Prairie restoration is a type of habitat conservation, for prairies and habitats that lived alongside prairies. It is the act of restoring land that was once native prairie to how it once was. In North America this is usually defined as pre-settlement, meaning before Europeans arrived. Much of this land is good for farming and has been plowed for planting crops or turned into pastures. In Illinois, there was once 22 million acres (9 million hectares), now there are less than 2300 acres (920 hectares) of high-quality original prairie remaining.
Invasive plants and trees[change | change source]
Invasive species are a big problem with prairies. Since fires cannot burn freely, many new species are taking over, and preventing sunlight from reaching shorter plants. In the United States, European buckthorn is a common problem. Garlic mustard is another. Often areas that once held a hundred different species of plants now only has three or four species.
Restoration techniques[change | change source]
- Controlled burns
- Brush cutting
- Seed collecting
References[change | change source]
- "Illinois Prairies". IL DNR. Retrieved 6 April 2013.