Management and Research Needs for Endangered and Threatened Plants, Sand Prairie Vegetation and Habitat-Restricted Animal Species at the Savanna Army Depot Carroll Co. and Jo Daviess Co., IL
Date createdAugust 1995
AbstractThe Savanna Army Depot contains 7,000 acres of sand prairie and savanna that provide habitat for ten Illinois endangered or threatened plant species, at least eight species of obligate prairie birds, including the state endangered upland sandpiper, and at least seven small mammal species. Persistence of these species depends upon maintenance of their sand prairie ecosystem, which has been degraded by overgrazing and fire protection. In order to restore the original vegetation structure and species diversity of this vegetation, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service requested the Savanna Army Depot to reduce grazing levels and reintroduce prescribed burning to the sand prairie ecosystem. Experimental monitoring is needed to understand how to regulate grazing and burning in order to insure that populations of endangered and threatened plants and animals increase or persist. This report quantifies the abundances of rare plant populations, sand prairie birds, and small mammals at the Depot. In relation, we examine the effects of grazing exclusion and late spring prescribed burning on vegetation, and assess the potential effects on rare plants and prairie birds and small mammals.