December, February, and April of each year by the Kansas State Teachers College, 1200 Commercial Street, Emporia, Kansas, 66801. Second-class postage paid at Emporia, Kansas.

"Statement required by the Act of August 12, 1970, Section 3685, Title 34, United States Code, showing Ownership, Management and Circulation." The Kansas School Naturalist is published in October, December, February, and April. Editorial Office and Publication Office at 1200 Commercial Street, Emporia, Kansas 66801. The Naturalist is edited and published by Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas. Editor, Robert F. Clarke, Division of Biological Sciences


Photos in this issue courtesy of Kansas Fish & Game Commission, credit to Ken Stiebben.


Kansas Nongame & Endangered Wildlife 

by Marvin Schwilling

Nongame Wildlife is not a new term, but many persons are not familiar with its use. In the near future, we hope that it will become a household word and that all of the citizens of Kansas will understand and work for the preservation and enhancement of our most valuable natural resource. Among the many forms of animals, there are numerous species of birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and other
invertebrates that man does not classify as "game" or "furbearer." These, we refer to as Nongame Wildlife.

The Kansas Nongame and Endangered Species Act, passed by the Kansas Legislature in 1975, defines nongame wildlife as "Any species of wildlife not legally classified as a game species, furbearer, threatened
species, or endangered species." Endangered wildlife is defined as "Any species of wildlife whose continued
existence as a viable component of the state's wild fauna is determined to be in jeopardy." Threatened wildlife is defined as "Any species of wildlife which appears likely, within the foreseeable future, to become an endangered species."

Few people are truly aware of the diversity of wildlife. Most recognize a bird as a flying animal that has feathers. . . and that there are a number of different kinds. Small mammals, minnows, insects, lizards, and so forth, are recognized, but are there lots of them? Actually, there are more than 22,600 different species of nongame wildlife known to occur in Kansas. This compares to just under 100 additional species that are managed as game species of wildlife ...deer, ducks, quail, cottontails, etc. In reality, nongame constitutes most of our total natural wildlife heritage.

What kind? The current field check list of the birds of Kansas, compiled by the Kansas Ornithological Society, lists 412 species that have occurred in Kansas, of which 47 are game species and 365 nongame.

There are 55 species of nongame animals: 15 bats; 11 native mice; four voles and native rats; three ground squirrels; two shrews and gophers; and one kind each of mole, armadillo, woodchuck, chipmunk, house mouse, porcupine, flying squirrel, prairie dog, bear, and cougar.

There are 100 species of nongame fishes, including 41 minnows; 17 darters; 14 suckers; six madtoms; four topminnows; three gar; two silversides, shad, and sturgeons; and one kind of live bearer, sculpin, lamprey, paddelfish, bowfin, eel, mooneye, burbot, and drum.

There are 94 species of amphibians and reptiles, including 39 snakes; 20 frogs and toads; 14 turtles; 12 lizards; and nine salamanders.

In addition, there are approximately 18,000 species of insects and 4,000 species of aquatic invertebrates,
crustaceans, and mollusks in Kansas.

Nongame wildlife has special meaning to all who enjoy the outdoors because it is everday wildlife to be enjoyed any day of the year. It includes species that are adaptable to cities and suburbs, if their needs are provided, as well as rural areas. A great many songbirds, small animals, small hawks and owls, and even game species, such as cottontails, squirrels, doves, and quail are wildlife that can be encouraged and enjoyed in the urban back yard. . . at bird feeders, animal feeders, city parks, and public wildlife areas.

KANSAS NONGAME WILDLIFE PROGRAM

Our present day nongame program has been influenced and developed to conform to federal and state legislative actions dating back many years. A review of major legislative action is necessary to better understand our present day nongame program.

First action into the nongame wildlife field came in 1903 when President Theodore Roosevelt established Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge.

During the next fifty years, little was accomplished specifically for nongame species other than lip service paid to its aesthetic values.

