January program to feature little known plants and animals of the Driftless Region

By | December 28, 2015

The exceptional landscape of the Driftless Region provides habitat for some unique plants and animals that are generally unknown to the human residents. These little-known residents of the region will be the topic of the Friends of the Black River’s January 13 meeting.

Next Wednesday’s meeting will be held in the Jackson County Bank’s community room beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Armund Bartz, a Driftless Region ecologist with the Wisconsin DNR’s Natural Heritage Conservation program, will give a presentation about the plants and creatures making their home in this biodiverse region.

The Natural Heritage Conservation program is responsible for caring for and monitoring the state’s endangered resources, nongame animals and natural areas.

For the last 18 years, Bartz has focused his career on the inventory, management and protection of Wisconsin’s rare species and natural communities.

“The blufflands of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois hold some of the best opportunities for remnant prairie and savanna restoration in the upper Midwest,” said Bartz. “This unique hilly landscape, has allowed numerous scattered remnants to be spared, in part, from the cow, plow and development. These sites are not only the last vestiges of unique flora, but are also the home for a wide variety of dependent vertebrate and invertebrate animals.”

Species of concern falling under the watchful eye of the Natural Heritage Conservation program include plants, insects, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. Along with the Karner blue butterfly, other species Bartz and concerned naturalists are monitoring include the wood turtle, the trumpeter swan and the American marten.

Stationed in La Crosse, Bartz is very familiar with Driftless Region. As part of his presentation, he will share a bit of the history of the environment of the area as well as information about some of the remnant prairies and savannas.

The public is encouraged to attend the free program. For more information, e-mail questions to info_fbr@yahoo.com

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