Photo by Dan Siefert
From worms to bobcats, animal species are abundant at Vicksburg National Military Park. But whether or not you see them when you visit the park depends on when, where, and how closely you look. Some species, like squirrels and turkey vultures, are commonly seen. Others, like alligators, bobcats, and beavers are much more secretive in their movements. But whether or not they are seen and appreciated by humans is not as important as each species' worth as a member of a functioning ecosystem. From the frogs and salamanders that act as ecological barometers; to the birds migrating through long-distance from South America; to the crayfish, mussels and fish making these southern streams their natural home; to the chiggers and mosquitos causing that unpleasant itching sensation; to the snakes and deer you catch slithering and bounding out of sight- all these animals and more help make the military park a haven of biodiversity in an ever more quickly developing world.