Conservationist warns of Missouri’s disappearing prairie

Sunrise on the prairie

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A conservation expert says Missouri’s prairies are disappearing and the loss is hurting the state’s ecosystem.

Carol Davit is executive director of the Missouri Prairie Foundation. Davit tells KCUR-FM that prairies are rich in nutrients, serving as a natural habitat for pollinators that fertilize crops.

She says further destruction of prairies would reduce pollinators’ ability to thrive, which could affect food security in the state.

Davit is pushing to protect prairies from the development projects and agriculture efforts that have been plowing them down. She says restoring the grasslands could be beneficial as Missouri grapples with severe flooding this spring.

Prairie vegetation can absorb substantial amounts of stormwater, as well as reduce soil erosion.

Davit is calling for the planting of more native vegetation to restore some of the prairie’s ecological functions.

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