WWF’s 2023 Plowprint report shows that 1.6 million acres of grassland habitat were destroyed in the Great Plains across the US and Canada in 2021. Since 2012, we’ve lost 32 million acres, plowed up primarily for row crop agriculture.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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