Monday, November 30, 2009

Remove Invasive Species and Get a Christmas Tree too!

from KcWildlands through Bridging the Gap:


CONTACT: Linda Lehrbaum816-561-1061, ext. 116 or 816-806-6801 (day of event)

LEES SUMMIT, MISSOURI--Kansas City WildLands (KCWL) is inviting the public to saw down a native Eastern Red Cedar Tree for Christmas during a conservation workday at Blue Springs Lake in Fleming Park, between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM on Saturday, December 5. Pre-cut trees will be available for those who want them, and volunteers will be on site to help visitors cut and load trees. Hot cider and a warm fire at the site will help visitors make a fun day of it. A donation of $10 per tree is suggested; proceeds will benefit future conservation efforts around the metro area.

The KCWL Cedar Event, held last year at Shawnee Mission Park in Johnson County, is designed to remove Eastern Red Cedar Trees, a species considered invasive in open native natural areas like prairies and grasslands. In time, the cedars' sheer numbers and the effects of their shading eliminate sun-loving native flora. In the past, naturally occurring prairie wildfires kept this species in check, but modern fire suppression practices have allowed the cedars to spread. Removal of Eastern Red Cedar trees is part of a conservation effort at this site.

Fleming Park is owned and managed by the Jackson County Park and Recreation District, which is a charter member of Kansas City WildLands, a conservation coalition initiated in 2001. For more information on the Kansas City WildLands Native Christmas Tree Event, including a map to the Cedar Tree Event site, visit the KCWL website, , or contact Linda Lehrbaum, KCWL Program Manager at or 816-561-1061, ext. 116 before Saturday.

Kansas City WildLands, an affiliate of Bridging The Gap, is a coalition of resource professionals, conservation-minded organizations and academic institutions dedicated to the restoration and conservation of remnant natural communities in the greater Kansas City area.

Don't transport tree-killing species!

Please see this release from the Missouri Department of Conservation regarding the transportation of tree-killing species on and in firewood:

The killing of trees by invasive species is a horrific thing. Parts of the Colorado Rockies and Applachia are devestated from similar tree eating insects. Help keep Missouri and Kansas beautiful while maintianing native habitats!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009


Deer In Road

Kansas deer-vehicle collisions peak in November
PRATT — In Kansas, deer-vehicle accidents are common in November. Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) statistics show that November is the month when the highest number of deer-vehicle collisions occur. Motorists are encouraged to be on particularly high alert in the weeks before and after mid-November, historically when most deer-vehicle collisions occur.

One of the main reasons there is a greater potential for deer-vehicle accidents in November is the deer mating season. Deer are particularly active in the fall, with the peak mating season, called "rut," occurring in mid-November. In addition, deer tend to widen their forage range as they build up fat reserves for the winter. They often move from one forage range to another during the early winter, exposing themselves on highways. A reduction in daylight hours results in more people driving at dawn and dusk, when deer are more likely to be on the move.

In 2008, 9,371 deer-vehicle collisions were reported to the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), slightly lower than 2007 and close to the relatively stable 10-year average. Deer-vehicle collisions occurred in every Kansas county. In most cases, counties with the highest populations recorded the most deer-vehicle accidents. Sedgwick County had the most accidents with 417, followed by Johnson County with 362 and Butler County with 285. More details, including a map showing all accidents and deer accidents by county, may be found at the KDOT website,

Motorists should observe the following tips to avoid deer collisions:

  • be especially watchful at dawn and dusk when deer are particularly active;
  • deer seldom travel alone, so if one deer crosses a road, there may be others following;
  • reduce speed and be alert near wooded areas or green spaces such as parks or golf courses and near water sources such as streams or ponds;
  • don’t swerve to avoid a collision with a deer because the most serious accidents occur when motorists are taking evasive action;
  • heed deer crossing sign warnings and always wear a seat belt; and
  • use bright lights and slow down whenever the reflective eyes of deer are spotted.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shawnee Mission Park & Dead deer

During phase one of the shawnee mission park deer cull, 313 animals were shot and are now being tested to see whether or not their venison is good for donation purposes (that it does not contain harmful diseases). read more from Channel 9:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

UMKC Student Survery

Earlier this week I conducted a short survey outside of Royal Hall to gauge where people were on the issue of Wildlife. I asked them 3 short questions which include:
1)Are you concerned with wildlife Conservation?
2)Can you name one endangered species in Mo. or Ks.?
3)Are animals awesome?
Results: 1)=70%/ 2)=15%/ 3)=100%
With these results you can assume that the vast majority of people care for animals. You can also assume that not a lot of people are well educated on wildlife conservation.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Shawnee Mission Park and Deer

Below is the official information regarding the deer in Shawnee Mission Park, courtesy of Johnson County Parks and Recreation:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

@ you can find a list of endangered and threatened species in the state of Kansas. Some species include the Black-footed Ferret and the Eastern Spotted skunk. Check it out.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Kansas wildlife biologists confirm mountain lion sighting


The Wichita Eagle


After more than a century of rumors of mountain lions in Kansas, state wildlife biologists confirmed this week that a live mountain lion has been found in Kansas.

"We have literally dozens and hundreds of mountain lion sightings turned in to us," said Mike Miller, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks spokesman. "Usually the pictures are so blurry, you can't see any detail."

On Oct. 12, a man hunting in northwest WaKeeney in Trego County made not only a discovery, but history, too. The man snapped photos of what this week became the first verified, live mountain lion in Kansas since 1904.

"We don't know the origins of the animal, but we know this is legitimate," Miller said. "Pictures have been verified."

