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.
Native Nations seeking to restore bison to their lands remain the cornerstone of the species’ recovery. Since 2014, WWF has partnered with Native Nations throughout the Northern Great Plains in support of their efforts to conserve and restore grassland ecosystems within their communities and stands behind local visions and strategies that aim to bolster ecological, economic, and community benefits.
Nearly 1.8 million acres of grasslands were destroyed across the US and Canadian Great Plains in 2020 alone, according to WWF’s seventh-annual Plowprint Report. Each year, the report analyzes plow-up that occurred two years prior to the report's release.
To protect and restore iconic grassland landscapes, World Wildlife Fund and more than a dozen of North America’s leading conservation groups are touting the introduction of critical new legislation—The North American Grasslands Conservation Act.
Following in the footsteps of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, a volunteer-based fund that has supported almost 3,000 wetlands improvement projects across 30 million acres in all 50 states, a new bill has been proposed to do the same for grasslands, our continent's most imperiled ecosystem.
Charles Henry Turner was one of the pioneers of the study of insect cognition. However, tragically and despite his brilliance, Turner wasn’t afforded an opportunity to conduct his research within one of the world’s great scientific institutions because of blatant discrimination over his race.
Until now, grasslands have rarely been a target of international conservation agendas. Although they provide key habitat for wildlife and critical ecosystem services, they are often undervalued because we have not invested the necessary resources to calculate their benefits to people and nature. The Rangelands Atlas fills part of that void.
As fresh snow redecorated the tranquil plains of the Wolakota Buffalo Range, new and precious life entered the world. Two bison calves took their first breaths amid the falling flakes—the first to be born on this ground in at least 140 years.
Every year, the Eastern monarch butterfly flies up to 2,500 miles from its breeding grounds in the US and Canada, all the way down to its hibernation grounds in central Mexico. These tiny creatures have the most highly evolved migratory pattern of any known species of their kind, but this unique phenomenon is under threat.
Twenty-seven swift foxes were brought to the area from Wyoming in September, marking the beginning of a five-year reintroduction program led by the Assiniboine (Nakoda) and Gros Ventre (Aaniiih) Tribes of Fort Belknap.
From 2014 to 2018, tillage of grasslands across the Great Plains occurred at an average rate of four football fields lost every minute. This means that millions of acres of America’s temperate grassland, one of only four left in the world and a critically important ecosystem, is being plowed up for crop production.
The Rosebud Sioux tribe committed 28,000 acres of native grassland for the creation of a new plains bison herd. With a capacity to support 1,500 animals, the Wolakota Buffalo Range will become North America’s largest Native American owned and managed bison herd.
The Northern Great Plains is one of the world’s last great, remaining grasslands. Across its 183 million acres, nearly 132 million remain intact. Among those acres that are still intact, approximately 70% is privately owned, and often by ranching families.
WWF, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Model Avionics developed an innovative system to deliver plague protection for black-footed ferrets in the form of peanut butter-flavored baits by drones or all-terrain vehicles to prairie dogs. Recently, the team received a patent for the design—a first for WWF!
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