Puget Sound Prairies Essay

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The Puget Sound Prairies, are an important example of a rare and unique ecosystem, that are quickly disappearing. Their disappearance is mainly due to human development and invasive plants, specifically nonnative perennial grasses, which pose another serious threat to these prairies (Stanley, Kaye, & Dunwitti, 2008).
Tucked away in Thurston County, WA, is one of the few remaining Puget Prairies. The Puget Prairies house countless species of grasses, flowers, insects, and mammals that are not present in any other part of Washington. Thurston County has a rainy climate like much of Washington, with an average of 13.5 more inches of rainfall than the United States average and an average of 136 sunny days per year ("Thurston County," 2016). These
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The Golden Indian Paintbrush is a native species that has been reintroduced by USFWS and The Nature Conservancy under the WHIP program ("Rare Species Are Finding," n.d.). Organizations working to save the prairies have bought up land that used to be prairies to seed native plants back into, “The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has its eyes on 300 acres of mounded prairie, 400 acres of wetlands and 40 acres of oak woodlands owned by Citifor Inc., near Maytown. The state agency, along with DNR, secured a $2.71 million state grant from the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation to buy this and other prairie lands in South Sound” (Dodge, n.d.). As well as native plant restoration, scientists are working to save animals and insects on the prairies. The checkerspot butterfly also had some larvae removed and bred in the Oregon Zoo, and the caterpillars have since been re-released into the habitat and are thriving Prior to that, there was only one parcel of land in which the rare butterflies were found ("Rare Species Are Finding," n.d.). Another animal species native to the prairies, the Pocket Gopher, has also been rescued from endangerment. Prairie volunteers captured many of the Mazama gophers from current development and moved them onto a Puget Prairie habitat that has already been restored ("Rare Species Are Finding,"
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