Managing small prairies can present problems, according to the ecologist Chris Helzer with the Nature Conservancy, a blogger at The Prairie Ecologist. When many of us think of prairies we think of large stretches of low grasslands, speckled with wildflowers and (historically, or in some public refuges) trod under the hooves of bison. Prairie management efforts are usually geared toward these large swaths of land. But small prairies need to be managed as well, and their size presents different challenges—some wildlife steer clear of small patches of land, for example, and the ones that do dare to make their homes there are more easily found by predators and more at risk from fires. Helzer says it comes down to deciding what the objectives are for the space—manage to protect a certain species or to preserve a certain look, or take a broader approach—and then planning as best as possible to meet that objective.
Free Digital Issue: October 2015
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