Category Archive: 02 Endangered Species Animal Mazes

Apr 06 2014

The Mitchell’s Satyr Butterfly Maze

Mitchell's Satyr Butterfly Maze!

Mitchell’s Satyr Butterfly Maze!

Mitchell’s Satyr Butterfly

          The Mitchell’s Satyr Butterfly is one of the world’s rarest butterflies.  Named after professor J. N. Mitchell from the University of Michigan, by G. H. French, in 1889.  This butterfly depends on swampy wetlands with just the right PH level for the plants it relies on to grow.  These wetlands, called fens, were never very numerous and with the advent of modern civilization are under constant threat of development.  In addition to the direct destruction of the ecosystems the butterfly needs for survival, it faces indirect threats.  In some instances the water flow is altered enough that the fen loses it’s delicate PH balance, eliminating the sedges the butterfly depends on for survival.  In other cases, there may be a decrease in the native foliage the butterfly eats as they are replaced by non-native species.

          The Mitchell’s Satyr Butterfly starts life in the summer when a female butterfly lays eggs onto a leaf or other bit of swampy matter.  Those eggs hatch, and the emerging caterpillar goes through 3 molts before the winter sets in.  At that time, this amazing creature goes into a hibernation period under the snow.  When spring returns, the caterpillar goes through two more molts to finally emerge as a Mitchell’s Satyr Butterfly.  In this, it’s final form it has just 3 short weeks to find a mate, reproduce and lay eggs before it dies.  It is a small butterfly with a wingspan of about an inch.  It lives its entire life in only a small portion of the fen where it was born.

          The butterfly is found in the lower fifty miles or so of Michigan, along the Michigan border from the Toledo Ohio area west to lake Michigan.  In this area there are only 13 fens that meet the butterfly’s needs.  It is also found in a couple of localities in Indiana.  At one time, this butterfly lived in parts of Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Ohio; and also locations no longer suitable in Michigan and Indiana.  Recent populations discovered in Virginia, Mississippi and Alabama await DNA testing to see if they are truly Mitchell’s Satyr Butterflies, or another sub-species that looks very much like the Mitchell’s Satyr Butterfly.

Original artwork is copyright 2014 by Rob Hughes.  Drawn with india ink on 9″ x 12″ Bristol white vellum surface paper.  Made in Michigan.  Built to last.

This design is available as a greeting card. 

Download a PDF of the Mitchell’s Satyr Butterfly Maze here!

Here is the solution to the Mitchell’s Satyr Butterfly maze.

Resources (link takes you to the referenced article):

Biokids University of Michigan

United States Fish and Wildlife Services

United States Environmental Protection Agency

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Wikipedia

University of Michigan Animal Diversity for Kids

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The Xerces Society

Encyclopedia of Life 

Michigan State University

Pizza, Beer and Science

Permanent link to this article: http://heretoamaze.com/2014/04/06/the-mitchells-satyr-butterfly-maze/

Mar 30 2014

Louisiana Black Bear Maze

Louisiana Black Bear Maze

Louisiana Black Bear Maze

Try to solve the Louisiana Black Bear Maze.

The Louisiana Black Bear is a type of black bear that lives in the hardwood forests on the floodplains of Louisiana, Mississippi and east Texas.  One of 16 subspecies of the black bear, the Louisiana Black Bear is the only one that is endangered.  It is distinguished from the other subspecies by its relatively flatter, narrower and longer skull; and larger molar teeth.

The Louisiana Black Bear is an omnivore; and opportunistic in its feeding habits.  The majority of its diet comes from nuts and berries that are commonly found in its ecosystem.  Before the winter comes the black bear will add up to 30 pounds of fat to its body weight.  This is in preparation for the winter hibernation.  The bear will cease eating or drinking; and neither urinate or defecate for up to 5 months.  The bear’s heart rate drops from 40 or 50 beats per minute to 8 beats per minute.

Human development of the forests is the bear’s major threat to its existence.  Some of this is agricultural, some commercial and some residential.  In addition, the bear is considered a pest; getting in to garbage, and raiding grain silos and fields alike.  Therefore, many people may feel justified in killing these animals, even though it is illegal.

The bear was listed as an endangered species in 1992; and that same year was declared the state mammal of Louisiana.  People have threatened its existence; and people can help to make them more numerous.  We just have to leave their territory alone.

Original artwork is copyright 2014 by Rob Hughes.  Drawn with india ink on 9″ x 12″ Bristol white vellum surface paper.  Made in Michigan.  Built to last.

Download a PDF of the Louisiana Black Bear Maze here!

Click here for the solution to the Louisiana Black Bear Maze.

This design is available on a greeting card.

Permanent link to this article: http://heretoamaze.com/2014/03/30/louisiana-black-bear-maze/

Mar 16 2014

June Sucker Maze

June Sucker Maze

June Sucker Maze

The June Sucker is an endangered fish that is only found in Utah Lake, in north central Utah, and the lake’s tributaries.  As recently as 1999 there were fewer than 1000 of these fish living in the wild – a steep decline from the millions present in the early 1800’s.  Recent preservation efforts have increased the number of fish to about 250,000.  These new fish are raised in a man-made hatchery near the lake.  It will take time to see if they will find places to spawn in the wild, and then the sucker may be removed from the endangered species list.

