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 windmills seen in the area are still used to pump water into stock tanks for cattle to drink. Some of these wells are 250 to 300 feet deep and provide a good source of water as long as the wind blows.