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Wednesday, June 5 • 1:30pm - 1:55pm
Louisiana Coastal Prairie Extirpation to Rediscovery: Building a Foundation for Large Scale Grassland Restoration in Southwest Louisiana though Preliminary Aerial Imagery

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Louisiana had about 2 million acres of prairie similar to the Midwestern tallgrass prairies, prior to European colonization.  By 1986, coastal prairie was thought to be extirpated form Louisiana.  However, several small coastal prairie remnants were discovered in the late 1980s to early 1990s although fragmented and often degraded.  While coastal prairie habitat has been much reduced from its former extent, several large (~1,000 – 100 acres) promising prairie remnants have recently been discovered (2010-2018) in the western limit of Louisiana’s historical coastal prairie range.  Based on a preliminary review of remote sensing data and aerial imagery, additional unreported potential coastal prairie remnants may persist in both Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes of Louisiana.  The project goal is to identify additional prairie remnants and lands that may best serve as connective corridors or buffer properties for these fragmented remnants via remote assessments.  Eventually, one the parcels containing potential grassland buffers or connective corridors have been identified, field assessments are conducted to rank each parcel based on floristic quality index, proximity to coastal prairie remnant, and overall natural site health.  Although, in the early stages this work has identified several high-quality grassland parcels.  Eventually the data will be used to develop conservation opportunity areas to focus future preservation and restoration efforts.


Brian Early

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Steve Nevitt

Cajun Prairie Habitat Preservation Society

Wednesday June 5, 2019 1:30pm - 1:55pm CDT
Room 1418, The Forest Room