Plants and Animals

Species of Concern

Running Buffalo Clover

  • Common Name: Running buffalo clover
  • Scientific Name: Trifolium stoloniferum
  • Range: Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia
  • Classification: State and federally endangered
  • To learn more about endangered species: see links listed below.

Running Buffalo Clover once inhabited moist, shaded woodlands frequented by bison. The big grazers kept taller plants chewed down and fertilized the clover with their manure. The elimination of bison through unregulated hunting probably contributed to this plant’s decline. Competition from imported clover species might have played a role, too. Today, running buffalo clover is known to exist at only three Missouri sites. Two are on public land where they are protected. The discovery of a few plants in the Gasconade, Meramec, Cuivre and Loutre river basins leads experts to suspect that undiscovered populations might exist there. Running buffalo clover resembles some common imported clovers. It is different, however, in having a pair of leaves, each with three leaflets, on each flower stalk. If you find a plant matching this description, take close-up photos and contact the nearest Conservation Department office. Don’t disturb the plants!

Endangered Species

Walk/run features a certified course and chip timing.

Whether you’re a quick swamp rabbit or slow western chicken turtle, you can support imperiled bottomland forest wildlife Oct. 13 at the Endangered Species Walk/Run in North Jefferson City. The event raises money for endangered wildlife habitat. Events include a 10K run, 5K run, and a 5K walk. Participants receive T-shirts featuring bottomland forests and swamps. Winners get medals depicting Missouri endangered species. There are also youth teams and a kids’ postcard contest this year. For more information, visit online.

Migrating Teal

Watch for these speedy little ducks mid-September.

Swooping and banking with astonishing agility, teal resemble miniature fighter jets as they patrol lakes and rivers looking for places to rest. These small ducks begin arriving in Missouri in August. Their numbers usually peak around mid-September, well ahead of larger ducks. Sandbars on larger rivers and shallow coves on big reservoirs are good places to watch these harbingers of autumn. They are most active at dawn and dusk. Sit quietly at the water’s edge and you may hear the roar of the wind through their flight feathers before spying the birds coming in low over the water. Blue-winged teal are most common, but you also might glimpse smaller green-winged teal with gorgeous, iridescent emerald bars on their wings.