The Konza Prairie is owned by The Nature Conservancy and Kansas State University, and is operated as a field research station by the university's Division of Biology. It is one of 26 sites within the Long Term Ecological Research Network.
It has a continental climate characterized by warm, wet summers and dry, cold winters. Average annual precipitation (32.9 in, 835 mm) is sufficient to support woodland or savanna vegetation; consequently, drought, fire and grazing are important in maintaining this grassland. The site is topographically complex with an elevation range from 1050 to 1457 ft (320 to 444 m). In addition to the dominant tallgrass prairie, Konza contains forest, claypan, shrub and riparian communities. Limestone outcrops are found throughout the landscape.
The Konza is the largest remaining area of unplowed tallgrass prairie in North America. It supports a diverse mix of species including 576 vascual plants, 31 mammals, 208 bird species, 34 types of reptiles and amphibians, 20 kinds of fish, and over 700 types of invertebrates. A herd of approximately 300 bison is maintained on the Konza, and native White-tailed Deer and Wild Turkey are often present in large numbers.
The public is allowed onto portions of the Konza Prairie through three loop hiking trails (approximately 3, 5, and 7 miles). The rest of the preserve is opened up for educational tours and for the Biennial Visitors' Day. The next Visitors' Day will be held on September 27, 2008.
KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY'S KONZA PRAIRIE BIOLOGICAL STATION FINALIST IN 'EIGHT WONDERS OF KANSAS GEOGRAPHY' COMPETITION
Jan 16, 2010; MANHATTAN, Kan., Jan. 15 -- Kansas State University issued the following news release: Kansas State University's Konza Prairie...