23 Jul Little preserve on the Prairie
Hey everyone, my experience here at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve has been truly unique and wonderful. These past 9 weeks I have learned so much about the wildlife and plant life here at the preserve that it feels like its just a summer course where I get to go and work outside. Seeing so many different and new wildlife species makes me truly grateful to have taken this internship and grateful to LHIP to have given me this opportunity to work here for the summer.
Out of all the species that I have seen, none have stuck to me and wowed me as much as the Bison. As you can see by the picture, there are Bison here at the preserve. There is a herd of approximately 100 Bison here at the preserve, with 13 to 15 of them being babies born this year. Seeing them for the first time was magnificent, especially the herd with the young ones being kept within the adults for safety. To see the herd you would normally have to walk from at least 0.5 miles or up to 2.5 miles, and that is assuming you will see them, sometimes they are not visible from the trail. However, the preserve does offer bus tours and since I had not previously helped in one, I managed to get to help in one of them and got to see the herd while passing by on the bus. The bus tours are daily and while I will not get to do one, since you need a CDL Driver’s license and it takes a lot of time, it was great to be able to go one of these tours. Bison are not only native grazers, but also an important species in the prairie ecosystem, as species was near the brink of extinction. Being from El Paso, a desert city, I never thought I would see Bison outside of a screen, but seeing them in person just feels like a totally different experience.
Helping to restore and maintain the prairie beautiful and wild is a goal of the people here at the preserve and I am glad to be able to help in that goal. The Prairie is a beautiful ecosystem that is home to many species, such as the magnificent Bison, and seeing that they are not only still alive but growing in numbers is a great thing to see. to preserve the prairie and educate others about it has been and will be my goal for the internship, and I hope to have other experiences such as this one in the future.