Geographically isolated and comprised mostly of privately owned ranches, surprisingly scientific information exists regarding the the soils, vegetation, and wildlife which occur on the Zumwalt Prairie. One of the core values of The Nature Conservancy is to direct its conservation strategies in accordance to the best science-based information available. Soon after the Conservancy acquired the Zumwalt Prairie Preserve in 2000, the organization recognized the need for scientific inquiry into critical aspects of the prairie’s ecology and how key processes such as livestock grazing, fire, and invasive species affected these grassland ecosystems. Beginning with a study of the prairie’s raptor populations in 2003, the Conservancy has collaborated with universities and agencies for over ten years in its quest to find answers to key conservation questions. Over 10 published papers, dozens of reports and presentations have resulted in these efforts, broadening our knowledge of the biodiversity and ecological processes of the Zumwalt and informing stewardship and other conservation actions. Conservancy staff also serve on technical advisory groups, review boards, and in other roles to promote scientific inquiry and communication of information to landowners and other stakeholders.

Below is a list of people from universities,agencies, and other non-profits who have been involved in Zumwalt Prairie investigations. If you are interested in getting involved in Zumwalt Prairie Science, have questions, or have information to share, please contact Rob Taylor (rtaylor at tnc dot org).

  • Tim Delcurto, Oregon State University
  • Sandra Debano, Oregon State University
  • Brian Endress, San Diego Zoo
  • Mike Hansen, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Jerry Hustafa, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
  • Pat Kennedy, Oregon State University
  • Crystal Kolden, University of Idaho
  • Karen Launchbaugh, University of Idaho
  • Paul McDaniel, University of Idaho
  • Catherine Parks, U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Laboratory
  • Alan Sands, Idaho Department of Fish and Wildlife (retired) and Sage Wildlife Consulting

 Key Resources