Nevada has many state wildlife symbols

With Nevada Day on Friday, Nevadans young and old may want to celebrate all things unique to Nevada. A good place to start is with Nevada’s state symbols.

“There are many new residents and even natives of Nevada who may not be familiar with the natural representatives of our state,” said Margie Klein, wildlife educator for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. “People may not realize it, but Nevada’s state symbols range from wildlife to minerals. “

The mountain bluebird (Sialia currucoides) is Nevada’s state bird and with its bright blue coloring is the most brilliant of the state symbols. As is true with many species, it is the male that exhibits this coloring, while the female is brown and blue. The mountain bluebird is a member of the thrush family, has a clear warbling song and lives at high elevations.

Nevada’s state reptile is the hard-shelled desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), the best known federally protected species in the state. The tortoise is native to the Mojave Desert and brumates through the winter months before showing up again after leaving its burrow in early spring.

With its heavy, curved horns, the desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) makes a stately silhouette against the sky and is easily recognized. The bighorn is Nevada’s state animal. Though best known as tools of battle during the rut, or mating season, its horns also circulate and cool the animal’s blood during the heat of summer.

Although Nevada is the driest state in the union, it does have a state fish, the Lahontan cutthroat trout (Salmo clarki henshawi). This large species of trout is found in many alpine streams and lakes throughout the state, as well as lowland waters where the alkali content prevents other trout species from living, Klein said.


Beginner’s fishing clinic scheduled

The Nevada Department of Wildlife will have a free fishing clinic for people of all ages Nov. 3 at Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs located off of Durango Drive and U.S. 95 in northwest Las Vegas. The clinic will cover the basics of fishing and such topics as casting skills, fish identification, bait and lure selection and knot tying. The course will end with participants putting their new skills to the test. Participants who are 12 years old and older are required to have a current Nevada fishing license. For more information and registration contact Ivy Santee at (702) 486-5127 ext. 3503, weekdays 8 a.m.-5 p.m.


Nominations sought for annual award

The state’s Board of Wildlife Commissioners is seeking nominations for the 2007 Wayne E. Kirch Nevada Wildlife Conservation Award.

The award is given annually to recipients who have demonstrated significant results towards conservation, management or enhancement of wildlife. An individual, nonprofit organization, outdoor sports club or business can be nominated for the award.

Selection of the winning nominee will be made solely from the official conservation award nomination form by a simple majority of votes from a judging committee that is made up of two wildlife commissioners, Nevada Department of Wildlife staff assigned to the Kirch Award Committee, and Marlene Kirch, daughter of former commissioner Wayne E. Kirch. In addition, four judges representing County Advisory Boards to Manage Wildlife or outdoor groups will determine the recipient.

All required official conservation award nomination forms are available from the Nevada Department of Wildlife, 1100 Valley Road, Reno, NV 89512, or on the Web at www.ndow.org. This year’s award is for projects that occurred in 2007. To be considered, nominations must be received no later than Nov. 15.

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