Northern Great Plains Stories

  • Releasing black-footed ferrets into the wild

    In 2015, WWF marked its third consecutive year of black-footed ferret reintroductions on the Fort Belknap Reservation in northern Montana. WWF and partners also documented both first and second generation kits— young ferrets—born to individuals released in 2013 and 2014.

    black footed ferret released
  • 8 surprising prairie dog facts

    Prairie dogs tend to be celebrated for their larger ecological virtues. In the grasslands across the central and western United States, their intricate underground colonies—called prairie dog towns—create shelter for jackrabbits, toads, and rattlesnakes. These small, chubby-looking mammals are also fascinating in their own right. Check out these facts for a glimpse into their strange, surprisingly complex world.

    prairie dogs eating
  • Prairie Dogs, Black-Footed Ferrets, and a Pilot-less Plane

    September 02, 2015

    WWF and partners used a drone to map and evaluate habitat for endangered black-footed ferrets. Only about 300 of the slender, masked carnivores are left in the wild today. Scientists must monitor prairie dog colonies to determine current and potential new habitat for black-footed ferrets.

    launching drone
  • Finding love in the wild

    From the underwater dance of seahorses to the enthusiastic leg-lifts of the peacock spider, the animal kingdom is full of quirky and intriguing methods to impress the opposite sex.

    prairie chicken mating dance
  • Fort Peck Tribes Leaders Restore Bison on Reservation

    December 23, 2014

    One hundred and thirty-six wild Yellowstone bison—free of cattle genes—reclaimed their historic home in the Northern Great Plains when released into the Fort Peck Indian Reservation’s cultural buffalo reserve.

    bison group
  • How bison survive winter in the Northern Great Plains

    Despite roaming vast distances in the Northern Great Plains, bison do not move south as the weather grows cold and inhospitable, though they may move to lower elevations where snow is not so deep. Temperatures plummet well below zero, bitter winds whip across the landscape, and bison still remain.

    bison covered in snow
  • Meet the bison: facts about America's national mammal

    Bison are the largest native grazers of America’s Northern Great Plains. Take a look at why bison are unique to our landscape and what WWF is doing to help.

    big bison sitting
  • Black-Footed Ferret Facts: The Masked Bandits of the Northern Great Plains

    May 12, 2014

    Once found throughout the Great Plains, the black-footed ferret is one of North America’s most endangered animals. WWF is helping to reach this goal by restoring and protecting ferrets and their prairie dog habitat in seven locations in the region.

    bff out of tunnel
  • Listen in on the conversation about our world

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2014
    WWF is only one voice among many
  • National Treasures

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2014
    Protecting wildlife in America’s Northern Great Plains
    bison charging
  • Animals of the Northern Great Plains

    Since 2000, WWF has worked in this part of the country to conserve and restore the Northern Great Plains' natural heritage and native wildlife. So which animals call this beautiful region home, and why do they matter?

    Bison on plains
  • Congress Takes Major Step Toward Protecting Grasslands

    February 04, 2014

    The US Congress took major steps to protect one of the last four intact grasslands in world. By passing the 2014 Farm Bill, Congress is ensuring your tax dollars do not incentivize the plow-up and drainage of native grasslands and wetlands.

    south dakota
  • Bringing the Bison Home

    June 13, 2013

    The Oglala Sioux Tribe works with the National Park Service to plan the first tribal national park within the Park System.

    ROD signing
  • Saving the Grasslands of the Northern Great Plains

    June 05, 2013

    In the Northern Great Plains, land is a hot commodity. The widespread conversion of prairie to cropland has profound effects on the natural environment and human communities of the region.

    Grasslands NGP
  • A Visionary Ranch Helps Conserve Nebraska's Grasslands

    May 30, 2013

    The owners of Switzer Ranch realize the immense importance of acting to conserve the Sandhills in Nebraska and their native life.

    carriage in NGP
  • It Starts at Home

    April 09, 2013

    WWF-US works in countries as diverse as Namibia and Nepal and Mexico, but our roots are firmly planted in the United States. In our first year, three of the five grants made by our Board of Directors supported domestic projects. More than 50 years later, our in-country work remains an anchor of our conservation portfolio.

     

    Caribou running
  • Managing Grasslands to Protect the Bison's Home

    January 22, 2013

    A prescribed burn is part of WWF’s long-term approach to maintaining healthy habitats and human communities in the Northern Great Plains region, supporting native species expansion and reducing encroachment by invasive species.

    Prescribed burn on Northern Great Plains with bison
  • Saving the Northern Great Plains

    November 16, 2012

    The communities and wildlife of the Northern Great Plains have not suffered the fate of the Dust Bowl on the Southern Plains. But threats loom—runaway oil and gas development, a changing climate, and agriculture policies that incentivize conversion of grasslands and wetlands to crops, regardless of expectations for crop success.

    Plains Bison
  • Reconnecting Shared Landscapes is Crucial for Wildlife and People to Thrive

    When governments set up conservation areas that protect and connect nature, wildlife begins to thrive and so do people.

    tracking tigers on elephant
  • Bringing Bison Back

    March 14, 2012

    In March 2012, 71 new bison calves were released on the American Prairie Reserve (APR)—a WWF partner in the Northern Montana Prairie. The young calves are descendents of the last bison that called this area home more than 100 years ago.

    Bison