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Where The Buffalo Roam!

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Ninety miles west of Chicago, staff and volunteers have worked since 1986 to restore Nachusa, a 3,100-acre mosaic of agricultural land and prairie fields. Thirty to 50 bison have arrived at Nachusa in livestock trailers from Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota and other TNC preserves. The conservancy has reintroduced bison to multiple preserves across the country.

By taking seeds from the prairie remnants, volunteers have replanted native species like wild petunias, hazelnuts and hawthorn berries. So far about 2,500 acres have been planted to prairie fields. Volunteers have also participated in controlled burns, another key to keeping the prairie alive. Bison graze young grasses down to the nubs but skip over wildflowers and other native plants. That gives a variety of plant species space to grow and gain a stronger foothold in the prairie.

Second, their weight. Bison hooves leave imprints in the soil, which helps space out plants. When they lie down, their 2,000-pound bodies create depressions where small pools can form in the rainy season—the perfect habitat for amphibians and reptiles, such as the threatened ornate box turtle.

Last, their poop. Bison pies are elixirs of nutrients for the prairie, spreading seeds, fertilizing the soil, and attracting insects—such as the dung beetle—to the region. Luckily for the box turtle, more dung beetles in the area means more meals for them as well.

“But it’s even more than that, It’s the little things too—when bison shed their winter coats, small animals have been recorded using their fur to build nests. That could increase their population, which could attract larger predators to the area.”
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lyndee

Thanks everyone. I'm glad you enjoyed the buffalo as much as I enjoyed seeing them.....and taking the pictures, even though, I had to wade through knee high weeds to get to the fence. I also was able to learn more about them too. :)

Dilubreuer

Like your educational narration lyndee...the buffaloes and the wild flowers are lovely as well!

smllpkg101

This is wonderful!

Brie1648

I didn't know this - how amazing is the interaction of animals. As Barb says, we are the only ones who muck it up. Human becomings!
I had the privilege of seeing bison at Yellowstone. One male walked straight through the car park - everyone stood still!
I remember reading that the herds were so vast they created their own weather systems - making their own rain clouds!
And then the men came along and shot them from railway carriages - how civilised and sophisticated was that - not!

SunnyBarb25

Man is the only species that is continually harming his habitat by his actions. All other species coexist in their given habitat. Sad but true. Thank you so much for the photos and the great info, Lyndee :)

lyndee

Thanks t53de, you are so right.

t53de711

they were slaughtered to deprive the plains Indians of food. once the bison were gone the Indians had no choice, but to go to the reservations.

lyndee

Thanks Florrie and you are very welcome.
BK, there was four calves in the herd. As the herd expands, they plan on opening up more Prairie land for them to roam. Right now, they have them in a 500 acre area.

Beekay

I agree with Florrie, that's great info. These are such massive animals and it's hard to believe the enormous herds that used to graze the prairie lands practically became extinct because of man.

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