Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


This investigation was conducted on Big Creek near Hays, Kansas. The study area, in the mixed-prairie association, is in the post-climax stage of succession. The principal plants of the area were: American elm, green ash, catalpa, Virginia wild rye, giant ragweed and western wheatgrass. The principal purpose was to make a complete list of the vertebrates, and to describe, as far as the data permitted, their ecological roles in the study area. Several methods were employed to sample the various populations. Amphibians were collected by hand, reptiles by means of barrier traps, and small mammals by snap traps. In the case of birds and large mammals observations and other indications of their presence was the only means of identification. A total of 165 amphibian specimens representing six species, five genera, four families and two orders was collected. The reptiles were composed of 15 specimens representing 16 species, 14 genera, and five families. Ninety species of birds representing 10 genera, 69 families and 12 orders were observed. In the case of the small mammals, 218 specimens were captured in a total of 2160 trap nights representing seven species. Large mammals present in the area either permanently or sporadically were composed of 14 species, 13 genera, nine families and five orders. Considerable information pertaining to food habits, habitat preference, and seasonal migrations was recorded.


G. W. Tomanek

Date of Award

Spring 1961

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1961 Jerrell L. Smith


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