Chapter

Savanna and Prairie: Requiem for the Past, Hope for the Future

Mark K. Leach

in The Vanishing Present: Wisconsin's Changing Lands, Waters, and Wildlife

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780226871714
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226871745 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226871745.003.0008
Savanna and Prairie: Requiem for the Past, Hope for the Future

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This chapter examines what is left of prairies. Like savannas, the tall-grass prairies that once dominated the landscapes of southern Wisconsin have become one of the most threatened ecosystems in the country with less than 0.1% remaining. Many are aware of the efforts being invested in restoring prairie and savanna habitats. Fewer are aware of the fact that the precious few small remnant patches of prairie have lost many of their native species since the 1950s. Despite the depressing numbers, it is hoped that the patterns these losses reveal will help us learn how to better manage both the old and new prairies now under our care. Interest in science-based prairie restoration is growing, translating into some on-the-ground success stories.

Keywords: tall-grass prairies; southern Wisconsin; native species; prairie restoration

Chapter.  4399 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

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