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Grasslands and Prairies

Conserving These Crucial but Endangered Habitats

Grasslands conjure images of an endless and open land — tall grasses and wide-open spaces without a glimmer of civilization.

But in fact, few grassland and prairie ecosystems resemble this image — an image that used to move philosophers and painters, or inspire restless settlers and industrious farmers.

That’s because grasslands and prairies are the world’s most imperiled ecosystem. Only 5 percent of grasslands are protected globally, but they are greatly threatened by:

  • The spread of invasive species;
  • The suppression of natural fire; and
  • The fragmentation and urbanization of grassland habitat.

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