Saturday, June 16, 2012

Wildlife Preserve

While visiting Kentucky last summer, we spent an afternoon at the Elk and Bison Prairie, located near Kentucky Lake, Land Between the Lakes.  It was a wonderful place to drive, offering the opportunity to see bison and elk in their natural habitat - from the safety of your vehicle, of course!  The Prairie is a restoration of a native habitat that was lost more than a century ago.  The enclosure is 700 acres and has several other wildlife species there - wild turkey, small game and some prairie mammals.  We were lucky enough to see the bison up close, but the elk were resting - probably because it was beastly hot!  We did spot one - but not very close, as you can see in the 3rd photo.

 In 1975, some biologists with Land Between the Lakes discovered a small patch of native prairie grass growing.  They suspected that Western Kentucky and middle Tennessee had once formed the eastern edge of a Great Plains ecosystem, maintained by Native Americans with the use of periodic fires.  The biologists set some small "controlled burns" and were very happy to see that prairie grasses were coming up from the burned area.  The seeds had been there all along - waiting for fire to provide germination.  There were several agencies that provided funding and assistance in the project to reintroduce the bison and elk.  Happily, we can now view the successful results of their work.

Just a glimpse of the elk!
Linking to Misty Dawn's Camera Critters.

13 comments:

thesedaysofmine.com said...

I didn't know there was such a place in Kentucky! Looks like fun!

onespoiledcat said...

What GREAT photos! I too didn't know about this place in Kentucky...amazing.

Pam and Sam

eileeninmd said...

It is cool to see they have this place in Kentucky! I have seen the elk and bison in Yellowstone. They are cool looking critters. Great shots. Have a happy weekend, Linda!

Beth said...

beautiful animals. i like the think about what the lands use to look like in the olden days ... you have probably seen "dances with wolves" with kevin costner ... can you imagine the sound & to watch those beautiful animals run. amazing i bet. have a good weekend. (:

Jan n Jer said...

Amazing animals...nice that they have a place to graze n live out their days in peace!

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

So nice there are places that restore the native habitat. Great photo of that bison.

TexWisGirl said...

that is really cool about the native grasses. bison always make me wish i could go after them with a shedding blade. :)

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Amazing looking creatures Linda, what a fantastic place, so nice to see animals, especially large ones, with lots of space to move around freely!

Pix at Under the Oaks said...

Good Morning Linda! Great pictures of such awesome animals. Had no idea about the Elk and Bison Prairie. You are a wealth of info for traveling, thanks for sharing the special places you discover!

Snap said...

I had no idea you could find bison in Kentucky!! Learn something new everyday!

Pamela Gordon said...

We have been to that area while visiting friends in Kentucky. The lake is beautiful. I didn't know about this nature preserve. And I didn't know a burning would regenerate the grass seeds. An interesting post. Thanks for sharing. Pamela

Carletta said...

I've just added Kentucky to my Bucket List. :)
I figured I'd have to get out west to see Bison. Now I know.
Great shots!
Thanks for the great info. So much good and we don't always know about it. At least I didn't.

EG CameraGirl said...

Bison sure are BIG animals!