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The following schedule is subject to change (as of October 11, 2016). Please check back for updates. For more information about this meeting, go to: www.seafwa.org/conferences/2016
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Tuesday, October 18 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
Wildlife. Conservation of Coastal Prairie Rangelands in Southwest Louisiana

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AUTHORS: Christopher Reid, Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries Natural Heritage Program

ABSTRACT: Coastal prairie historically occupied 9 million acres stretching along the Gulf Coast from south-central Louisiana to southern Texas. This extension of tall-grass prairie from the eastern Great Plains is among the most imperiled habitats in North America, with less than 1% remaining. Most of Louisiana’s remaining coastal prairie acreage is utilized as rangeland. While coastal prairie rangelands are very promising, they are invariably degraded. Rangeland prairie floras typically include a mix of characteristic prairies species and weedy elements responding to past grazing pressure, soil disturbance, and fire exclusion. Inadequate fire has also resulted in woody encroachment by native and exotic species. In 2013, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) partnered with three ranches to improve prairie habitat on these properties. To date, LDWF staff have applied prescribed fire to 2,000 acres of prairie and have accomplished chemical brush control on 300 acres. Funding has been secured to continue vigorous prescribed burning and to perform chemical and mechanical brush control on coastal prairie remnants over the next three years. These stewardship actions are improving coastal prairie habitat quality and improving forage quality and quantity for cows. Accomplishments of LDWF’s coastal prairie conservation initiative will be reported and information from ongoing botanical and ecological research will be presented.

Tuesday October 18, 2016 1:20pm - 1:40pm
Riverview B

Attendees (6)