Predators, Ponds, and Potential Peril

Avoiding predators is always challenging, but it’s even harder in human altered landscapes where the escape routes may not be as plentiful as they used to.

Evading large predatory fish in highly disrupted waters is just one of the many challenges faced by the Topeka Shiner, a small, freshwater minnow that lives in prairie streams throughout the Mississippi River basin. This endangered species must also contend with both native and introduced predators, including the largemouth bass, a species favored by anglers.

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Topeka shiner caught in Spring Creek located in Wabaunsee County KS.

The Topeka Shiner’s natural habitats have been significantly altered by human activities. Much of the area once covered by Kansas’s historic prairies has been converted to agricultural lands, and many landowners have dammed or dug out areas of stream to create small agricultural ponds. These ponds change and disrupt the habitats of freshwater fish, as do road crossings.

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Welcome!

Welcome to the new Science Snapshots blog! Here you will find weekly posts about the exciting scientific research taking place at KSU and beyond. The goal of these posts is to effectively share information about the questions K-State scientists are asking and the techniques being used to answer those questions in a short and to the point format. We also feature a Photo Gallery to provide a glimpse of what conducting scientific research looks like.

We currently plan to focus on research happening in the Division of Biology but hope to expand our posts to more areas of science as our list of contributors grows. Our first research post is up below, and we’re adding new photos to the gallery on a daily basis.

Read our first post, check back regularly for new posts and photos, and use the Contact page to send us any suggestions or comments you might have!

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