The high number of species found within the confines of Strandness Prairie creates a parade of flowers throughout the season, from pasque flowers in April to asters in October.
More than 150 forb species have been recorded at Strandness, including pasque flower, buffalo bean, yellow star grass, wood lily, bottle gentian and prairie gentian. The tract is reasonably free of alien plants introduced from adjacent agricultural land.
Insect inhabitants at Strandness include the arogos skipper, regal fritillary and phlox moth. The preserve originally supported the Dakota skipper and the poweshiek skipper, both now listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, but neither species has been documented here in recent years. Visitors will be serenaded by red-winged blackbirds, yellowthroats, sedge wrens, clay-colored sparrows and bobolinks.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
Strandess Prairie was acquired by The Nature Conservancy in 1972. The prairie is managed by prescribed burning to reduce accumulated plant debris from the previous growing seasons, and to suppress invasion by woody species. Three acres of agricultural trespass on the east edge have led to a severe problem with Canada thistle and bird's foot trefoil, which is being treated with herbicide and mowing. A prairie reconstruction project could convert trespass areas into native species.