Ungulates

Ungulates are hoofed mammals that are typically herbivorous and have four legs.  Their molariform teeth are adapted for nipping or tearing off and grinding vegetation rather than biting in the manner of carnivores.  Most have a four chambered stomach and chew their cud or ruminate.  Hastily swallowed food is stored temporarily in the largest compartment, the rumen, the food then passes to the second stomach, the reticulum, where it is shaped into pellets, the cud.  While the animal is at rest, the cud is returned to the mouth and slowly chewed to pulp.  It then passes through the other two stomachs where digestion begins.  This complex process permits an animal to feed quickly, which reduces its exposure to predators in open country, but chew its cud at leisure in the relative safety of a concealed spot. 

Deer, Elk, Caribou, and Moose - Family Cervidae

Elk Cervus elaphus. Extirpated. May have been found statewide, except for southern third. A mix of open and densely wooded habitats probably were occupied by the eastern subspecies (C. e. canadensis), which is now extinct. Re-introductions to states within former eastern distribution have been successfully made with some of the western subspecies.

White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus. This common and important game species is a browser and grazer found statewide, including urban habitats. Throughout most of its distribution, breeding occurs October-January, but in Alabama, breeding usually takes place January-February with young born in late summer. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Fallow Deer Dama dama. Exotic. Breeder. Native to Europe. Has been introduced widely around the world, including the area around Camden, Alabama. Still a very small population near Miller’s Ferry.

SWINE - Family Suidae

Feral Swine Sus Scrofa. Exotic. Breeder. Probably introduced by European settlers originally, although subsequent releases of European "wild boars" and illegal trap and transplant operations by hunting enthusiasts have encouraged their hybridization and spread.  Considered a direct and aggressive competitor with native wildlife and destroyer of natural plant communities of the state.  Every opportunity for eradication should be undertaken.

Antelopes, Bison, Cattle, Goats, Sheep - Family Bovidae

Bison Bison bison. Extirpated. Plains subspecies (B. b. bison) once occupied mixed habitats associated with open grasslands and adjacent woodlands. Distribution was throughout most of state, except southernmost counties.

References Cited:

Mirarchi. Ralph E., ed. 2004. Alabama Wildlife, Volume One.  A Checklist of Vertebrates and Selected Invertebrates: Aquatic Mollusks, Fishes, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals.  The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, AL. 209 pp.

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