U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Neal Smith
National Wildlife Refuge

bison calf nursing from cow
9981 Pacific Street
Prairie City, IA   50228
E-mail: nealsmith@fws.gov
Phone Number: 515-994-3400
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Bison have been re-introduced to the refuge as part of the effort to restore the tallgrass prairie ecosystem.
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  Wildlife and Habitat

Continued . . .

The refuge's remnant and restored upland prairies are dominated by tall grasses and studded with wildflowers. These merge with wetlands and seeps, which contain a diversity of sedges, grasses such as prairie cord grass, and wetland wildflowers.

Recovering savanna remnants are characterized by large, open, grown oaks and a wildflower- and grass-rich understory. Planted prairies and savannas exist in a sequence of development, with initial plantings in 1993, followed by annual plantings since then.

Among the mammal species at the refuge are bison, elk, beaver, badger, weasel and plains pocket gopher. Grassland birds include Henslow's sparrow, northern harrier, upland sandpiper, short-eared owl, sedge wren, dickcissel, field sparrow, grasshopper sparrow, bobolink, and both eastern and western meadowlarks.

The Federally endangered Indiana bat has been recorded on the refuge. Scientists catalogued 29 species of ants, including one believed to be new to science. A moth survey has revealed 530 species, also including one new to science. A nine-year effort to develop habitat and introduce the rare, prairie butterfly, the regal fritillary, has resulted in a resident population. Six species of native earthworms have been recorded on the refuge and are in the northern-most extent of their known range.

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