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 Animals that are most active

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PostSubject: Animals that are most active   Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:45 pm

Years of cataloging by biologists and park rangers have recorded 2000 species of insect, 8 reptiles, 169 birds, 48 mammals, and even one amphibian (the Western Toad). Birds and some rodents are seen most frequently in the Craters of the Moon area.[30] Brown Bears once roamed this area but have long ago become locally extinct. Traditional livestock grazing continues within the grass/shrublands administered by the BLM.
Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel at Devil's Orchard

Most desert animals are nocturnal, or mainly active at night. Nocturnal behavior is an adaptation to both predation and hot summer daytime temperatures. Nocturnal animals at Craters of the Moon include woodrats (also called packrats), skunks, foxes, bobcats, mountain lions, bats, nighthawks, owls, and most other small desert rodents.[30]

Animals that are most active at dawn and dusk, when temperatures are cooler than mid-day, are called crepuscular. The subdued morning and evening light helps make them less visible to predators, but is bright enough to allow them to locate food. Some animals are crepuscular mainly because their prey is. Crepuscular animals in the area include mule deer, coyotes, porcupines, Mountain Cottontails, jackrabbits, and many songbirds.[30]

Some desert animals are diurnal, or primarily active during the day. These include ground squirrels, marmots, chipmunks, lizards, snakes, hawks, and eagles.[30]

Many animals have a specific temperature range where they are active, meaning the times they are active vary with the seasons. Snakes and lizards hibernate during the winter months, are diurnal during the late spring and early fall, and become crepuscular during the heat of summer. Many insects and some birds also alter their times of activity. Some animals, like ground squirrels and marmots, have one or more periods of estivation, a summer hibernation that allows them to avoid the hottest and driest periods.[30]

Several animals are unique to Craters of the Moon and the surrounding area. Subspecies of Great Basin Pocket Mouse, pika, Yellow-pine Chipmunk, and Yellow-bellied Marmot are found nowhere else.[30] Lava tube beetles and many other cave animals are found only in the lava tubes of eastern Idaho.[30]



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