By Alexis Larsen May 2020 Beyond the craggy cliffs and crashing waves, the Oregon coast is host to a diverse array of habitats that support unique flora and fauna. However, these coastal ecosystems are among the most rare and impacted ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest. As a result, threatened species like the Oregon silverspot butterfly […]
By Rolando Beorchia January 2020 Restoration work at IAE is often like a multi-headed hydra (we’re talking the cute cousin to anemones type of hydra, not the scary monster that Hercules killed). Each project has multiple “arms,” including property owners, staff, funders and sometimes researchers, who all have to come together to make the magic […]
By Ian Silvernail October 2019 Prairie habitat once existed extensively along the Oregon coast, most commonly occurring on stabilized dunes, headlands, salt-spray meadows, and on some coastal, montane peaks. Today, the few remaining coastal prairies are significantly degraded, and the loss of this habitat has resulted in a significant reduction in many of the animal […]
IAE has been helping restore the Cannery Hill Unit of Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge since 2011, converting non-native grasses of this former dairy pasture into a healthy coastal meadow to support reintroduction of the federally threatened Oregon silverspot butterfly (Speyeria zerene ippolyta). The species favors salt-spray meadows, but has declined to the point that […]
In June we traveled to the north coast by Astoria, OR and Long Beach, WA to assess the health and restoration potential at several different coastal prairie sites. Three of the five sites were located on land managed by the North Coast Land Conservancy, a non-profit that tackles conservation projects from the Columbia River south to Lincoln City. The other two sites are located on land owned by the National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The ultimate goal of this project is to evaluate the effects of adaptive restoration techniques on coastal prairie. The results of this project will provide useful information for future restoration efforts of coastal prairie, which is native habitat for the Oregon silverspot butterfly. In order to research the best adaptive management methods for prairie restoration, three techniques and a control were established: herbicide, soil inversion, and soil removal. The success of each restoration method is evaluated by collecting plant community data in all research plots every year. Within each plot we estimated percent cover of all plants occurring in four square meters. The plot photos are pictured below:
Look for more information on these study sites and coastal prairie restoration efforts in a future edition of the Native Plant Society of Oregon's Bulletin!