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Something Wild Newsletter Winter 2010

Something Wild Newsletter Winter 2010

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Published by NEGameandParks
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Annual Report of the Wildlife Conservation Fund
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Annual Report of the Wildlife Conservation Fund

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Published by: NEGameandParks on Dec 09, 2010
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03/10/2011

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You canmake thedifference
Remember our wildlifeand the wild placesthat we want futuregenerations to enjoy.Make sure to “check”for wildlife on yourstate tax return.Look for the peregrinefalcon symbol anddonate all or a portion of your tax refund to theWildlife ConservationFund. You can alsodonate throughout theyear by calling (402)471-0641 or online at.OutdoorNebraska.org
ll donations are fully ax deductible
Nebraska’s Rarest Lizard
By Dan Fogell
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Annual Report of the Wildlife Conservation Fund
2010
Naponee and Tecumseh. Those are thelocations of record for the only two WesternSlender Glass Lizards that have ever beenfound in Nebraska, and it was the only leadI had when I set out to find Nebraska’s rarestizard. Completely legless, the WesternSlender Glass Lizard had not been seen inNebraska since 1932. Had it been extirpatedfrom the state? Or was it just so rare thatandom encounters with it are merely 
Something 
 Wild 
PHOTOS by Dan FogellSwift Fox
A contribution to the Wildlife Conservation Fund helps Nebraska’s wildlife and wild places.Since 1984, funds have gone towards river otter reintroduction, peregrine falcon and baldeagle population monitoring, white lady’s slipper orchid transplanting, and projects that helpthousands of other species in the state. Biologists use donations to fund working efforts thatprevent Nebraska’s at-risk species from becoming rarer and to keep common species common.Accomplishments are sometimes modest but can be very significant. Bald eagle recovery standsas one of the greatest conservation success stories of the times - the bald eagle is no longerendangered because of diligence and local support with nationwide impact.While many people consider abundant, healthy wildlife to bepriceless, the research, monitoring, and placing of habitat on the groundalways requires money and continued support. The Nebraska WildlifeConservation Fund focuses efforts on the thousands of non-game wildlife,or species that are not hunted or fished. The majority of funding for wildlifeconservation is generated from hunting and fishing licenses, which cannotbe applied directly to non-game. The Wildlife Conservation Fund andthe success of many of our native species are made possible with your tax-deductible donation. Thank you for sustaining Nebraska’s wildlife diversity.Melissa Panella Santiago,Natural Legacy Biologist
 
 
nonexistent? These werethe questions I wanted toanswer.My quest forOphisaurus attenuatus(Ophisaurus = “snake-like lizard, attenuatus =“diminishing”, referringto the long, taperingtail) in Nebraska startedtwelve years ago whenI heard rumors aboutsome “funny lookingsnakes” turning up aftera prairie fire in FranklinCounty. For years I wasbusy with other projectsand could only dedicatea few days each year tothe search. None were ever found, but I had hopes. High hopesn fact. I just needed time. Well, time and money. The drivesfrom Omaha to Naponee to find an elusive and possibly extincteptile were eating away at my savings.Eleven years after my first trip to Naponee, I received agrant. In 2009, funds from the Nebraska Game and ParksCommission’s “A Check for Wildlife” program allowed mespend a lot more time looking for glass lizards. So off I went,spending one weekend a month in the grasslands south of theRepublican River looking for a lizard that had not been seen in77 years. Searching involved driving roads south of the riverlooking for lizards as they moved across them. It also involvedsurveying prairies and looking in the grass for a long, slenderlizard that looks exactly like dry grass. In other words, lookingfor a needle in a haystack, only the needle could see and hearyou coming and slither away.Then, one hot August evening, I was driving west on RiverRoad south of Bloomington as I had done dozens of timesbefore when my eye caught something on the side of the road.The moment I drove past it, I knew what it was. I backed upslowly, looked again – more carefully this time – and thenran out of the truck to capture my prize. Finally…Ophisaurusattenuatus…and it was in my hands. After I danced in themiddle of the road, texted everyone I knew about my lucky find,and photographed this perfect specimen, I secured it in a smallcage to bring back to the Wildlife Division at NGPC to show off my treasure. The glass lizard – a female – remained on display for a year but was returned back to her home in August 2010.During 2010, two more glass lizards were found in FranklinCounty and one was found in Webster County. Thanks to the“A Check for Wildlife” program, we now know that the WesternSlender Glass Lizard still calls Nebraska home.
 
The Peregrine Falcon pair that residesatop the state Capitol in downtownLincoln was once again successful atraising young in 2010. Again this year,the public had the opportunity to followthe birds’ saga via live streaming videothanks to support from the WildlifeConservation Fund. More than 40,000 visitors checked in on the PeregrineFalcons in 2010.The female Peregrine, with the bandA/*Y, laid 4 eggs in the nest box locatedon the 18th floor about the second week of April with the help of her mate 19/K.Three eggs hatched on approximately 13ay. This pair has been present at theCapitol since 2005. The three chicks (onefemale and two male) were banded on 4June when they were about 18-days old;they fledged 2-3 weeks later.The Peregrine Falcons fledged at theCapitol this year now have a connectionto Orion, the hunter in the sky. JoanDarling submitted the winning entry for
Peregrine Falcons Successful, Popular
By Joel Jorgensen
PHOTOS by Joel Jorgensen

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