In 1911, the Kansas Legislature passed legislation that declared state ownership of all wildlife within Kansas. In 1927, it created the Forestry, Fish and Game Commission - now the Fish and Game Commission and established a governing board of Commissioners, who were appointed by the Governor and who have almost always been sportsmen. Activities of the Agency were funded by sportsmen through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. This source of income still provides about 65% of the Agency's income.

In 1930, Federal Legislation created the American Game Policy Commission that recognized that all wild creatures had social value.

In 1933, state action delegated broad responsibilities to the Fish and Game Commission, with authority over all matters pertaining to the development of conservation of the natural resources of the state, insofar as the same pertains to forests, woodlands, public lands, submarginal lands, prevention of soil erosion, game reserves, nesting grounds and the control and utilization of waters, including all lakes, streams, reservoirs and dams.

The Federal Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, of 1934, promoted a spirit of cooperation for the consideration of wildlife impacts. This Act was amended in 1946 and again in 1958. However, action was not mandatory, so wildlife benefited little.

In the late 1960's, things happened nationally that really began to benefit nongame wildlife. Two important acts helped establish broad programs for the conservation of large groups of animals. In 1966, the Endangered Species Preservation Act outlined a means of habitat protection for native vertebrates in trouble, but it did not place restrictions on their capture or interstate shipment.

see caption below

White Pelicans are conspicuous birds commonly found in flocks of considerable
numbers, generally on larger lakes and reservoirs.

The Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969 established an international list of wildlife that was threatened with extinction, and prevented the importation of these species and subspecies into the United
States. These two acts indicated that the federal government was taking an increasingly active role in the regulation of broad categories of nongame wildlife.

Probably the most important federal regulation affecting nongame wildlife was passed in 1970: the National Environment Policy Act, better known as NEPA. This act required all federal agencies to prepare detailed Environmental Impact Statements (EIS's) for all actions "significantly affecting the quality of human environment." The irony of the regulation is that it never mentions "wildlife"! It took federal agencies about three years to get involved in the preparation of EIS's, so that by 1973 they were doing more than just thinking and talking about nongame wildlife, they were writing about the effects of their actions. These volumes of discourse were also opened to public view. This was followed in 1972 by the Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act that recognized the importance of populations.

Congress passed the National Endangered Species Act in 1973. This legislation was a sweeping advance over earlier wildlife laws in that it provided protection to any member of the plant and animal kingdom, including subspecies, races, and local population. In part, it also provided federal assistance to state conservation agencies that passed similar legislation and entered into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

So, in 1975, the Kansas Legislature acted and passed the Nongame and Endangered Species Act, which charged the Fish and Game Commission with the conservation and management of all native wildlife. This law added over 22,600 species of nongame wildlife to the less than 100 game species.

Among other new responsibilities, the Agency was instructed to conduct investigations concerning nongame and prepare a list of wildlife deemed by the Commission to be in need of conservation. From this list it was to determine if they were threatened or endangered due to any reason -- natural or man-caused, and if so to prepare a list of wildlife.

Also, it empowered the Agency to acquire land or aquatic habitat as deemed necessary for their conservation. Unfortunately, funding was not provided for the added responsibility, consequently implementation has been rather slow.

Some money has been made available and considerable has been accomplished.

A part time biologist was first assigned nongame duties on July 1, 1975, when a veteran agency biologist, Bill Hlavachick, was designated to serve as endangered species coordinator, just two months after the law was passed. Forty percent of his duties were to relate to nongame and endangered wildlife.

At the same time a permanent member Endangered Species Steering Committee was established. (Director Richard Wettersten, Chairman; Mr. Bill Hlavachick, Sec.; Mr. Gary Clarke; Mr. Ted Cunningham; Dr. Ronald McGregor; Dr. Robert Robel and Dr. Gerry Tomanek). They were to develop guidelines and criteria for establishment of a viable nongame and endangered species program.

This steering committee appointed five "Species Evaluation groups" (Ad Hoc work groups) on July 17, 1975. Their primary function was to establish for Kansas a list of threatened or endangered wildlife species by groups.

