In summer, Wolf Road Prairie is a landscape dominated by blazing star, yellow coneflower, monarda, rattlesnake master, Culver's root and other showy and colorful prairie plants.
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Natural Features and Importance of Wolf Road Prairie
Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve is recognized as the largest and best quality remaining tract of typic black soil (mesic) prairie east of the Mississippi River. The site was found to contain about 40% of the remaining grade A and B mesic prairie in the Northeastern Morainal Division of Illinois. While mesic prairie is the dominant community, dry-mesic and wet-mesic prairie, marsh, sedge meadow and mesic savanna also occur.
Over 360 native plant species have been recorded, including federally and state threatened and endangered species. More than 300 insect species have been identified, with at least 28 remnant dependent butterflies, moths and other species, including three found nowhere else in Illinois. 138 species of birds have been recorded at the site. The mesic savanna at Wolf Road Prairie is considered globally imperiled and among the rarest community types on earth according to the Chicago Wilderness Biodiversity Recovery Plan.
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