Kansas wildlife officials said the mountain lion was photographed after the animal walked into a pile of corn that was near a tree stand occupied by a deer hunter.

The hunter grabbed his camera and took multiple photos. The mountain lion encounter is believed to have lasted less than a minute.

"They could live here year round. We don't know," Miller said. "But this is the first photograph that we have seen that we can verify and say that is a mountain lion."

This is the second mountain lion to be found in Kansas since 1904, but the first live one.

In November 2007, a young, male mountain lion was shot by a landowner in Barber County. Kansas Wildlife said it is illegal to hunt mountain lions because they are classified as a protected animal. The only exception is if the animal is on private property and poses a threat to the landowner.

Mark Downing of the Cougar Network, a nonprofit organization based in Colorado dedicated to studying cougars, said mountain lions are not often found in Kansas because the open prairie is not good habitat for the animal.

"Mountain lions need three things: cover, prey and water," Downing said. "There isn't enough of that in Kansas."

Charles Cope, a state wildlife biologist, said there may not be many mountain lions living in Kansas, but there may be some traveling through.

"Nebraska has reported 30 to 35 sightings this year," Cope said. "The thing is that they'll cover anywhere from 25 square miles up to 300 square miles on their home range. They travel huge distances. One in Nebraska could be the one in Kansas."

Downing said there is a possibility that mountain lions could live near wooded river corridors in Kansas.

No matter how many people believe that a population of mountain lions exist in Kansas, it has never been officially confirmed, Downing said.

"A population cannot go undetected," Downing said. "There would be roadkill and other sightings and we have never had documentation of this happening in Kansas."

Miller said he doesn't expect the excitement to go past the releasing of photos, but he is glad Kansas Wildlife was able to confirm the sighting.

"When something like this gets publicity, a lot of people are going to say, 'I told you so,' " Miller said. "All we're going to say is this is the first verified, live mountain lion in the state."

Downing took his first look at the photo of the confirmed mountain lion on Tuesday afternoon. It took him only a few seconds to verify what Kansas Wildlife has already confirmed.

"That tail definitely looks like a classic mountain lion," Downing said.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Zebra Mussels in Kansas River Threaten Kaw Water Treatment Plant in Lawrence, KS



---Zebra mussels found in Kansas River; officials concerned about pipe clogs, but water safe
By Mark Fagan
October 19, 2009
Zebra mussels are in the Kansas River, threatening to clog pipes that carry water into the city’s Kaw Water Treatment Plant.
Employees of the treatment plant discovered the typically dime-sized mussels earlier this month while cleaning out an intake.
While the mussels are not expected to affect the quality or safety of the city’s supply of drinking water — they cannot survive the chlorination process used during treatment — the sharp-shelled bivalves could add to the system’s maintenance expenses, said Megan Gilliland, a city spokeswoman.
That’s because the mussels — already known for coating dock piers, boat hulls and motorboat parts — can cause broader problems by covering and clogging a plant’s intake valves, concrete basins and transport lines.
Lawrence’s treatment plant is the first in the state to report the presence of zebra mussels. The species’ rapid-reproduction and stubborn colonization already generate annual nationwide expenditures of $145 million to control mussels in electric generating plants, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.
While eradication of the invasive species is considered “nearly impossible” by state wildlife officials, the city envisions using high-pressure water to manage the problem, at least for now.
“In the future we may have to look at additional opportunities for cleaning, and utilization of aggressive mechanical methods to lessen the effect of mussels on our operations,” said Charlie Ballenger, manager of the Kaw plant. “The quality and quantity of water produced will not be affected.”
The first report of the mussels in the United States came in 1988, in the Great Lakes. Since then such mussels have spread into the Midwestern, Northeastern and Southeastern United States.
In Kansas, the state Department of Wildlife and Parks has tracked the mussels’ spread into seven different lakes since 2003: El Dorado, Cheney, Winfield City, Marion, Perry, Afton and — also earlier this month — Wilson, which is 55 miles west of Salina.
The Perry discovery came three years ago, after a boater reported a single mussel affixed to the hull of his boat. State divers then found three adult mussels, plus larvae, in the Marina Cove area.
Gilliland said that zebra mussels likely were transported into the Kansas River by a boat that had been in Perry Lake. Zebra mussels’ larvae are both free-floating and microscopic, making it easy for them to be carried — often unknowingly — by boaters who do not properly clean or otherwise rid their equipment of such a threat.
To prevent the spread of zebra mussels and their larvae from infested waters into other water, officials urge boaters and people who fish to:
• Never move fish or water from one body of water to another.
• Empty bait buckets on dry land, not into lakes.
• Inspect boats, trailers, skis, anchors and all other equipment, and remove any visible organisms and vegetation.
• Wash equipment and boats with hot water (at least 140 degrees) or dry for at least five days, to remove or kill species that are not visible.
The Kaw plant is one of two municipal plants that last year treated and pumped out a combined 3.785 billion gallons of water.
Zebra mussels have not yet been discovered at the city’s Clinton Water Treatment Plant, which gets its raw water from Clinton Lake, Gilliland said.
The Lawrence Energy Center, a coal-fired plant that generates 19 percent of all power for Westar Energy customers, also has a water intake in the Kansas River, upstream from the Bowersock Dam.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Kansas City Wildlife Issues and News is a cooperative blog between University of Missouri-Kansas City students enrolled in Env-Sci 210 during the Fall 2009 Semester. This blog is for a class project.

Here you will find local wildlife features, developmental/infrastructure news, and analytical and editorial content from our contributers.

Please join in, and feel free to submit and newsworthy item.