Wednesday, April 09, 2014
by Corinna of TheFrogBag
Ohlone Tiger Beetle
Because of the Ohlone’s very specific habitat requirements it was already in trouble by the time anyone noticed it.
Emerging from the ground for only about two months each year in the early spring, these bright green insects are found in just five spots in Santa Cruz County, California and nowhere else. Open grasslands with clay soils on the coast are becoming a thing of the past in the west, and as they disappear they take their flora and fauna with them.
These particular ground beetles prefer quiet dirt tracks for hunting, breeding, and building their burrows, but such trails are overused in densely populated California. Small animals like tiger beetles are easily trampled underfoot by unwary mountain bikers and hikers, not to mention horses and dogs. Invasive non-native plants complicate things further, as does the overuse of pesticides and urban run-off.
And that’s the true beauty of the Endangered Species Act. No single species exists in a vacuum. Each is a part of a complicated ecosystem. Predators are often especially important. Even predators that happen to be boneless, tiny, and green.
Posted by Brizel Handcrafts on Wednesday, April 09, 2014