An Illustrated Guide to Endangered or Threatened Species in Kansas

Joseph T. Collins, Suzanne L. Collins, Jerry Horak, Dan Mulhern, William Busby, Craig C. Freeman, and Gary Wallace

Ranging from the unfamiliar to the famous—from the inconspicuous, plankton-sucking Elktoe Mussel to the majestic, soaring Bald Eagle—endangered or threatened plants and animals of Kansas continue to play a vital, although diminished, role in the state's ecology.

Providing, for the first time, easily accessible information for the professional naturalist and amateur nature lover alike, this guide highlights the habits and habitats of sixty plants and animals currently listed as endangered or threatened in Kansas and protected by state or federal law. The authors illuminate not only the common bond of these species—their precarious status—but also their widely varying routines, idiosyncrasies, and circumstances. All known Lake Scott Riffle Beetles in the world, they show, spend their lives in one spring area of Western Kansas while the nomadic Whooping Cranes alight only a night or two in the state's central and eastern swamplands during migration.

“The greatest treasures on earth are valued for their rarity. The authors of this book present some of Kansas's most treasured wildlife jewels.”

—Bob Gress, Director of Wichita Wild and coauthor of Kansas Wildlife

“The authors provide a timely emphasis that ‘endangered and threatened plants and animals are not roadblocks. They exist as a symptom of our deteriorating natural environment,’ an environment upon which we depend for our lives and livelihoods.”

—John L. Zimmerman, author of Cheyenne Bottoms: Wetland in Jeopardy

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For each species—three plants, three mammals, nine birds, eight reptiles, ten amphibians, fourteen fishes, and thirteen invertebrates—the guide features a full-color photograph, standard common and current scientific name, range map, threatened or endangered species status, and information on appearance, size, breeding, habits, surroundings, food preference, and natural history. The authors also list possible causes of species reduction, from loss of habitat through land use change, water diversion, and pollution, to hunting and fishing practices and natural selection.

Richly illustrated and informative, this unique guide will be indispensable to anyone wanting to preserve the state's irreplaceable biological diversity.

About the Author

Joseph T. Collins’s numerous books include Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas, Natural Kansas, and the Peterson Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Suzanne L. Collins is a wildlife photographer whose works have appeared in numerous publications. Jerry Horak, author of Kansas Prairie Chickens, is coordinator of the Kansas Threatened and Endangered Species Program. Dan Mulhern coordinates the endangered species program for the Kansas office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. William Busby is zoologist and data manager for the Kansas Natural Heritage Inventory. Craig C. Freeman is acting co-director of the Kansas Biological Survey and coauthor of Roadside Wildflowers of the Southern Great Plains. Gary Wallace is Manager of Environmental Communications for Western Resources, Inc.

Additional Titles in the Kansas Nature Guides Series