As farms and cities in the central United States flourished, prairie grasses disappeared. Tallgrass prairies are now among our most endangered habitats—only about 4 percent remain. Prairie birds have shown the most sustained population declines of any bird group in North America. Audubon is partnering with ranchers who own remaining grasslands to develop market-based management that benefits prairie birds while sustaining the livelihoods of the ranchers. A pilot effort starting in Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri will focus on such species as the Henslow’s Sparrow, Greater Prairie-Chicken, and Upland Sandpiper. Work to advance grassland-bird-friendly beef production in the Great Plains is modeled on early efforts in the Southern Cone Grasslands of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.
The Bottom Line: Conservation impact on 20 million U.S. acres and 2.5 million acres in South America; improved outcomes for six priority bird species.