While we talk a lot about the loss of grasslands to cool-season invasive species, the conversion of grassland to cropland is another significant source of loss of grassland habitat.
The 2023 Plowprint Report highlights the extensive plowing of grasslands in the US and Canadian Great Plains. Using data from the USDA and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the report shows that in 2021, 1.6 million acres of grasslands were converted to cropland, totaling nearly 32 million acres since 2012. However, hope remains as 377 million acres of grasslands are still under various forms of management. To protect these crucial ecosystems, policy interventions are essential. Enforcing policies that promote conservation can help preserve the remaining grasslands in the Great Plains, benefiting both people and wildlife.
The entire Plowprint Report is available at: https://www.worldwildlife.org/projects/plowprint-report
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