Minnesota-North Dakota-South Dakota

Northern Tallgrass Prairie Ecoregion: A River and Stream Portfolio

The Missouri, Red River and Mississippi rivers are all in the Northern Tallgrass Prairie ecoregion.

The Nature Conservancy is pleased to announce the release of The Northern Tallgrass Prairie Ecoregion: A River and Stream Portfolio. This report represents a comprehensive assessment of the status of stream and river biological diversity.

To promote the future health and sustainability of the streams and rivers of the Northern Tallgrass Prairie, The Conservancy worked with numerous partners to prioritize areas for aquatic conservation in the region. 

With the help of 36 aquatic biologists, hydrologists and conservation experts representing 24 agencies, universities, and private organizations, a total of 27 streams and rivers were identified in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa and Manitoba as priorities for conservation.

The Northern Tallgrass Prairie Ecoregion (NTPE) straddles portions the Missouri, Mississippi and Red River watersheds and includes a major continental divide. The extreme northwest portion of the ecoregion lies in the lower Assiniboine river basin and crosses several small streams that drain directly to Lake Manitoba.

As such, the drainage pattern and natural character including species diversity, habitat characteristics, and biological productivity vary dramatically across the region. The NTPE drainage system harbors unique natural communities populated with species that have entered the area only as recently as 15,000 years ago.

The portfolio will be used extensively by scientists from the Conservancy and by many partner organizations as they work together to address the issues and threats impacting rivers and streams in the region.

The Northern Tallgrass Prairie Ecoregion: A River and Stream Portfolio
Main Report (3.4 MB, PDF)
Appendix 1 (5 MB, PDF)
Appendices 2-4 (4 MB, PDF)


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