One of the June Sucker’s immenent threats is non-native carp, first released in 1883, that now teem by the millions in Utah Lake.  These carp are no threat to a adult sucker (which may be as big as 2 feet from mouth to tail fin); however, the carp feed on the younger suckers.  Since a June Sucker takes many years to mature, they are susceptible to predation during that time.

In an effort to restore the overall well-being of the Utah Lake ecosystem about 2.5 million carp have been removed from 2011 – early 2014.  Another 3.5 million need to go before there will be a chance of ecological balance in this part of the world.  With proper funding this goal will be met by 2017.  The June Sucker is an indicator species which means it represents the health of the ecosystem it lives in.  Therefore the whole area that it lives in, the 150 square miles or so of Utah Lake, and the surrounding land mass, is in bad shape.

Original artwork is copyright 2014 by Rob Hughes.  Drawn with india ink on 9″ x 12″ Bristol white vellum surface paper.  Made in Michigan.  Built to last.

Download a PDF of the June Sucker maze here!

Click here for the solution to the June Sucker Maze.

The June Sucker fish Maze is available on a greeting card here.

Permanent link to this article: http://heretoamaze.com/2014/03/16/june-sucker-maze/

Mar 05 2014

Indiana Bat Maze

Indiana Bat Maze

Indiana Bat Maze

Can you solve the Indiana Bat Maze?

The Indiana bat is a very small bat that lives in much of the eastern half of the United States.  While there are still over 530,000 of these bats living; they are endangered.  This is because so many of them hibernate in so few caves.  About 8 caves serve as the winter living space for about 240,000 of these animals.  They cluster in groups, or singly, in these caves for about 6 months, hardly moving, in a deep state of stasis.  Any disturbance to the airflow or lighting conditions of the cave (for instance people with caving lights) may cause the animals to start moving around.  Since there is no food for them, this can be quite disastrous.

Another, more recent threat to bats in general, including the Indiana bat, is the White-Nose Sydrome.  This is a white fungal growth that comes upon bats, spreading from the nose out, and has resulted in the estimated deaths of 6.5 million bats (as of 2013).  As you can see, it is lucky that the Indiana Bat is still around as a species, since more than 12 times their population has been decimated by this disease.

The largest Indiana bats recorded are about 2 inches long.  They have a wingspan of about 9 inches; and weigh very little: about the weight of three pennies.  Despite their small size, a single Indiana Bat may eat as many as 1000 insects in the course of a single hour!  They help to keep the mosquito population down.

I hope you have fun solving the Indiana Bat maze!

This original artwork is copyright 2014 by Rob Hughes.  Drawn with india ink on 9″ x 12″ Bristol white vellum surface paper.  Made in Michigan.  Built to last.

Download a PDF of the Indiana bat here!

You can see the solution to the Indiana bat maze here.

Buy a greeting card with the Indiana bat on it here.

For more information about the Indiana bat, please visit the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s page about the animal.

Permanent link to this article: http://heretoamaze.com/2014/03/05/indiana-bat-maze/

Feb 26 2014

Florida Scrub Jay Maze

Florida Scrub Jay Maze

Florida Scrub Jay Maze

Enjoy solving the Florida Scrub Jay Maze.  It’s an easy maze!

Part of my series focusing on endangered animals, the Florida Scrub Jay is a representative for the whole sandy scrub habitat unique to Florida.  There are about a total of 90 plants and animals that rely on this particular mix of sandy dry soil, and the shrubs and dwarf oaks that grow there for their existence.  This ecosystem is unique on the face of the planet!  The land here needs to be protected, and it also needs to be managed, for wildfires help to encourage the life it supports.

The Florida Scrub Jay has a wingspan of about 13 inches, and can weigh as much as 2.5 ounces.  They typically live in small groups, with the monogamous parents’ young helping with territorial duties for the first year of life.  In the wild a Florida Scrub Jay will live about 4 years on average, though some specimens have lived as long as 11 years old.

The natural scrub habitat is under ongoing threat from development of subdivisions and citrus groves.  The birds will not fly much further than 3 miles to inhabit new territories, so it is essential that small patches within a few miles of each other are left alone so that the Florida Scrub Jay has somewhere to nest.

This original artwork is copyright 2014 by Rob Hughes.  Drawn with india ink on 9″ x 12″ Bristol white vellum surface paper.  Made in Michigan.  Built to last.

To find out more about the Florida Scrub Jay please visit this link.

Download a PDF of the Florida Scrub Jay Maze here!

You can purchase a greeting card with the Florida Scrub Jay Maze design here.

Here is the solution to the Florida Scrub Jay Maze.

Permanent link to this article: http://heretoamaze.com/2014/02/26/florida-scrub-jay-maze/

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