Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Few Mammals (But Only One Native!)

While about 95% of the pictures that I take are of birds, I'll shoot other things as they come along.

Teri and I took the Bayside Drive loop today  and saw a few of the residents here.

First was a White-tailed Deer doe and her fawn.  The archery hunts have just finished here at the refuge, so those two are in the clear!

White-tailed Deer
A little further down the road we spotted three Feral Hogs rooting around in a field.  These introduced species have become widespread throughout Texas and the southern US and are a real environmental nightmare.  They destroy so much vegetation and eat just about anything they come across, including ground-nesting birds, small mammals, etc.
Feral Hogs
As we were getting close to the end of the loop we spotted a small herd of Nilgai. These large antelope were imported from Asia by hunting ranches in South Texas.  They eventually escaped those ranches and have become free ranging pests in the area.  A large bull can weigh 600 pounds so they consume a lot of vegetation.  They are not considered as big a pest as the hogs, but they surely don't belong...
Bye for now!!

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