Cimarron National Grassland Wildlife



photo of coyote Wildlife found on the Grassland includes pronghorn (the correct name for antelope), mule and whitetail deer, bobwhite and scaled quail, wild turkey, lesser prairie chicken, and dove. At last count, 345 bird species and 31 species of amphibians and reptiles. Cimarron National Grassland was named by the American Birding Association as one of the top 100 places in the United States for birding and has been featured in Birder's World. This activity brings people from local areas, regionally and throughout the world. With the assistance of the KS Dept. of Wildlife & Parks, 90 guzzlers and 35 developed areas have been fenced to provide shelter and water for wildlife. The Grassland also works with the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks and other partners to produce and update pamphlets, checklists, and books on birds located on the Grassland within the local area.

Reptiles and Amphibians

Photo of Ornate Box TurtleThe Cimarron National Grassland and Cimarron River are home to a wide variety of amphibians and reptiles. These animals often go unnoticed because of their small size, habitat requirements, nocturnal habits and their efforts to stay out of the hot sun.

Because the area is on the fringe of home ranges for both eastern and southwestern species, approximately 31 species of reptiles and amphibians make their home here. Species numbers and diversity change over time as a result of weather fluctuations which affect food supplies and breeding habits.

Of the species present, the most common and easiest to spot include: Woodhouse Toads in floodplains and sandy areas; bullfrogs near ponds and watertanks; northern earless lizards on flat bare areas of sand or gravel; ornate box turtle in grassy areas; central plains milk snakes with their bright orange and black stripes in rocky areas. The prairie rattlesnake, which inhabits rocky areas or vacant rodent burrows, is poisonous. This snake can be identified by its rattle and greenish-gray to brown color with dark blotches.