Part of a series on CILTI’s conservation targets by guest blogger Ed Pope
Some of Central Indiana’s core conservation areas contain plant or animal species that are endangered or threatened, either statewide or nationally:
- Blue Bluff – Bradford Woods (Morgan County): The flowering raspberry is common farther south in the Smokey Mountains, but this is the only known place it has been found in Indiana. This site is also one of only two Central Indiana core conservation areas where the broad-winged hawk, a species of special concern, has been sighted.
- Green’s Bluff (Owen County): Numerous uncommon flora and fauna can be found here:
- Mountain spleenwort, which is found in only one other Indiana site
- Spotted wintergreen
- Hayscented fern
- Eastern hemlock, which is an Ice Age remnant
- Badger, which is a species of special concern in Indiana
- Hidden Valley Running Buffalo Clover (Dearborn County): The federally endangered running buffalo clover lives here. This unusual plant requires heavy but infrequent disturbance, such as migrating buffalo. Since buffalo no longer migrate through Indiana, this area requires active management.
- Hills of Gold (Johnson & Brown Counties): Along with spiders so new to science they have yet to be named, three rare birds and two federally endangered bats inhabit this area, which includes Glacier’s End and The Laura Hare Preserve at Blossom Hollow:
- Worm-eating warbler
- Hooded warbler
- Cerulean warbler
- Indiana bat
- Northern long-eared bat
- Indiana Bat Microsite (Hendricks/Marion County): The largest summertime population of the federally endangered Indiana bat lives here under the bark of dead trees and shagbark hickory.
- Possum Hollow (Franklin County): Three rare plants call this area home:
- Barren strawberry
- Softleaf arrowwood
- Schreber’s aster, which is found in only two other Indiana sites
- Robert’s Rock (Bartholomew County): This area is one only three Indiana locations where spreading rock cress grows.
CILTI’s goal is to buffer the four areas that have portions protected (Blue Bluff – Bradford Woods, Green’s Bluff, Hills of Gold and Indiana Bat Microsite), and protect the three (Hidden Valley Running Buffalo Clover, Possum Hollow and Robert’s Rock) that are unprotected.
Ed Pope is a retired engineer from Rolls-Royce and a CILTI member since 2002.