Montana Public Radio

Montana Natural History Center

The Ungulate Mating Calendar Demands Tight Timing

Sep 22, 2020
Skeeze - Pixabay

I've seen white-tailed does and fawns in my yard all spring and summer. But just last week I saw two bucks. Why would bucks show up now, when it seemed that only does and fawns lived in the area? Well, if spring is for the birds, then fall would have to be the season for ungulates.

Lichens are a combination of fungi and algae living together in a symbiotic relationship. In this symbiosis, the fungi and algae benefit from each other. This evolutionary adaptation allows lichens to grow in some incredibly harsh environments: in deserts and in the Arctic, on barren tundra and on bare rock. Lichens grow in such rugged environments that some early naturalists thought they existed on nothing but air and sunlight.

Zion National Park (CC-BY-2.0)

Yellowstone National Park has lost much of its aspen forest cover — not just to the detriment of the aspen, but to all the other species that depend on them, including many birds, black bears, snowshoe hares, porcupines and beavers. I, too, miss the aspen, its knobby white trunk standing in stark relief against the dark-barked backdrop of spruce, fir and pine that forms most of my visual diet.