Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sinlahekin Wildlife

In addition to 88 species of butterflies, the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area is also home to many other animals.  Some are quite common and often seen, such as whitetail deer, while others are infrequent visitors, such as moose.  While the signs posted at each entrance seem to give a lot of rules, they are intended to preserve the beauty of the wildlife area for subsequent visitors, and protect habitat for its huge diversity of plants and animals.  The Sinlahekin is home to some of the rarest plant species in Washington, not to mention over 40% of the butterfly species in Washington can be found in this 14,300 acre hotspot!
Sign at entrance on Stalder Road
This bullsnake wasn't very happy about me waving my butterfly net at him to get him to move off the road, he reared his head and hissed at me the whole way, but he obeyed!  These and rattlesnakes are frequently killed on the main road through the Sinlahekin, some by accident, some on purpose.
Bullsnake sunning itself on the county road north of the Sinlahekin Headquarters
Bighorn Sheep lambs resting in an area that was controlled-burned in April
The lambs got nervous at me watching them, so started to wander over to the adults, one started nursing.
Five lambs and nine adults, one adult (left) has a radio collar.
Rocky slope above upper Sinlahekin Creek, where the first Arctic Blues (Plebejus glandon) and Pale Crescents (Phyciodes palla) were found - it's even steeper than it looks!

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