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Prairie Potholes. Kendra Audilett Tracey Hill Brandon L. Location. Various parts of North America.. Three Distinct Provinces Minnesota Canada Iowa. America’s Duck Factory. Potholes are critical for the resting, feeding, and nesting habitats of migratory waterfowl.

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prairie potholes

Prairie Potholes

Kendra Audilett

Tracey Hill

Brandon L

  • Various parts of North America..

Three Distinct Provinces

  • Minnesota
  • Canada
  • Iowa
america s duck factory
America’s Duck Factory
  • Potholes are critical for the resting, feeding, and nesting habitats of migratory waterfowl.
  • Prairie Potholes produce more than half of the U.S. waterfowl population giving the region the name………..
schaefer prairie minnesota
Schaefer Prairie, Minnesota
  • History
    • Land purchased in 1881
    • Land purchased in 1967
  • 160 acres- least disturbed.
  • Who uses the land now?
Researchers have tested the soil in the area surrounding this area and suggest that the area was once forested with Spruce and Larch trees some 10,000-12,000 years ago.
  • Pine and deciduous trees dominated the next 2,000 years.
  • The remaining 8,000 years, researchers determined that prairie plants began to occupy the area.
  • Thus, Prairie Potholes in Schaefer Prairie can be said to have been in existence for approximately 8,000 years.
what can you find at this location
What can you find at this location?
  • Over 275 plant species
    • ex. Cattails, Lady’s slipper
  • Many animals
    • Northern Leopard frogs
    • Upland Sandpiper, Bobolink, American Bittern and many more…..
schaefer prairie restoration
Schaefer Prairie Restoration
  • The land is divided into different sections and every four to five years, one section is burned and new seedlings are planted.
  • A showcase section is presented for visitors for educational purposes.
  • Native American tribes were the first inhabitants of Manitoba. As the European immigrants continued to move westward they continued their travel north. When the settlers first arrived they set up camps to teach the natives, Christianity.
  • Initially the settlers had no interest in the potholes because they deemed them as the “holes of evil.” They then realized that if they covered up the potholes they would be excellent for harvesting crops. Since the settlers were so successful in destroying the Prairie Potholes there was plenty of food. This of course enticed more and more to settle in Manitoba.
Before the settlers arrived, the potholes were used by Native Americans for medicine, hunting, and picking berries in the summer time.
  • After the settlers arrived, they destroyed everything that was natural to the land including animal life, such as buffalo. This ended the way of life for the native tribes
  • Prairie Potholes now cover only 41% of the acreage in Manitoba
manitoba restoration
Manitoba Restoration
  • North American Waterfowl Mgmt Plan
  • Canadian Council
okoboji iowa
Okoboji, Iowa
  • History:
    • At one time 80% of Iowa was prairie land which was approximately 7.6 million acres.
    • Today, approximately .01% exists
  • What happened??
    • Potholes were drained to gain cropland as well as to make new roads, towns, cities, and industries.
    • Soybean and corn fields now replace most of these Prairie Potholes.
The Prairie Pothole region lies in the upper Midwest portion of the state.
  • In 1850-1860 the federal government passed the “Federal Swampland Acts”
    • This act led to the numerous accounts of wetland drainage. The land was then sold by the state for 25-75 cents per acre.

The Consequences…..

    • Vast drainage greatly affected the Giant Canadian Geese population that frequented the lands.
    • The young were captured, their nests robbed for the eggs and the adults killed.
    • It was thought that these animals were to be extinct until 1960, when a biologist found private stocks among farmers in the area
what can you find at this location15
What can you find at this location?
  • Plants
    • Cattails, Bulrushes, Bur reeds, Arrowheads, Wollfia, etc.
  • Animals
    • Muskrat, mink, ducks, geese shorebirds, fish, salamanders, turtles, and much more….
okoboji restoration
Okoboji Restoration
  • Adopted two programs
  • Ducks Unlimited
    • One-dollar duck stamp
    • Five-dollar duck stamp
what is ducks unlimited
What is Ducks Unlimited?
  • Ducks Unlimited conserves, restores and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s Waterfowl. These habitats also benefit other wildlife and people.
where is ducks unlimited

Ducks Unlimited is restoring habitat in all fifty states across America.  With a national headquarters based in Memphis, Tennessee, DU also operates out of four regional offices covering the entire country. 

Where is Ducks Unlimited?