Invasive Species: Quagga Mussels
Quagga Mussels were accidentally brought to the Great Basin area, most likely through boats. These mussels eat a large amount of phytoplankton, which disrupts the natural aquatic food chains in this area.
Endangered Species: Springsnails
Springsnails are endangered in the Great Basin Desert because groundwater pumping for human usage in the area reduces the volume that water rises to the surface of the ground to form springs, which causes a decrease in the volume of water needed to form the snails’ habitats. Therefore, springsnails are endangered as a result of habitat destruction (H in HIPPCO)
The Chuckwalla Lizard's color pattern allows it to blend in with its surroundings in the desert, helping it to hide from predators.
Round-tailed Ground Squirrel
The round-tailed ground squirrel enters a long period of sleep similar to hibernation called estivation during the hottest and driest periods of the summer in order to survive when it cannot find much food. It also hibernates during the winters to avoid cold spells.
Great Basin Spadefoot
Great Basin Spadefoots have hard spades on their toes, which they use to dig burrows in the desert ground and to keep themselves safe in during cold and dry weather.
Plains Prickly Pear
The plains prickly pear has leaf pads that store water, allowing it to survive in this region that receives little rainfall. These pads also have sharp spikes on them that encourage predators not to eat them.
Bristlecone pines grow very slowly in the Great Basin Desert area, which makes their wood very dense and therefore more resistant to insects, fungi, rot and erosion in the desert.
Big sagebrush have small hairs on their leaves that help to prevent it from drying out in the harsh heat and wind of the desert.