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Science and the Environment

MDC Adds Grassland Tract To Public Prairie In Western Missouri

Missouri Department of Conservation

A public prairie in western Missouri is now larger, and conservationists hope that will benefit grassland birds.  The Missouri Department of Conservation acquired a 320-acre grassland tract near the Wah’Kon-Tah (wuh-CONE-tuh) Prairie Conservation Area in St. Clair County.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, the acquisition filled a gap between existing tracts and will allow them to manage contiguous native grassland on the prairie’s northern boundary.

Stasia Whitaker, MDC wildlife management biologist, said in a news release, that fragmentation of surviving native grasslands has contributed to grassland birds being among the fastest declining species in North America.

MDC manages Wah’Kon-Tah (wuh-CONE-tuh) for native prairie plant and wildlife species.  Area cattle ranchers graze livestock on selected acres.

Much of the 3,350-acre prairie is owned by the Nature Conservancy, and parts of it are owned by MDC, but MDC manages the entire area.