About this Collection
Grassland Birds are a group of birds, as the name suggests, tightly associated with grassland habitats. They are found throughout the continent wherever there are grasslands, with the heart of the distribution of grassland birds occurring in the center of the continent, ranging from southern Canada, across the center of the United States, and into Northern Mexico. Grassland birds have seen a significant decline, a 53% overall decrease in populations.
Conversion to row crop agriculture was the original threat and continues to be an ongoing threat to the central grasslands. Remaining grasslands are threatened by the loss of fire and grazing, which results in the encroachment of such as juniper, cedar, and exotic grasses that can either replace grasslands or alter their ability to serve as a habitat for native animal species. Fire and grazing are often the key drivers for maintaining grasslands found within forests or other habitat types.
What is FWS Doing?
The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Grassland Birds Team is working in collaboration with private and public land managers, Tribal Nations, other Federal and State agencies, and multiple non-government organizations to develop a collaborative approach for grassland and grassland bird conservation. We are also working closely with conservation practitioners, scientists, tribes, and land managers to better understand grassland bird conservation needs and other critical information gaps. Our goal is to determine population-limiting factors that will allow us to provide effective conservation efforts aimed at improving grassland bird populations.
How You Can Help:
- Watch birds and share what you see. Monitoring birds is essential to understanding how birds are faring. Projects such as eBird, Project FeederWatch, a Christmas Bird Count, or a Breeding Bird Survey. Your contributions will provide valuable information to show where grassland birds are thriving—and where they need our help.
- Support partnerships between public and private entities that provide beneficial outcomes for grassland birds and landowners.
- Become familiar with grasslands and the role of grazing and fire plays in their maintenance and restoration.
- Help Spread the Word: A greater awareness of the importance of grasslands for wildlife and people is essential.