Author: Fred B. Samson
Publisher: Island Press
The area of native prairie known as the Great Plains once extended from Canada to the Mexican border and from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to western Indiana and Wisconsin. Today the declines in prairie landscape types, estimated to be as high as 99%, exceed those of any other major ecosystem in North America. The overwhelming loss of landscape and accompanying loss of species constitute a real threat to both ecological and human economic health.Prairie Conservation is a comprehensive examination of the history, ecology, and current status of North American grasslands. It presents for the first time in a single volume information on the historical, economic, and cultural significance of prairies, their natural history and ecology, threats, and conservation and restoration programs currently underway. Chapters cover: environmental history of the Great Plains the economic value of prairie prairie types -- tallgrass, mixed grass, shortgrass, wetlands -- and the ecological processes that sustain each type prairie fauna -- invertebrates, fish and other aquatic creatures, amphibians and reptiles, birds, and mammals conservation programs such as the Great Plains Partnership, Canada's Prairie Conservation Action Plan, the U.S. Prairie Pothole Joint Venture, and others The book brings together knowledge and insights from a wide range of experts to describe and explain the importance of prairies and to position them in the forefront of North American conservation efforts. Praire Conservation is an essential reference for anyone interested in prairie ecology and conservation and will play a critical role in broadening our awareness and understanding of prairie ecosystems.