GEOG 1265 Lecture 7: Lecture 7

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GEOG 1265
Lecture 7
Prairie Animals:
Bison (Bison bison)
o Hunted by Native Americans
o 40-80 million bison when Europeans arrived, and then they were hunted
down almost to extinction
Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana)
o Lewis and Clark studied this animal
Black Tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus)
o Very common in history
Habitat loss and suburban development recently
Much of the midlatitude grassland biome has been converted to agriculture especially
where rainfall is sufficient for non-irrigated agriculture
Land is productive so farms can be smaller
Colorado Agriculture:
Center pivot irrigation in eastern Colorado
o Well in the middle of the field that feeds motorized mechanical arm and
pivots around the center of the field to water
On high plains, irrigation is necessary to grow crops like corn (maize), soybeans,
In eastern Colorado, winter wheat is dry-farmed
o No water for irrigation
o Rely solely on natural rainfall
Native Americans:
Dry farming
Irrigationcenter pivot
Soil conservation measures
Colorado vegetation and climate
Topography and precipitation
o Palmer Divide:
Around Castle Rock area
2,000 ft. higher than Denver and Pueblo
Remnant of historical high elevation
State vegetation transects (briefly—we’ll talk more next week)
The Dust Bowl:
An issue where “sodbusters meet globalization”
Short grass prairiethe high plains
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