The work groups completed their assignments by June 15, 1976. A total of 137 species recommended for endangered or threatened listing. Twenty nine were ultimately selected and proposed to the Commission, but no official action was taken on that proposal.

This list was re-evaluated in late 1977 and a list of 26 species were selected and proposed to the Commission. This list was accepted and made official on May 1, 1978. The list was ammended two years later and reduced to 24 on May 1, 1980. There have been four petitions received by the Agency to consider additions to the list (1 toad, 5 frogs, 2 snakes and 7 mussels); however, no additions have been made.

see caption below

Great Blue Herons, commonly, and mistakenly, called "cranes," nest in colonies,
usually in sycamore trees along streams.

MISSION STATEMENT of the KANSAS FISH & GAME COMMISSION

Wildlife is important to the quality of life for all Kansans, and accordingly, ownership of Kansas wildlife is vested in the people. As the public guardian of wildlife and servant of the people, the mission of the Forestry, Fish and Game Commission is to:

CONSERVE wildlife and the habitats on which is depends -- to assure a continued heritage of living and diverse wildlife resources;

PROVIDE the public with wildlife use opportunities, and other related educational and recreational activities, compatible with the resources and consistent with public demand -- to allow public benefit and appreciation of wildlife;

INFORM the public of wildlife status and problems -- to promote understanding and gain assistance in achieving this mission.

A series of seven meetings was held in different cities throughout Kansas during August of 1977 to receive public input into the Fish and Game Commission action program "A Plan for Kansas Wildlife." Participation
was encouraging, for more than 1,000 people attended the meetings.

The purpose of the meetings was to explain the Agency's Comprehensive Planning effort and to obtain assistance from the public concerning preferences, problem identification, and possible solutions.

A large number of people was interested primarily in nongame and threatened and endangered wildlife. Appreciation was expressed to the Fish and Game Commission for addressing these subjects; however, many held reservations as to agency sincerity and commitment. Numerous offers of assistance to the Agency were made by groups and individuals. Those interested groups and individuals also indicated a strong willingness to contribute financially on an equitable basis.

see caption below

Bison live as a symbol - a reminder - of the destruction
that man can cause to a "limitless" animal species.

The first full time biologist, Marvin Schwilling, specializing strictly with nongame and endangered wildlife, was assigned on August 16, 1977.

Documents for a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Fish an Wildlife Service for federal/state share-funding of work were prepared, and approved on September 24, 1979.

The stated nongame goal in the comprehensive plan was to "maintain and enhance habitat necessary to support noninjurious nongame species at current or higher levels".

The stated threatened and endangered species goal was to "improve status of threatened and endangered species to the point they are no longer so classified."

The Comprehensive Plan was updated with minor changes in June, 1979.

One of the questions frequently asked of the Nongame Section is: What have you accomplished?

First, a three year study to determine the status of the black-footed ferret was completed early in the program.

A list of wildlife species "In Need of Conservation" has been completed as well as a listing of native wildlife that are endangered or threatened.

Continuing on-going surveys to monitor the spring and fall migration of Whooping Cranes across Kansas have been carried out each year.

We have assisted with the national annual breeding bird surveys in June each year and assisted with the Christmas bird counts around the state.

We have assisted and coordinated the Kansas segment of the Annual Bald Eagle Survey since the survey was initiated.

Several projects to determine the distribution and status of endangered, or little known, species have been completed by contract. These include:

  1. Distribution and ecological studies of threatened and endangered wildlife in northwest Kansas (2 years).

    Prairie Falcon, Cougar, Swift Fox, Ferruginous Hawk, and Blackfooted Ferret

  2. Distribution and ecological studies of T&E wildlife in east and southeast Kansas.

    Largely amphibians, frogs and salamanders (1 year)

  3. Occurrence and distributional studies of certain mussels in selected eastern Kansas rivers (1 year).

  4. Census all known nesting colonies of the Great-blue Heron in Kansas (94 colonies).

  5. Distribution and ecological study of the Least Tern in Kansas (1 year).

  6. A study to determine wildlife population change following applied habitat managment on agency game mangement areas for game species of wildlife (1 year).

