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The Dry Mixedgrass Wildlife

Western MeadowlarkThe 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 Sparrow, Sprague's pipit, 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.

Western Hognose snakeSand plain and dune areas contain a number of rare and local species that are restricted to these habitats including Ord's Kangaroo Rat and Western 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.

Ferruginuous HawkRock 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.

Northern Leopard Frog 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.

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