At dusk the park comes to life. Coyotes come out in search of a meal, their yelps and howls filling the quiet nights. Several species of bats inhabit the park and prey on the abundant miller moths. Nighthawks swoop through the air in hopes of catching a mosquito. In the cool hours of the morning, white tail deer, mule deer and pronghorn browse while snapping turtles prowl the waters of the Niobrara in search of young pike and brown trout.
The rich environment of the prairie is dependant upon the people who manage it. The staff at Agate strives to study the landscape and develop a plan to manage the monument to preserve its ecological and cultural history and restore the native prairie habitat.
Text and photo by Kimberly Howard, Biological Technician, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, August 6, 2002.
Did You Know?
The Niobrara River flowing through the park is the reason that Agate Fossil Beds is home to many different animals. Both prairie animals and river animals live here. Early settlers lived in the valley as well due to water accessibility, and many original homesteads are the sites of current ranches. More...