  7. A natural history study of the Topeka Shiner is currently being processed for contract.

One Biologist Aide (graduate student working toward a degree in wildlife management) has been employed during three summer months for the summers of 1978, 1979, and 1980. The first two years were devoted to determining occurrence and density of peripheral wildlife in southwest Kansas. The third year this Aide assisted in preparing informational leaflets for all state endangered and threatened wildlife, as well as population studies of certain of these species.

Summaries of the accomplishments of these studies are provided in the nongame annual reports of 1978-1979.

Efforts continue to involved people interested in wildlife but who have not previously been active in Fish and Game Agency activities.

Assisted in organizing public meetings to encourage promotion of a funding source. Support was encouraging and resulted in finalizing a bill to provide for state income tax checkoff contributions to support nongame projects.

Coordinated Agency involvement in a "Backyard Bird Bundle" habitat program.

Nuisance wildlife control work has been coordinated with the Extension Service and Department of Health.

Newspaper articles, magazine stories, radio and television programs were used to publicize the program.

Many other miscellaneous activities are reported in the first two annual nongame reports (1978-1979).

On April 18, 1980, Governor John Carlin signed into law the Income Tax Checkoff for the Kansas Nongame Wildlife Improvement Program. Our Kansas law has two important features not found in the earlier Colorado or Oregon laws. First, our law provides a means by which all taxpayers -- not just the 22% that receive refunds -- will have the opportunity to support an expanded nongame wildlife program. Second, our law in addition to three checkoff boxes of specified amounts provides a fourth blank box for a write IN of any amount, hopefully larger sums.

This tax checkoff-type funding was first developed by Colorado. They found that people in Colorado were very supportive of nongame wildlife work. Funding there has increased each year and exceeded $600,000.00 this year. Oregon, Utah, Minnesota, Kentucky, and now Kansas have adopted a similar income tax Checkoff Law; 36 other states are considering such a law.

It will be available to all on the 1980 Kansas Income Tax Form. This will be the same time for many Kansans to "do something nice for wildlife." Their generosity will determine just how much we can expand our nongame program in Kansas.

Also, on September 16, 1980, Congress gave final approval to a Nongame Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Act. President Carter signed this bill into law on September 29.

The Act authorizes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to appropriate $5 million dollars each year for the next four years ($20 million) to the state fish and wildlife agencies for nongame purposes. The states may use the funds for planning comprehensive wildlife management programs and for implementing those plans. They may also use the money for carrying out special projects that benefit nongame until their overall plan is completed and approved by the Service.

It seems certain that funds to support Kansas nongame work will very soon be expanded many-fold. To expand our activities accordingly withing the laws, regulations, policies, attitudes, and advice of numerous federal, state and local agencies, as well as various organizations, groups, and individuals to the satisfaction of all, will be a major challenge.

Wildlife, the environment, and all Kansans have much to gain -- so let's get on with it.

ENDANGERED WILDLIFE

One of the unfortunate consequences of the growth and development of our society has been massive alterations of the continent's natural vegetation habitat.

No animal, including man, can exist alone. All forms of life are interwoven and adapted to unique habitat conditions, or niches, that provide for their specific living requirements. . . all fitting together in "A Web of
Life." Man-caused habitat changes have been so complete in some specific cases as to cause the extermination of some native fish and wildlife species. Still other species that have educational, historical, recreational, medical, and scientific value, as measured by a human needs standard, have been reduced to the point that legislative action has been taken to declare some species to be endangered, threatened, or in need of conservation.

see caption below

Destruction of habitat. Bulldozing of shelterbelt trees, hedgerows, and underbrush
may give the farmer more room for crops, but will seriously jeopardize
the wildlife dependent upon the food and shelter this vegetation once provided.
A great deal of "clean" farming is practiced.

