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Understanding How Ozarks Prairie Reptiles and Amphibians Survive Fire Regimes

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J. Froelich
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KUAF
U of A Associate Professor of Biology, J.D. Wilson, stands on a scorched section of Woolsey Prairie in Fayetteville where he’s studying the impact of prescribed prairie fire on reptiles and amphibians.

Managed Ozark prairies are routinely burned in late winter and early spring to kill invasive plants and trees, helping native grasses and flowers to flourish. But University of Arkansas ecologist J.D. Wilson, and his team of graduate students, are measuring collateral damage to certain wildlife inhabiting Woolsey Prairie. Their findings are helping to determine optimal times and conditions to conduct intentional fire regimes without harming reptiles and amphibians.

Jacqueline Froelich is an investigative journalist and has been a news producer for KUAF National Public Radio since 1998. She covers politics, the environment, energy, business, education, history, race and culture. Her radio segments have been nationally syndicated. She is also a station-based national correspondent for NPR in Washington DC., and recipient of eight national and state broadcast awards.