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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Historical accounts of the western 2/3 of Kansas during the 14 year period spanning 1865-79(post Civil War) suggests that 68 species of mammals called this region home including Bison, Pumas(Mountain Lions), Gray Wolves, Coyotes, Gray and Swift Foxes, Pronghorns, Prairie Dogs, Mule Deer, Beaver, Bobcats, Grizzlies, Ferrets, Jackrabbits, Gophers, Fox Squirrels, Raccoons, Elk, Opossums, Skunks, Porcupines and a variety of Mice and Voles..............By 1875, homesteader cultivation of the land(prairie sod busting) extirpated the Bison,,,,,, Pronghorn hung on until 1925,,,,,,,,,,, Mule Deer until 1905,,,,,,,, Elk until 1890,,,,,,,,,,,,Gray Wolves were effectively all but gone by the 1890's,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Pumas "over and out" by the turn of the 20th century,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Grizzlies hung on until 1875 and Black Bears until the mid 1890's,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Beaver were trapped out by the 1890's,,,,,,,,,,,,,Wild Turkeys no longer flocked after 1900,..............Wildlife restoration in Kansas since the 1960's has seen tjhe return of the Turkey, with small numbers of Elk, Mule Deer, Pronghorn returning to isolated locations............... A few herds of Bison have also been restored to the State since the 1960's.............The Griz, Puma and Gray Wolf---Will the land ever again be wild enough for them to be seen in these parts again?

This unique history chronicles reciprocal relations between settlers and the native fauna of Kansas from the end of the Civil War until 1880. While including the development of early-day conservation and game laws, zoologist Eugene D. Fleharty tells of wanton wastefulness on the frontier, but also curiosity, concern, and creativity on the part of individual settlers, who hunted and fished for food and recreation or simply wondered at the animals’ antics.

Kansas bordered on the east by Missouri, Nebraska to the north,
Colorado to the West and Oklahoma to the south
Map of Kansas

Using only primary accounts from newspapers and diaries, Fleharty vividly portrays frontier life before such species as the bison, beaver, antelope, bear, mountain lion, gray wolf, rattlesnake, and black-footed ferret were more or less extirpated by steel plows, reapers, barbed wire, and firearms. As the author shows the impact of civilization on the prairie ecosystem, readers will share in the lives of the early settlers, experiencing their successes and hardships much as their neighbors did.
This historical account of a typical plains state’s ecology during the traumatic homesteading era will interest professionals concerned with biodiversity and global warming as well as frontier-history buffs

Physiological Provinces of Kansas
"Most of Kansas is rolling plains.......Approximately 2/3 of the state(west of the Flint Hills Uplands
(see map below) lies in the Great Plains Province, whereas the remaining eastern third occupies a portion of the Central Lowland Province..........."This book focuses on the Animal and Settler
interactions east of the Flint Hills Uplands"..........."This region was virutally treeless in the years
1865-79 covered in this book.","Short grass, mixed grass and tallgrass prairie occupied this region
moving west out of eastern Colorado and up into the Flint Hills region"

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