These species have been placed in jeopardy as a result of man's purposeful or unwitting alterations of natural ecosystems.

There have been many attempts at categorizing the various causes of endangerment, but in the final analysis, there are but two major factors that can cause a population decline.

1.) Factors that reduce population survival

a. Overharvesting
b. Overpredation
c. Destruction of necessary habitat

2.) Factors that reduce fecundity in the population

a. Competition for nesting or reproduction sites
b. Reproduction failure caused by toxic chemicals
c. Loss of production habitat

The Kansas list of endangered wildlife includes 16 species, as follows:

Black-footed Ferret -Mustela nigripes

The Black-Footed Ferret once inhabitated most of the plains area from Texas to Canada, along with the prairie dog. Apparently this species was never very abundant and, with the coming of agriculture and the resultant alteration of prairie dog habitat, the Ferret has declined drastically. It appears to be primarily dependent on the prairie dog for survival. This species has been listed on the national endangered species list since the first listing came out in 1964. The most recent Kansas Record was in 1957 and the most recent observation in the United States was in South Dakota in October, 1974.

Gray Bat - Myotis grisescens

It is closely associated with the limestone cave region of central and southern Missouri, northern Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee. In Kansas, it is known only from the extreme southeast corner of the state. Several thousand of these bats summer in storm drains under the city of Pittsburg. The Gray Bat is listed as endangered on both state and federal lists.

Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus

This species once bred in Kansas, nesting in cavities in large trees along the Neosho River near Neosho Falls, but has not been recorded as a breeding species since around the turn of the century. It is a fall and spring transient and winter resident. An eastern race has been wiped out as a breeding species east of the Mississippi River and the western race (F. peregrinus anatum) was reduced to about 30 active eyries. A highly migratory tundra form, (F. p. tundrius) was reduced substantially. Decline has been due to the use of DDT and DDE, which causes eggshell thinning and resultant unhatchability of eggs. This species is listed on the National Endangered Species List as developed by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Two races, F. p. tundrius and F. p. anatum, occur in Kansas.

Whooping Crane - Grus americana

This large bird twice annually crosses central Kansas, once in March or April and again in October. Only about 102 individuals of this species are known to exist in the wild, 82 at Aransas, 20 at Grays Lake, with about 30 birds in captivity. The entire population has been as low as 15 birds and is still in imminent danger of extinction if some unforeseeable calamity occurs, such as severe storms on the breeding or wintering grounds. This species is listed on the National Endangered Species List.

Eskimo Curlew - Numenius borealis

This species was last reported in Kansas in 1891. In Nebraska, the last reported sighting was made in 1926. Very little is known as to why this bird has been so reduced in numbers. Recent coastal sightings show that a small colony must exist. This species is also listed On the National Endangered Species List.

Bald Eagle -Haliaeetus leucocephalus

In all, about 1,200 pairs of bald eagles still nest in the lower 48 states. "Best estimate" figures set the entire North America bald eagle population at about 85,000 birds (50,000 Canada, 30,000 Alaska). Habitat loss and chemical pollution have reduced the southern race to only several hundred active nests. The bald eagle is classified as endangered nationally. A single Kansas specimen of the southern race is in the Southwestern College collection (Winfield). Other Kansas specimens are of the larger northern race. There are no recorded nesting records in Kansas.

Neosho Madtom - Noturus placidus

This fish once inhabited the Neosho (Grand) River Basin to its mouth and the lowermost part of the Illinois River in Oklahoma. It has disappeared from the Illinois River and all other parts of its range in Oklahoma, excepting a few miles of flowing water upstream from Grand Lake. Present Kansas distribution is apparently restricted to the Spring, Neosho, and Cottonwood Rivers. It is listed as endangered in Missouri and threatened in Oklahoma.

Pallid Sturgeon -Scaphirhynchus albus

The pallid sturgeon inhabits the mainstream of the Missouri River and the Mississippi River below the confluence with the Missouri. One of only two specimens taken elsewhere came from the Kansas River at Lawrence following the 1951 floods. Very little is known about this fish. Old time commercial fishermen on the Missouri indicate that they very rarely see the fish anymore. This species is listed as endangered in Missouri and threatened in Nebraska.

