Northern Great Plains Stories

  • Eight species making a comeback

    March 03, 2022

    Recovering species is essential for effective wildlife conservation and critical to the work WWF does around the world. Here are just a few of our favorite, recent recovery stories.

    Banke Nepal camera trap
  • Newly proposed grassland conservation act offers hope for vital ecosystems

    February 10, 2022

    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.

    Yucca plant in the grasslands of Cody, Nebraska
  • More than mere insects: the brilliant mind of Charles Henry Turner

    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. 

    An illustration featuring Charles Henry Turner and a meeting of Teddy Roosevelt and George Washington Carver in the background.
  • Where the meadowlark sings

    October 26, 2021

    Grassland birds are spectacular, but they are also North America's fastest-declining group of birds.

    western meadowlark
  • Our home, our story

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2021
    Four members of the Oglala Lakota Nation share stories from their lives.
    Thunderclouds on the horizon
  • Reseeding the Northern Great Plains with wildflowers

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2021
    WWF and Air Wick Scented Oils® and Botanica by Air Wick® have teamed up to reseed 1 billion square feet of grassland and wildflower habitat over the next three years, restoring critical habitat.
    Closeup of bee on flower
  • 3 things you can do to help your local pollinators

    June 24, 2021

    Everyone knows the honey bee, but did you know that there are over 20,000 different species of bee in the world? Here are a few easy things that you can do to help out your local pollinators. 

    A close up of a bee clinging to a flower's stamen to collect pollen
  • New Rangeland Atlas reveals the importance of healthy rangelands to wildlife and humans

    May 26, 2021

    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.

    Healthy grasslands in Lowry, South Dakota
  • Hopeful beginnings: First bison calves born on Wolakota Buffalo Range

    April 27, 2021

    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.

    A bison cow and her calf stand in a snowy field
  • Carter Roberts talks with Wizipan Little Elk about reintroducing bison to native land

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2021
    WWF president and CEO Carter Roberts talks with Wizipan Little Elk, CEO of the Rosebud Economic Development Corporation (REDCO), about reintroducing bison to native land and how to be an ally.
    Headshot of Roberts and Little Elk
  • Growing the herd

    March 18, 2021

    Help bring bison back to their native home in the Northern Great Plains.

    Bison facing front with herd behind
  • The great monarch migration

    March 16, 2021

    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.

    Monarch butterflies
  • 100 bison find a new home with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe

    October 30, 2020

    The Tribe will create the largest native-owned and managed bison herd in North America. These 100 bison are the first of as many as 1,500 animals setting foot on 28,000 acres of native grassland.

    Bison walk out into a brown field
  • After 51 years, swift foxes return to the grasslands of Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Montana

    September 24, 2020

    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.

    A reintroduced swift fox stands in tall yellow grasses
  • New project will help improve 1 million acres of grasslands to help fight the climate crisis

    September 22, 2020

    WWF is joining forces with The Walmart Foundation, McDonald’s, and Cargill to invest more than $6 million in this initiative to make lasting improvements to America’s iconic grasslands.

    Northern Great Plains
  • America's disappearing backyard

    August 05, 2020

    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.

    A tractor plows a vast field with a rain storm in the distant background
  • Cindy and Harry Eisenberg on leaving a legacy for nature

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2020
    Cindy and Harry Eisenberg reflect on the meaningful experiences that continue to inspire their support of WWF.
    Buffalo grazing in high grass
  • Rosebud Sioux Tribe will create the largest native-owned and managed bison herd in North America

    May 07, 2020

    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.

    A lone bison on the Fort Peck Tribes Cultural Buffalo Herd Ranch Facility
  • Working together for grasslands

    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.

    Riding a horse in Nebraska, United States
  • Newly patented technology helps save endangered black-footed ferrets

    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!

    drone flying and delivering bait
  • Party in the grass

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2019
    The grasslands buzz with often unseen biodiversity. This medley of wildlife images offers a dizzying look at the insects and plants that contribute to the ecosystem of the Northern Great Plains.
    Prairie plants and insects
  • Stewards of the prairies

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2019
    Economic and cultural pressures have made ranching more challenging in recent years. WWF has been working with ranchers to help keep the grasslands intact to the benefit of both ranchers and wildlife.
    Pronghorn in grassland
  • Welcome home! Bison released into new territory

    October 11, 2019

    Bison in Badlands National Park now have an additional 22,553 acres to roam thanks to a passionate group of supporters who want to see America’s national mammal thrive.

    Bison released into Badlands National Park
  • Understanding grassland loss in the Northern Great Plains

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2018
    Each year, WWF uses data from the USDA to track the conversion of grasslands to cropland across the Great Plains of North America and compare the loss to that of previous years. Here's what we found.
    numbers grassland2 winter2018