swamps and preys upon the completely aquatic western lesser siren and three-toed amphiuma. These snakes will also eat mole salamanders, which take shelter and breed in shallow, fishless bottomland pools and swamp leaf litter. Swamp rabbits are well-adapted to their habitat by being good swimmers. They can escape predators by diving into water and paddling with all four feet. Unfortunately, despite a high reproductive rate, they, like so many other swamp species, are declining due to the rarity of their lowland habitats.
Landowners, What You Can Do:
If you are a landowner with existing or historic bottomland hardwood forest or swamps on your property, there are many things you can do to conserve or restore these rare natural communities:
- Enroll acres in the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) administered by the United States Department of Agriculture. WRP is a cost-share program aimed at restoring former wetland areas on private land. Regional MDC offices can provide more information
- Protect existing forested corridors along rivers and streams or replant these areas with native bottomland trees. Not only do these forested areas provide habitat for wildlife, but they prevent erosion that could otherwise degrade bottomland forests downstream.
- In the southeastern lowlands, preserve remaining swamps, sloughs and ox-bows.
- Improve habitat for any known or historic populations of animals or plants native to bottomland forests. Regional MDC offices can provide more information.
If You Are Not a Landowner, You Can Still Help:
- Get involved with groups that are working to conserve bottomland forests and swamps in Missouri, such as Ducks Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy.
- Participate in the 9th Annual Endangered Species Walk/Run Race, featuring bottomland forests and swamps (see page 20).
Visit bottomland forests and swamps such as Mingo NWF or Duck Creek CA to learn more about these lowland treasures.
2007 Endangered Species Walk/Run Race
New this year: Course certified by U.S. Track and Field and chip timing!
Are you ask quick as a swamp rabbit? Or do you prefer a leisurely pace, like a western chicken turtle? These animals live in bottomland forests and swamps, which is the theme of the 9th Annual Endangered Species Walk/Run Race on Oct. 13. You can help protect Missouri’s endangered animals and plants and help keep their habitats healthy by participating in this event. You can run, walk, or even push a baby stroller!
Race proceeds go toward helping endangered species in Missouri. Funds from past races have been used to study rare wetland birds and cave fish, develop