Sicklefin Chub -Hybopsis meeki

This species inhabits the Missouri-Mississippi mainstream, with the only exception being specimens taken in the Kaw River around Lawrence. The entire range is from the Dakotas south of the Missouri River mainstream. There have been no Kansas records of the Sicklefin Chub in the last ten years. The state of Missouri lists this species as endangered.

Central Newt - Notophthalmus viridescens louisianensis

Known in Kansas from only 19 specimens at 6 locations along the eastern border of the state. Only two known breeding ponds are still active (east of Crestline in Cherokee County), other breeding ponds have been drained.

Grotto Salamander - Typhlotriton spelaeus

Known from southeast Kansas from about 37 specimens of which 23 were taken in the cave and stream at Schermerhorn Park, south Galena, Cherokee County. Populations in Schermerhorn Park and 1 mile east of Schermerhorn Park are thought to be the only two in Kansas. Species protected in Oklahoma.

Gray-bellied Salamander - Eurycea multiplicata griseogaster

There are over 70 specimens from Kansas, but all are from only four localities in Cherokee County. The only population still active in at the cave and stream in Schermerhorn Park, south of Galena, Cherokee County.

Cave Salamander - Eurycea lucifuga

Only 21 specimens are known from Kansas at four localities in Cherokee County. The only known active population remaining is at the cave and stream at Schermerhorn Park, south Galena, Cherokee County.

Small Amphibious Snail (No Common Name) - Pomatiopsis lapidaria

Known only from an isolated marsh area some 40 acres in size, located one and one-half miles south of Muscotah, Atchison County.

see caption below

A flock of Dowitchers feeds in the shallow water. Shorebirds, in a large variety,
are common sights around lakes, ponds, and on mudflats during their
migratory flights in spring and fall.

Warty-Backed Mussel - Quadrula nodulata

Murray and Leonard, 1962, reported this species as a rare occurrence in Kansas. The only specimens of Q. nodulata from Kansas which they examined were collected from the Neosho River in the vicinity of Emporia. It now appears this species may be more widely distributed in southeastern Kansas than formerly believed. Cope, 1979, collected it from 26 separate locations along the Cottonwood, South Fork of the Cottonwood, Marais des Cygnes, Verdigris, and Neosho Rivers.

Heel-Splitter Mussel - Anodonta suborbiculata

Originally reported in 1885 from Silver Lake, Shawnee County, it has since apparently disappeared from that Lake. It was collected in 1949 from a pond east of the Neosho River in Allen County. Collection efforts in 1958 and 1959 were unsuccessful.

It was re-discovered in Allen County (Dickerson Oxbow) in 1976. In 1978, populations were found in Dickerson Oxbow and Krone Oxbow, Allen County; Leonards Lake, southeast of Neosho Falls, in Woodson
County; and Boicourt Lake, southwest of Boicourt in Linn County.

It appears that this species does not utilize a stream habitat in Kansas. All recent records have been collected from aging oxbows, sloughs and shallow lake habitats.


The Kansas list of Threatened Wildlife includes eight species, as follows:

Prairie Falcon - Falco mexicanus

This species was formerly more abundant in Kansas. It is a transient and winter resident statewide, but rare in the east. It has been purported to nest in extreme northwest Kansas, but this has not been documented.

Least Tern - Sterna albifrons

Little information is available concerning the nesting populations in Kansas. They are an uncommon transient throughout the state. They nest on large exposed salt flats and on sandbars in large sand-bottomed rivers west of the Flint Hills.

Blue Sucker - Cycleptus elongatus

This species occurs in the mainstream of the Missouri, Kansas, and Neosho Rivers. It is vulnerable, depending on reservoir discharges. The populations in Kansas are felt to be important since thay may be among the largest. This species is listed as rare in Missouri.

