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Wind Cave National Park Prairies and Grasslands

Wind Cave National Park is located where the grasslands meet the ponderosa pine forests of the uplifted Black Hills. Here, there is a blending of the tall grass prairie species of the eastern Great Plains and the short grass species of the western Great Plains. These eastern and western prairies are differentiated by the types of grasses and forbs found there. Each type reflects the amount of available moisture which decreases from the east to west. The species composition is determined by climate, fire frequency, and the degree and frequency of grazing. The mixed grass prairie is an ecotone that results where species composition is constantly shifting between the tall and short grass prairies.

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Maine Puffins
Maine Puffins


Maine ocean islands provide the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States. Eastern Egg Rock in the midcoast region, Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island off the downeast coast provide habitat for more than 4,000 puffins each summer.