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5 Good News Stories About Grasslands

 

Rainbow Over American Prairie Reserve, Montana. Photo: Dennis Lingohr/APR

Rainbow Over American Prairie Reserve, Montana. Photo: Dennis Lingohr/APR

 

THIS MONTH: Bison Make a Comeback, Przewalski’s Horse Decoded, Antelopes Rebound, Habitat for Grassland Birds, Nebraska’s Sandhills

In an effort to increase awareness of grasslands issues, American Prairie Reserve compiles news items that encourage you to fall in love with our world’s prairies. These stories introduce you to the organizations working to restore this endangered ecosystem, demonstrate the diversity of the plains and showcase the many different approaches to grassland conservation – from Montana to Mongolia.

 

NEWS: In the Badlands, a tribe helps buffaloes make a comeback
Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post

The Oglala Sioux and the National Park Service are working to build the first tribal national park, which would create a new home for bison and boost tribal culture and economic opportunities.

 

NEWS: Ancient horse genome sequenced
Douglas Main, for LiveScience on Mother Nature Network

A successful effort to sequence the genetics of a recently unearthed 700,000-year old horse bone has resulted in another discovery. Scientists found that current populations of the endangered Przewalski’s horse are sufficiently genetically diverse, implying that conservation efforts continue to pay off and that survival of the species is still in reach.

 

NEWS: Kazakhstan’s Saiga Success: Endangered Antelope Numbers Rise
Joanna Lillis, Eurasianet.org

New figures from Kazakhstan’s government show that the nation’s endangered saiga antelope population has more than doubled in the last five years. Despite poaching, disease and habitat loss, the animals are rebounding in part due to trans-boundary efforts to let the animals roam freely.

 

AUDIO: Restoring Prairies for Grassland Birds
Chris Peterson, BirdNote

Take your ears to the prairies of Illinois in this podcast featuring the Eastern Meadowlark and the Bobolink. Here, groups like Citizens for Conservation are putting volunteers to work to help restore grasslands, collecting and spreading native seeds for the benefit of birds that travel through the region.

 

VIDEO: Saving Nebraska’s Sandhills
World Wildlife Fund

Witness how prairie chickens are uniting agriculture, conservation and ecotourism on the Switzer Ranch, which hosts an annual festival to draw attention to these unique creatures and the bird’s elaborate mating rituals.

 

American Prairie Reserve (APR) is assembling a world class wildlife reserve in northern Montana, with the goal of one day creating a seamless 3.5 million acre grassland ecosystem. APR’s President Sean Gerrity is a National Geographic Fellow. Learn more about the Reserve, including progress to date and bison restoration efforts, on the Reserve’s website.