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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Avian Inventory of Tallgrass Prairie
National Preserve, Kansas, 1998-1999

Study Area


The inventory was conducted throughout TAPR, located in the Flint Hills of Chase County, Kansas. TAPR consists of the former ZBar Ranch, purchased by the National Park Trust (NPT) in 1994. The land was officially designated as a unit of the National Park system in 1996, although most of the preserve remains under the ownership of the NPT. However, the NPS will cooperatively manage the preserve and eventually own up to 70 ha.

TAPR protects approximately 3,800 ha of native tallgrass prairie. In addition, areas surrounding the creeks, springs, and former Zbar/Spring Hill Ranch Headquarters Area are forested. In 1998 and 1999, approximately 15 ha located adjacent to the schoolhouse (Southwind Nature Trail Area) remained unburned and ungrazed, 440 ha adjacent to Fox Creek remained planted with smooth brome (Bromus inermis), and 3,640 ha was burned and grazed annually. To date, the prairie is burned each year between mid-March and mid-April. Cattle are placed on the prairie between mid-April and 1 August. Actual cattle-stocking dates and densities vary from year to year (Barbara Zurhellen, personal communication).


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