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Natural Areas Increase Acreage

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Friday, July 16, 2010

In late June, ANHC purchased additional lands that increased the size of two natural areas: Kingsland Prairie Natural Area in Cleveland County and Nacatoch Ravines Natural Area in Hempstead County.

Kingsland Prairie Natural Area (left) and Nacatoch Ravines Natural Area (right). Click maps for larger images.

Kingsland Prairie Natural Area was increased by 200 acres, doubling its size to 400 acres. This natural area is in the upper part of the Coastal Plain and is a saline (salty) soil ecosystem containing saline soil barrens, post oak savanna, and pine-oak woodland natural communities. Research indicates that over thousands of years, conditions here created a salty soil called lafe. Lafe inhibits the growth of most trees and provides habitat for rare and endangered plants, including the federally endangered geocarpon (Geocarpon minimum). The site also supports a small population of wintering Henslow’s Sparrows (Ammodramus henslowii), one of the fastest declining songbirds in eastern North America.

Nacatoch Ravines Natural Area is located along State Highway 355 near McNab. The new 469-acre acquisition is a combination of conservation easement and fee title land, bringing the total acreage of Nacatoch Ravines Natural Area to 2,122 acres. This natural area is one of the largest and most intact examples of dry, dry mesic, and mesic upland forests remaining in the northern part of the Costal Plain. It supports seven plant species of conservation concern, including Arkansas oak (Quercus arkansana) and Durand’s white oak (Quercus sinuata). The rare southern redback salamander (Plethodon serratus) also occurs here. - See more at: http://www.naturalheritage.com/news-events/whats-new/natural-areas-incease-acreage/default.aspx#sthash.McCvn5L1.dpuf



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