Indiana Chapter of the Nature Conservancy acquired 23 bisons from another nature conservancy in South Dakota.
These bison are now roaming free over 1,100 acres at the Kankakee Sands Nature Preserve in Newton County, which is in northwestern Indiana. To see bison roaming over a large restored prairie is something amazing. It took a lot of work, money and help from many people to accomplish this welcome event.
The Nature Conservancy has been planting native prairie and marsh plants since 1997, slowly restoring thousands of acres from farmland to their native state. Earlier this fall, the first herd of bison were released onto the land. Now 23 bison roam the prairie.
Aside from being super cool to watch, the bison also help with prairie restoration. They keep down tree saplings, which stop the prairie from becoming forest, they eat grasses but not native wildflowers, which lets those plants get ahead, and they cut furrows in the dirt with their hooves, which make seed dispersal easier.