Megafauna Coming to a Grassland Near You!

Ok folks, this post isn’t about dinosaurs or fossils, but this news is too cool not to share here.

Bison are coming to Illinois.

Coming soon to a grassland near you!

Coming soon to a grassland near you!

To the Nachusa Grasslands near Franklin Grove, Illinois to be exact. Nachusa Grasslands are protected and managed by The Nature Conservancy and is highlighted as one of the Conservancy’s greatest successes. To date, over 3,000 acres have been preserved in conjunction with the Nachusa Grasslands project since 1986. The area supports a rich and diverse ecosystem of native plants and animals.

During the summer of 2013, scientists and volunteers with The Nature Conservancy, Northern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University and the Illinois Natural History Survey completed a comprehensive survey of the entire Nachusa Grasslands ecosystem. The results of their extensive survey indicated that the area was ready for bison to be reintroduced to the area.

That’s right, reintroduced. Contrary to what many of us learned in grade school, bison did not only roam the Great Plains between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. Their historical range stretched as far north as Alaska, west to Oregon and Northern California, south to the Gulf of Mexico, and east to the Atlantic seaboard. According to The Nature Conservancy’s website, they are planning to reintroduce bison to the Nachusa Grasslands this coming fall. Congratulations to The Nature Conservancy and all involved in the project!

 

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