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NATURE
· Plants and Animals in the Dry Land
FIRST PEOPLES
· The Osoyoos Indian Band: Preserving Our Past, Strengthening Our Future
HISTORY
· A Scarcity of Water
This is a link to a map of the Grasslands of British Columbia with an optional close-up map of the Southern Okanagan.

FOCUS  Southern Okanagan

Plants and Animals in the Dry Land
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This is a photograph of a Great Basin Spadefoot Toad.
Great Basin Spadefoot Toad. Stephen Cannings.
Animals often escape the afternoon heat of the dry grasslands by staying underground during the day or even during the entire midsummer drought. Great Basin Spadefoot Toads dig into the loose soil with fingernail-like shovels on their hind feet, while Tiger Salamanders use the burrows of small mammals such as Northern Pocket Gophers. Mounds of earth punctuated with small holes under Antelope-brush (a yellow-flowering shrub) are the living quarters of Great Basin Pocket Mice. These diminutive relatives of kangaroo rats are nocturnal, emerging from their tunnels at night to feed on leaves, buds, seeds and insects. Their name refers to an external fur-lined pocket in each cheek, which is used to store food. Like their kangaroo rat cousins, they are capable of living without access to water.
Burrowing Owl young at entrance to underground nest. Richard Cannings.
This is a photograph of four young Burrowing Owls at the entrance to an underground nest.
The largest of the grassland burrowers is the Badger, a carnivore in the weasel family that preys on ground squirrels, mice and other small mammals. Its tunnels are often used by the Burrowing Owl, a migratory species that eats pocket mice in the spring and early summer, then large insects in the late summer and fall.
Northern Scorpion. Robert Cannings and Brent Cooke, RBCM.
This is a photograph of a Northern Scorpion.
Many invertebrates live underground or under rocks and other objects. The Northern Scorpion, a predator of small insects and spiders, hides from the daytime heat and hunts at night.
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