In Nachusa's former corn fields, such quality plants as pale purple coneflower and white prairie clover
now bloom by the thousands over hundreds of acres. Too many cows damage such vegetation.
At Nachusa, bison seem to avoid it, so far.
- Plant communities: 22 fenced-off grazing exclosures with transects inside and outside each fence – plus over 100 additional permanent transects
- Data on endangered plant populations including the prairie bushclover and prairie white-fringed orchid
- Breeding bird transects and “point counts”
- A number of long-term studies of invertebrate animals
- Telemetry tracking of ornate box turtles and Blandings turtles
- Snake monitoring transects
|At Nachusa, some of the high, dry "grazed out" knobs have recovered to an impressive degree.|
Will the buffalo herd reverse that recovery - or speed and improve it yet more?
|Twenty two exclusion fences will help Nachusa monitors study the impacts of bison - pro, con, and otherwise.|
- “How often and under what conditions will nature burn?”
- “In the absence of wolves, should conservationists cull deer?”
- “Will we bother to go to the hard work of restoring mega-fauna (like bison)?”
- “Should a given preserve have 50 bison? Or 250? Or how many?”
- “Should endangered species get extra care, or allowed to go belly up?”
|Stewards control invasive weeds on Dot's Knob. There may never have been a large grassland |
with as much stewardship help as Nachusa. But every steward agrees, it deserves more.