Conserving prairies full of conservative plants makes sense for the larger conservation effort. Right? Because prairies with lots of rare plants also have lots of rare insects, rare bird species, etc. Right? Well – maybe not. In fact, while there are a few instances in which that’s true there are many more cases where it’s not.
A new study looks at 20 years of data concerning the consequences of burning Flint Hills prairie at different times of the year. It finds that burning outside of the current late spring time frame has no measurable negative consequences for the prairie, and in fact, may have multiple benefits.
Prairie restoration can be a powerful tool for grassland conservation, but we’re not taking advantage of its full potential. Too often, we think and talk about prairie restoration (aka prairie reconstruction) in the wrong way. Instead of trying to restore an ecosystem, we try to reproduce history. Read more...
The most challenging aspect of prairie management may be evaluating what’s happening on the land and what to do about it. What should you focus on as you walk around a prairie? Which plant species can tell you the most about the current condition of the prairie community? How do you know whether changes in the plant community are short term weather-related changes, versus an indication of a long term trend?
You can find a most interesting discussion of site evaluation here and here.
Now is the time to enjoy great horned owls setting up their nesting territories.In this season of cold, snow and holiday music, the North American bird breeding and nesting season seems months away.It’s not until the trees begin to bud and flowers bloom that the birdsong fills the air.
Every day, we are barraged by headlines reminding us of the urgency for conservation organizations to enhance their effectiveness in protecting – and re-creating – places for nature in an increasingly crowded, constrained and changing world.
When I photograph small creatures, I often try to position myself so I can look right into their eyes. I like face-to-face images because they feel very personal. One of the most important catalysts of conservation is the personal connection people feel with nature and the species we share the planet with. It’s one thing to see a caterpillar from a distance, but when you look into its eyes… well, they’re just so darn cute! It’s a lot harder to step on something or plow up its habitat once you’ve met it face to face.