Here at St Mary’s University we have our own collection of wild animals that eat plants, i.e. they are herbivores. These include Richardson’s Ground Squirrels (RGS), snowshoe hares and many small rodents like mice, voles, etc.

Being adjacent to Fish Creek Provincial Park also means that animals from the park come onto campus, especially deer. With no fences, these animals are able to eat any plant that they want.

Some plants protect themselves with bad tasting compounds, for example milkweeds. Other plants have thorns. Several species in the medicine garden are well protected by thorns. Prickly rose has thorns but Wild gooseberry is particularly thorny.

Flowering stems often attract herbivores. At least 2 flowering stems of the above black-eyed susan have been nipped off. The prairie alumroot below has also been grazed. See the rosette of leaves of one plant with 2 flowering stems nipped off. In contrast, one of the other alumroots was closer to a currant bush & some nettles and its flowering stem was able to grow & flower. These might well have been eaten by a snowshoe hare, which eat a lot of herbaceous plants (ie non-woody) in the summer.