The Dry Mixedgrass Wildlife
Dry Mixedgrass Subregion contains the greatest number of animal
species of all the Subregions
within the Grasslands. Many, especially those of sand dunes areas and
the extreme southeastern part of the region, occur nowhere else in
Alberta. A few are absent
even from the rest of Canada. On the upland plains, characteristic species of more heavily grazed areas include
Horned Lark, McCown's Longspur, Chestnut-collared Longspur and Richardson's
Ground Squirrel. Species of lightly grazed areas include Baird's
Sharp-tailed Grouse, and Upland Sandpiper. Western Meadowlark and
White-tailed Jack Rabbit are examples of species that tolerate a broad spectrum of grazing conditions.
Sage Grouse, Lark Bunting, Brewer's Sparrow and Pronghorn show an affinity for sagebrush flats in the uplands and valley bottoms.
Sand plain and dune areas contain a number of rare and local species that are restricted to these
habitats including Ord's
Hognose Snake. Wider ranging species that also occur here include
Sharp-tailed Grouse, Grasshopper Sparrow and Mule Deer.
Riparian shrublands and forests are able to support a diverse animal community. These include
Brown Thrasher, Gray Catbird, Yellow-breasted Chat, Mourning Dove,
Northern Flicker, House Wren, Northern Oriole, Deer Mouse, Nuttall's
Cottontail, and White -tailed Deer.
Rock outcrops and the badland areas which exist in the Dry Mixedgrass
Subregion of the Grasslands are local but significant to a number of birds as nesting habitat including
Golden Eagle, Ferruginous Hawk, Prairie Falcon and Mountain Bluebird.
Marshes and wetlands, on the other hand, are important habitat for many species of birds both breeding and migrating. Oxbow lakes
and meandering streams provide key habitat for breeding amphibians including
species such as the Chorus Frog, the Leopard
Frog, Plains Spadefoots and garter snakes.
Information provided by and printed with the permission
of Alberta Community Development, Parks
and Protected Areas.