Wah'Kon-Tah Prairie is a remnant of the prairie ecosystem that once covered more than one-quarter of Missouri. It is also home to plants and animals that are specially adapted for life on the open prairie. Less than one-half of one percent of original prairie remains in Missouri making some of these species increasingly rare.
Managers use prescribed burning, grazing, and other tools to simulate historic disturbances that maintain healthy grasslands and limit the negative impacts of invasive plants, including trees, which were historically uncommon here. Management priorities include providing nesting and brood-rearing habitat for Greater prairie-chickens, bobwhite quail, and grassland birds such as Henslow's sparrow and upland sandpiper.
Monitoring and management for a number of lesser known species is also important. Some species may include: Mead's milkweed, prairie mole crickets, Regal fritillary butterflies, pink katydid, northern crawfish frog, slender glass lizard, Bell's vireo, grasshopper sparrow, Loggerhead shrike, short-eared owl, and Northern harrier.