Pawnee Prairie Natural Area

Driving Directions

From Hatfield, take West 140th Avenue south 0.50 mile.

Highlights

This prairie natural area is a remnant of the once-vast tallgrass prairie that covered much of northwest Missouri. Prairie restoration efforts are on-going. Several bird species of conservation concern can be seen on the area during spring and summer.

About This Area

Pawnee Prairie Natural Area is in northern Harrison County.

Pawnee Prairie was named for a Native American tribe that occupied the area. It is also the name of a nearby town.

This area represents a relict island of the once vast, rolling prairie of Northwest Missouri. Plants and animals unique to a tallgrass prairie ecosystem survive on portions of the area that have never been plowed. The remainder of the area is in various stages of prairie restoration. The area is part of the larger Grand River Grasslands Conservation Opportunity Area. The wide variety of grassland wildlife, especially birds, found here as well as tracts of unplowed prairie, indicate this is the best area in northern Missouri to restore a functioning tallgrass prairie ecosystem on a landscape scale.

The Missouri Department of Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and interested private landowners are working cooperatively to restore prairie in this landscape.

Periodic prescribed burning is used to preserve and maintain the prairie; taking the place of the periodic wildfires that once maintained the landscape. Fire invigorates the prairie, stifles growth of undesirable species, and makes the area more attractive to grassland wildlife.

Pawnee Prairie Natural Area is especially notable for a variety of grassland birds from late May until early July, such as bobolinks, grasshopper sparrows, upland sandpipers, and Bell's vireos. It has an abundance of sedge wrens in late July/August. The part of the prairie with the greatest variety of plants is about one-half mile from the parking lot on a northeast slope on both sides of the field road through the area.

General Information

Northwest

Harrison

660-646-6122

Agreement,Owned by MDC

Activities
Activity
(Activity Explanations)
Comments
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Grassland dependent birds, especially during spring and summer. Designated an Important Bird Area by Audubon Missouri. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Hunting-Deer Fair population. Fall deer/turkey booklet.  
Hunting-Pheasant Good population.  

Go to Top of Page

Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Parking Lot    

Go to Top of Page

Features
Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Designated Natural Area Pawnee Prairie NA 476.00 acres This area is especially notable for a variety of grassland birds from late May until early July, such as bobolinks, grasshopper sparrows, upland sandpipers and Bell's vireos. It has an abundance of sedge wrens in late July/August. The part of the prairie with the greatest variety of plants is about one-half mile from the parking lot on a northeast slope on both sides of the field road. Additional information provided at natural areas.  

Go to Top of Page

Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Native Prairie 400.00 Much of this degraded prairie has never been plowed and is being restored. 
Native Prairie 74.00 High-quality remnant prairie in center of area 
Lakes/Ponds 2.00 Ponds being renovated - no fishing opportunities exist at this time. 
Total Area Acres:476.00 

Go to Top of Page

Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
No Designated Trails

Go to Top of Page

Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

Go to Top of Page