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Breaks in the Prairie

Rawhide Buttes in front of you is an island habitat within the shortgrass prairie. Because the Buttes contain forest habitat, they support different species of wildlife than the surrounding prairie. Elk, deer, turkeys, bobcats and mountain lions are found on the buttes. Historically, elk were native to this area but were killed off as food when the area was settled. In the 1960s the Game and Fish Department transplanted elk to reestablish the herd. The elk continue to thrive in their native environment.

Both mule deer and white-tailed deer are found in this area. Mule deer were not found here until the 1920s; and white-tailed deer appeared in the 1950s. Changes in the area due to agricultural development provided additional water sources, forage and predator control for wildlife.

Mountain lions, also called cougars, pumas or panthers, can be found in various habitats throughout Wyoming. The key to the presence of mountain lions is the existence of deer or elk. Mountain lions may kill sick or injured animals, thus improving the overall health of elk and deer herds.

Submitted by @danbrekke

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