Cougar Canyon Ecological Reserve Overview: Biological and Physical

Posted March 8, 1990 | Categories : 108,Reports,Species List |
ORIGINAL PURPOSE To preserve representative Interior Douglas-Fir ecosystems, together witha chain of small lakes and associated wetland.
The reserve lies on the moderately rugged western slopes of the Grizzly Hills. The ma jor physical feature is a narrow, relatively straight, sometimes canyon- like valley the length of the reserve. This appears to be a structural fault further eroded by glacial meltwater. A chain of six elongated lakes, two of which have three basins separated by wetlands, lie in the canyon bottom. Drainage through them is to the south. The valley bottom is narrow and steep cliffs occur on both sides of some lakes.
See the full pDF here: cougaroverview
Coniferous forest covers most of the reserve. Small areas dominated by ponderosa pine, sumac and bluebunch wheatgrass occur on south -facing slopes at the south end of the reserve. Mixed stands of Douglas- fir and ponderosa pine cover most of the remaining area. Common understory species on southern exposures are common and Rocky Mountain juniper, kinnikinnick, arrow -leaved balsam -root, bluebunch wheatgrass, and Wallace’s selaginella. Soopolallie, falsebox and pinegrass are abundant on north-facing slopes. Trembling aspen and Douglas maple occur in moist draws. Pondweed communitiesoccur in the lakes, and cattail-bulrush stands between several lakes. Small areas dominated by paper birch,western redcedar, or a mixture of these occur in the valley bottom. Fifty-eight species of lichens, nine liverworts, 47 mosses, 84 fungi and 318 vascular plants have been recorded.
Fifty-six species of birds have been noted. Ring -necked and mallard ducks and Canada geese nest at the lakes. Mammals include Mule and White-tailed Deer, Black Bear, Beaver, Muskrat, Coyote, Red Squirrel, chipmunk, and voles. Interesting reptiles here are the Northern Alligator Lizard, Western Blue Racer, Rattlesnake , and Painted Turtle

Blue listed Species:

Canyon Wren
Painted Turtle
Western Rattlesnake
White -throated Swift
aspen, trembling (Populus tremuloides)
balsam root, arrowleaf (Balsamorhizasagittata)
birch, paper (Betula papyrifera)
cattail, common (Typha latifolia)
Douglas fir(Pseudotsuga menziesii)
falsebox (Paxistima myrsinites)
juniper, common (Juniperus communis)
juniper, Rocky Mountain (Juniperus scopulorum)
kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
maple, Douglas (Acer glabrum var. glabrum)
pine, ponderosa (Pinus ponderosa)
pinegrass ( Calamagrostis rubescens)
pondweed (Potamogeton spp.)
redcedar, western (Thuja plicata)
selaginella, Wallace’s (Selaginella wallacei)
soopolallie (Shepherdia canadensis)
sumac, smooth (Rhus glabra)
wheatgrass, bluebunch(Pseudoroegneria spicata)
Bear, American Black (Ursus americanus)
Chipmunk (Neotamias spp.)
Coyote (Canis latrans)
Deer, Mule (Odocoileus hemionus)
Deer, White-tailed (Odocoileus virginianus)
Duck, Ring-necked (Athya collaris)
Goose, Canada (Branta Canadensis)
Lizard, Northern Alligator (Elgaria coerulea)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Muskrat, Common (Ondatra zibethicus)
Racer (Coluber constrictor)
Rattlesnake, Western (Crotalus oreganus)
Squirrel, Red (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)
Swift, White-throated (Aeronautes saxatalis)
Turtle, Western Painted, Intermountain–Rocky Mountain population (Chrysemys pictapop.2)
Vole, Red-backed (Myodesspp.)
Wren, Canyon (Catherpes mexicanus)