Blackland Prairie Restoration
In Environmental Studies and Ecology courses at Austin College, and during summer research with Dr. Peter Schulze in 2002, I participated in restoration of native blackland prairie at the Clinton and Edith Sneed Environmental Research Area & Prarie Restoration Site.
These native prairie ecosystems are often converted for cattle ranching or agricultural development, and in many cases become overgrazed or overworked. Restoration techniques such as prescribed burning, periodic but intensive grazing to simulate native bison migrations and re-seeding or transplanting of native plant species can help to restore native biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. One common prairie species are box turtles, which are opportunistic feeders on fruits, insects and carrion. Here is one inside one of the barns at Sneed.