Important Species

The following is a compilation of species which have been shown to be important to grassland ecosystems.  There is more in depth information available on many of these species in the management guides


Grassland Birds

Grassland bird populations are in a steep decline primarily due to habitat loss. The following list contains many grassland species that are native to Virginia.

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Native Forbs and Wildflowers

Forbs provide forage for white tailed deer and rabbits. Flowers provide nectar for pollinators and various grassland bird species consume insects attracted to grassland plants.

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Native Warm Season Grasses

Native warm season grasses improve wildlife habitat, provide more cover during the winter, and provide high quality forage during hot summer months.

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Pollinator decline is generally linked to habitat and forage loss and destruction of nectar corridors. Landowners can help by planting native plant species which are beneficial to pollinators.

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Invasive Species

Invasive species frequently create mono-cultures by out-competing valuable native plant species.

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Attention Landowners!

Oxbow Farm
Oxbow Farm - photo by Amy Johnson

We are seeking landowners as far south as Albemarle County to as far north as Frederick County who have at least 20 contiguous acres of native warm season grasses and are willing to have their land surveyed for native plants and wildlife.

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Become a Citizen Scientist

Citizen Scientist
Photo by Amy Johnson

Every Spring, Virginia Working Landscapes recruits citizen scientists to assist with plant, bird and pollinator surveys across the Piedmont of northern Virginia, from Frederick to Albemarle County for spring and summer.

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Virginia Working Landscapes
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
1500 Remount Road
Front Royal, Virginia 22630
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