Arkansas Darter - Etheostoma cragini

Primary range in Kansas includes some small spring-fed streams in south-central Kansas, west and south of the Arkansas River. Lesser numbers occur in Spring River and Shoal Creek in extreme SE Kansas.

Topeka Shiner - Notropis topeka

The Topeka Shiner was once found in all of the major drainages in Kansas. It is gone from its type locality in Shunganunga Creek at Topeka, from nearly all of its range in the Arkansas River basin, and from nearly all of the area that it once occupied west of the Flint Hills in the Kansas River system. Remaining, today, it is primarily an inhabitant of the Flint Hills streams in the Cottonwood River Drainage and in the Kansas River Drainage, where the number of the individuals varies greatly from one inhabitated stream to another. It still occurs in Willow Creek in Wallace County, but the habitat is deteriorating.

Alligator Snapping Turtle - Macroclemys temmincki

Collins, 1974, reported only two records of this thoroughly aquatic turtle in Kansas, one from the Arkansas River in Cowley, and the other from Lyon County. This latter specimen was taken from the Cottonwood River at Emporia on February 21, 1967. In addition, Hall and Smith, 1947, reported seven separate collections from the Neosho River in Cherokee County, one from Neosho County, one from the Cottonwood River in Chase County, and two from the Arkansas River in Butler and Sedgwick Counties.

Northern Crawfish Frog - Rana areolata circulosa

Formerly found in at least 12 counties in eastern Kansas, south of the Kansas River. Most records are old and the species is no longer abundant in many areas where it formerly was common. Fifty-five specimens, collected over 20 years ago from the Wakarusa River floodplain, are known, but the species has not been seen or heard in the last two decades in this area.

Riffle Beetle (No Common Name) - Optioservus phaeus

Known only from a spring in Lake Scott State Park, Scott County. This represents the only known locality for this species east of the Rocky Mountains.


HOW YOU CAN HELP
[This material is dated as of the publication date of this issue, February 1981.]

Kansas nongame and endangered Wildlife work has been limited by a shortage of funds. However, now all Kansas taxpayers have the opportunity to provide financial support for an expanded program.

During the 1980 Legislative session the Nongame Wildlife Improvement Program was passed. This provides the Kansas taxpayers the opportunity to check a box on their state tax form to indicate a contribution for the state's new Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund. The Nongame "Checkoff" appears on line 13 of the Kansas short form (40A) and on line 34 of form 40, the standard form.

The money generated from this source will be specifically earmarked to fund conservation projects by the Fish and Game Commission for those species of wildlife which are not game species or furbearers. Endangered and threatened species are examples of nongame wildlife, as are some 22,600 species ranging from hum mingbirds to chickadees and to herons and swans as well as minnows, lizards, turtles, fresh water clams, and insects.

Your contributions will determine how much nongame work in Kansas can be expanded, please be generous.

You, too, can be helpful by learning about endangered and threatened species; what efforts are being made to protect their habitat and determine their needs. Then share your knowledge with others, asking them to help solve the problems.

Join conservation organizations in the fight to protect nongame and endangered wildlife and to provide a healthy environment for all living things, including man.

YOU CAN GET MORE INFORMATION FROM:

Kansas Fish and Game
Box 54A, Rural Route 2
Pratt, KS 67124
(316) 672-5911
Kansas Fish and Game
Box 764
204 West Sixth
Newton, KS 67114
Kansas Fish and Game
Box 366
190 N. Franklin
Colby, KS 67701
Kansas Fish and Game
222 West Main Building
Suite C & D
Chanute, KS 66720
Kansas Fish and Game
Box 489
511 Cedar
Concordia, KS 66901
Kansas Fish and Game
832 East 6th
Emporia, KS 66801
Kansas Fish and Game
Forbes AFB
Box 19086
Topeka, KS 66619
State Biological Survey of Kansas
2045 Avenue A, Campus West
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66044
Kansas Fish and Game
808 Highway 56
Dodge City, KS 67801
Museum of Natural History
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66044


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