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Exploring Montana’s Sea of Grass

By Ellen Anderson, American Prairie Reserve -  In prairie ecosystems, it is difficult to see the biodiversity that is there from the window of a vehicle, even for people who are plant nerds like my husband Lars and me. Who can really distinguish different grass species without walking out into the prairie? Once we throw…

We Want You: A Groundbreaking Project to Save America’s Great Prairie

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Gregg Treinish founded Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, a nonprofit organization connecting outdoor adventurers with scientists in need of data from the field. He also organizes his own expeditions, contributing to research on wildlife-human interaction, fragmented habitats, and threatened species. —- Did you know there are only four places on Earth where unplowed prairie ecosystems…

In Praise of Silence

In the past twelve years, I’ve made many winter trips to this area of the American Prairie Reserve and every time, when the wind calms, I’m still caught off guard by the lack of sound, any sound, for miles.

Top 20 Photos of 2013 from American Prairie Reserve

Looking back over a year’s worth of photos, the prairie weaves an ever-changing tale of drama, peace, microscopic detail, magnitude, and resilience. The seasons become less defined, and the decade I’ve spent helping build American Prairie Reserve blends in a single, long journey. As you scroll through our snapshots from the field, I hope you get…

One-Ton Teamwork: Biologists and High Tech Animal Tracking

WRITTEN BY Lars Anderson, with Kyran Kunkel You would be surprised by how slowly a dart filled with sedative travels through the air. You can see it as it leaves the shaft of the gun and slowly floats toward its target. With any luck, the dart lands in its rather large destination – a bison’s…

Ferrets In the Night – Recovery Efforts Continue for Masked Bandits in Montana

The region of the American Prairie Reserve encompasses two national wildlife refuges. This is an area of Montana with dramatic cliffs cut by the Missouri River and rugged, wooded terrain housing mountain lions, elk and big horn sheep. As you move up from the river and north across the prairie, an expansive network of ecologically…

Be Part of One of the Largest Conservation Efforts in American History

You can participate in one of the largest conservation efforts in American history! Join Landmark and use your skills and passion to protect one of the last remaining sanctuaries of its kind in the world. Crews will consist of six-person teams of adventurers and have the opportunity to spend a month exploring one of the most uncharted sections of the American Great Plains.

New Theory Explains Africa’s Mysterious Fairy Circles

In dry ecosystems like Namibia, where fairy circles are common, competition for water is fierce. Therefore, while we may see a calm savannah landscape, fierce resource competition is actually being waged below the surface, at root level.

“We hypothesize that these barren spots arise due to below-ground resource competition between grasses,” states the report. “Enhanced growth in individuals that are strong competitors for below-ground resources results in the decline in growth of neighboring individuals, thus forming larger interspaces or barren patches.”

In other words, whoever wins the water war essentially condemns his neighboring grasses to death by dehydration, creating a barren patch – the nexus of the fairy circle.

5 Good News Stories About Grasslands

    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…

Everything Changes, Land Use to Climate: Monthly Grassland News Update

  THIS MONTH: Land Conversion for Biofuels, Climate Change on Tibet’s Grasslands, Pesticides and Grassland Birds, Rare Antelope Collaring In an effort to increase awareness of grasslands issues and encourage you to fall in love with our world’s prairies, American Prairie Reserve compiles a news roundup each month. These stories will introduce you to the organizations working to restore…

An Abundance of Rarity, Prairies and Beyond – with Eric Dinerstein

  In his travels around the world, World Wildlife Fund Lead Scientist Eric Dinerstein has been fortunate to experience an abundance of today’s uncommon creatures. His latest book, The Kingdom of Rarities, takes readers on a global adventure to the depths of South American savannas, Asian tiger reserves, Michigan woodlands and more. In this interview,…

Fire, Ferrets and Falcons: Grasslands News from December 2012

  In an effort to increase awareness of grasslands issues and encourage you to fall in love with our world’s prairies, American Prairie Reserve compiles a news roundup each month. These stories will 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…

Restoring More than Animals – Returning Fire to American Prairie Reserve

  This fall, American Prairie Reserve conducted our first controlled burn of nearly 900 acres in an effort to expand prairie dog habitat and restore an important ecological process to the landscape. The fire was a result of collaboration between the Reserve, US Fish & Wildlife Service, which provided expertise, personnel and equipment to conduct…

Birds, Bison and Lions: Grasslands News from October 2012

In an effort to increase awareness of grasslands issues and encourage you to fall in love with our world’s prairies, American Prairie Reserve compiles a news roundup each month. These stories will introduce you to the organizations working to restore this endangered ecosystem, demonstrate the diversity of the plains and showcase the many different approaches to…

Plain Wonderful: Grasslands News from September

[Fall light show on American Prairie Reserve. Photo: Dennis Lingohr]   Are prairie landscapes loved the least? Grasslands are the least protected ecosystem in the world despite the fact that they cover a quarter of the Earth’s surface. Some might say they are the least sexy, too. After all, can grasses really compete with dramatic…