Papers in the Biological Sciences


Document Type


Date of this Version



Prairie Naturalist (September-December 1980) 12(3&4).


Copyright 1980, North Dakota Natural Science Society. Used by permission.


The Arapaho Prairie is a 526-hectare (two-section) tract of upland Sandhills prairie located approximately nine miles southwest of the town of Arthur in Arthur Co., Nebraska (Sec. 31, 32 T18N R39W). The Prairie is at the extreme southwest edge of the 52,000-km2 Nebraska Sandhills (see Kaul 1975) and is floristically and ecologically typical of the slightly drier, western part of this vegetation type. Sandhills prairie which stretches across much of north central Nebraska is a unique type of "mixed" grassland (Pool 1914, Rydberg 1931, Tolstead 1942, Weaver 1965) created by impact of the dry, continental climate on the extensive sand dunes. It is dominated by both characteristic tallgrass prairie species and characteristic shortgrass prairie species in a distinctive combination.

Arapaho Prairie was purchased by The Nature Conservancy in January, 1977. Cattle were immediately removed, and the prairie is now being managed by the School of Life Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln for teaching and ecological research. Arapaho Prairie is currently one of the largest, ungrazed tracts of Sandhills prairie available for intensive scientific study.