The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has launched its Prairie Grasslands Action Plan.

The overall goal is to conserve more than 500,000 hectares by 2030, or about an area six times the size of Calgary.

Jeremy Hogan, the Director of Prairie Grasslands Conservation with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) says as part of that plan they are focusing on three major projects.

In Manitoba, the NCC has identified 453 hectares for protection. Located about 40 minutes southeast of Brandon, this property is home to elk, coyotes, American badgers, birds like the Sprague’s pipit, and also a large Sharped-tail grouse lek. As part of the project,  a partial land donation has been agreed to with land owners, Eric and Carol Moore.
In southwestern Saskatchewan, NCC will launch the Parker Conservation project to conserve over 1,100 hectares (over 2,718 aces) of Prairie grasslands in the Cypress Uplands.  Wildlife commonly found in the area include pronghorn antelope, mule, white-tailed deer, elk, and cougar and species at risk such as burrowing owl, chestnut-collared longspur, common nighthawk, and ferruginous hawk.
In southern Alberta, protection of a 1,650-hectare property located near Waterton Lakes National Park. The Yarrow site supports over 100 species of wildlife, including 27 different species of federal and provincial conservation concern.

Studies show grasslands are disappearing at an alarming rate with more than 80 per cent of our native Prairie grasslands already gone. 

NCC points out that grasslands are home to an astonishing variety of plants and wildlife which is increasingly threatened by habitat loss. In fact, populations of birds that rely on native grasslands have declined by 90 per cent since 1970.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada putting an emphasis on saving prairie grasslands today during World Environment Day, which kicks off Canadian Environment Week.

To hear Glenda-Lee's conversation with Jeremy Hogan click on the link below.