North American Prairie Conference


Date of this Version



Published in Prairie Pioneers: Ecology, History and Culture: Proceedings of the Eleventh North American Prairie Conference, August 7-11, 1988, Lincoln, Nebraska (Lincoln, NE 1989).


Killdeer Plains is a Wildlife Area in northwest Ohio managed primarily for waterfowl. At the turn of the century, the area was a wet prairie remnant of the prairie peninsula. Despite attempts at drainage and farming, parts of the area retain the characteristics of a wet prairie. Two spruce-pine (Picea - Pinus) clumps in the plains are used as winter roosts by long-eared owls (Asio otus). Pellets regurgitated by these owls were examined to determine the species and relative numbers of small mammals in the area. Nearly 90% of all individuals taken by the owls were meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus). The rest were prairie deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdi), white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), northern short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda), masked shrews (Sorex cinereus) , southern bog lemmings (Synaptomys cooperi) , prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) , and house mice (Mus musculus). This small mammal community may be quite similar to the one that occupied the area in its natural state.