Thursday, June 23, 2005

Wildlife in the Highland Lakes Area

When people think of the wildlife in the Highland Lakes area, the first thing that usually comes to mind would be the deer. I have read that there are an estimated 5 million deer in Texas.

Llano County is the Deer Capital of Texas and we have plenty of deer here. On one evening drive through Llano County the four people in our car spotted over 120 deer during the 1 hour drive. That was an unusually high number of deer that evening.

We have a lot of other wildlife in our area. Some of the most interesting and unusual creatures are the armadillos. It seems like we used to have a lot more armadillos than we do now. I have spotted very few live armadillos in the past few years. About 10 years ago I counted 11 armadillos along side the road on a trip to Fredericksburg and back.

Another unusual animal is the ringtail. When I mention ringtails to people, they usually ask, "You mean raccoons?" No, they are not raccoons, but they do have a tail that is striped like a raccoon. They have a bodies similar to a squirrel but a little larger. Their heads look like miniature foxes' heads with pointed ears. Ringtails are nocturnal so they are seldom seen.

While watching TV about 9:00 one night we heard a bumping sound against the outside of the window, over and over. I went outside to discover a ringtail jumping against the window, catching bugs that were attracted to the light in the window. I did manage to get a picture of the ringtail one night. The picture is on the web site at

I also have spotted 3 different kinds of foxes in our area: red fox, grey fox and a kit fox. It seems that there are plenty of foxes in the Highland Lakes area.

There are also plenty of raccoons, opposums, 3 kinds of squirrels (red, grey and black), and even porcupines. I have never seen a live porcupine but have spotted a couple of porcupines on the roadside that had been hit by cars.

We even had a bear in the area several years ago. The Austin newspaper said that it probably came up from Mexico and was spotted as it went through our area.


Post a Comment

<< Home