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Rewilding the Shortgrass Prairie

Rewilding the Shortgrass Prairie

The shortgrass prairie has long been a hotbed for species diversity, but European settlement and subsequent over-hunting took a major toll on the prolificacy of bison and wolves. These animals, along with natural wildfires, served as cornerstones upon which the shortgrass prairie ecosystem relied. Disruption caused by the natural grazing of bison encouraged grass renewal, while wolves controlled bison numbers. Wildfire served a critical role in preventing overgrowth of grasslands by encroaching forests. Once these pillars of the shortgrass prairie were adulterated by man, the holistic diversity of the environment suffered, as well. Read about current efforts to reintroduce these key components back into the ecosystem.