The Stoney Point / Golden Prairies IBA is spatially the largest IBA in Missouri that is slated for grassland bird conservation. Most of the IBA, which lies on the border of the Ozark Highlands and Osage Plains Ecological Sections, was historically dominated by tallgrass prairie, with some oak savanna and woodland (Nigh and Schroeder 2002). Now the IBA is dominated by a matrix of fescue pastures and hay meadows, and cropland, with some dense stands of timber. Embedded in this matrix, however, are several tallgrass prairie remnants.
Only three percent of the IBA is dedicated conservation land across several landholdings. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) manages 11 of the 14 parcels: Dorris Creek Prairie Conservation Area (CA) (158 acres, 64 ha), Horse Creek Prairie CA (77 acres, 31 ha), Indigo Prairie CA (40 acres, 16 ha), Kickapoo Prairie CA (158 acres, 64 ha), Pa Sole Prairie (237 acres, 96 ha), Providence Prairie CA (190 acres, 77 ha), Niawathe Prairie CA (in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy [TNC]; 316 acres, 128 ha), Sloan CA (314 acres, 127 ha), Stoney Point Prairie CA (983 acres, 398 ha), Talbot CA (4,345 acres, 1,759 ha), Treaty Line Prairie CA (168 acres, 68 ha). The Missouri Prairie Foundation(MPF) manages Golden Prairie (319 acres, 129 ha) and Pennsylvania Prairie (133 acres, 54 ha). In addition to two-thirds of Niawathe Prairie TNC also owns the Shelton L. Cook Memorial Meadow (302 acres, 122 ha).
In addition to the occurrence of remnant Greater Prairie-chicken populations, grassland birds that use the tallgrass prairie within this IBA include Short-eared Owl, Upland Sandpiper, Northern Harrier, Bell?s Vireo, Grasshopper Sparrow, Henslow?s Sparrow, Dickcissel, and Eastern Meadowlark.
As with other IBAs formerly in expansive native tallgrass prairie, the prairie is highly fragmented into a few remnants. Much of what remains is protected on existing conservation lands, but private landowners are responsible for the stewardship of remaining prairie fragments in the IBA. The Stoney Point / Golden Prairies IBA is encompassed by the Golden Grasslands Conservation Opportunity Area defined by MDC (2005). Conservation challenges for the IBA include afforestation of native prairie, conversion of native prairie to cool season (fescue) pastures and cropland, and exotic plant invasion of native prairie (especially by sericea lespedeza).