MWC Eco-brief: Raptor Perches in Prairie
On the tallgrass prairie, prior to European settlement, large swaths of the landscape were free from shrubs or trees. Prairie songbirds often perched on towering prairie flowers, such as compassplant, to sing. Most prairies that remain today are small, invaded by shrubs and trees, and are surrounded by fencing that can be used as perches by raptors. Many true prairie species, such as the greater prairie chicken, have experienced significant population declines where such raptor perches have tipped Nature's balance in the predators favor. Prairie restoration efforts must consider, and mitigate for, this risk to be truly successful in addressing obligate prairie species habitat needs.