Plants and Animals

Species of Concern: Bachman’s Sparrow

Common Name: Bachman’s Sparrow

Scientific Name: Aimophila aestivalis

Range: Southern Ozarks

Classification: State Endangered

To learn more about endangered species: explore the links listed below.

The Bachman’s sparrow once inhabited open, mature pine woodlands and glades in Missouri’s Ozarks. Clearing of the state’s pine forests dealt this species a blow. Later, fire suppression efforts permitted cedars and other trees to invade glades and open woodlands, further reducing suitable habitat. The species is not common anywhere within its range in the southeastern United States. Only three populations of these shy birds have been found in the Show-Me State since 2000, raising the specter that they could be extirpated within a decade. Ongoing efforts to restore pine woodlands on conservation areas in the Ozarks offer the best chance for this species’ recovery in Missouri. Bachman’s sparrows build open-cup nests near the ground and feed mostly on insects and seeds. These days, your best chance of spotting one is on large, open glade complexes in the southwestern Ozarks of Missouri.

Coins Celebrate Eagles, ESA

Proceeds go to the American Bald Eagle Foundation

The U.S. Mint has issued a set of eagle-themed coins to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act and to benefit the American Bald Eagle Foundation. The mint is offering a $5 gold coin, a silver dollar and a half-dollar clad coin, each of which is available in proof or uncirculated conditions. All are being produced in limited numbers, and none will be minted after this year. For more information, visit the links listed below.

Native Plant School

Classes show how to make nature work for you.

Native Plant School is in session, and Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit is providing the teachers. Most classes are offered on the second Thursday of each month. Upcoming programs include Identification and Control of Invasive Woody Plants Jan. 8, Planning and Design of Native Landscaping Feb. 12 and April 9, Growing Native Plants from Seed March 12, Native Perennials and Grasses for Landscaping April 16, July 9 and Oct. 8, Identification and Control of Common Garden Weeds May 14, Managing Land for Quail May 22 and Sept. 16, Storm Water Runoff and Rain Gardening June 11 and Prairie and Savanna Reconstruction Aug. 13 and Sept. 10 and Deer-Resistant Native Landscaping Nov. 12. For more information, visit online or call (636) 451-3512.