Prairie Conservation: Preserving North America's Most Endangered Ecosystem

Front Cover
Fred B. Samson, Fritz L. Knopf
Island Press, 1996 - Nature - 351 pages
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.
 

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Contents

A Long Love Affair with an Uncommon Country Environmental History and the Great Plains
3
The Economic Value of the Prairie
19
Praire Ecology
37
Praire EcologyThe Tallgrass Prairie
39
Praire EcologyThe Mixed Prairie
53
Praire EcologyThe Shortgrass Prairie
67
Prarie EcologyPrairie Wetlands
77
Praire Legacies
89
Canadas Prairie Conservation Action Plan
175
A MultipleScale Approach to Conservation Planning in the Great Plains
187
Working Partnerships for Conserving the Nations Prairie Pothole Ecosystem The US Prairie Pothole Joint Venture
203
Northern Grassland Conservation and the Prairie Joint Ventures
211
Sustainable Grassland Utilization and Conservation in Prairie Agricultural Landscapes
221
Ecosystem Management and the National Grasslands
231
The Sandhill Management Plan A Partnership Initiative
241
Management Challenges for Prairie Grasslands in the Twentyfirst Century
249

Prairie LegaciesInvertebrates
91
Praire LegaciesFish and Aquatic Resources
111
Prairie LegaciesAmphibians and Reptiles
125
Prairie LegaciesBirds
135
Prairie LegaciesMammals
149
Prairie Conservation
167
The Great Plains Partnership
169
A New Framework for Prairie Conservation
261
Species List
275
Literature Cited
285
Contributors
327
Index
330
Copyright

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