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Historical Changes in the Landscape and Vertebrate Diversity of North Central Nebraska

  • Michael A. Bogan
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 125)

Abstract

In the United States of the mid-nineteenth century, change was the order of the day. In the East, the Industrial Revolution was affecting everyday life in cities and farms. Clearing of forests for a familiar, European form of agriculture was continuing, and factories were producing goods needed by an expanding nation. In much of the West, change was a function of Manifest Destiny; exploration for precious minerals was beginning and exploitation of water resources to sustain agriculture and livestock in often arid settings was underway. Transcontinental railway links were literally gathering steam as government exploring parties searched for the best pathways to the west coast. Settlement of the American West beyond the Mississippi was to bring major changes, but nowhere did settlement of the land bring such major and irreversible change to a place, its flora and fauna, and its people as it did in the Great Plains. In an American landscape that has been as unappreciated and undervalued as any on the continent, the Great Plains suffered grieviously. Settlement of the prairies and plains brought not just settlers, agriculture, livestock, and their support systems such as merchants and railways, but drastic changes to a land and people largely dependent on roving herds of ungulates—and one in particular, the bison (Bison bison). Present-day citizens of the United States marvel at the immense herds of ungulates in Africa, often not realizing that similar sights were common as little as 120 years ago on the Great Plains.

Keywords

Great Plain Ground Squirrel Gray Wolf Prairie Vole Tiger Salamander 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

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  • Michael A. Bogan

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