the best science on the web about
prairies & plains

What Is Prairie?
Image: iStockphoto.com/PrairieArtProject

What Is Prairie?

Stretching from southern Canada to Texas are our native grasslands — an open treeless landscape called the prairie.

These expanses may look uniform, but many species of grasses grow here. And they're regularly subjected to drought, fire, grazing, and human activities. Investigate the decline of the prairies and how the remaining land can be protected.

U.S. Geological Survey
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A Complex Prairie Ecosystem

A Complex Prairie Ecosystem

Our planet's second-most diverse ecosystem is the prairie. Peek beyond the grasses into this complicated web of life, and discover why the tallgrass prairie is now rare and endangered. More...

Article
National Park Service
Badlands National Park Animals

Badlands National Park Animals

Badgers, bobcats, and bison make their home in the Badlands of South Dakota, a mixed-grass prairie. Meet them and other animal residents. More...

Images
National Park Service
Brave Prairie Dog Confronts Snake

Brave Prairie Dog Confronts Snake

Outside a den of prairie dog pups a deadly rattlesnake slithers too close for comfort. Watch how a brave prairie dog protects her young. More...

Video
Discovery
Build-a-Prairie

Build-a-Prairie

It’s your choice: Restore a tallgrass or shortgrass prairie, but be sure to select the animals and plants that belong there. Hint: Use the field guide. More...

Interactive
University of Minnesota
Difference Between Prairie and Plain

Difference Between Prairie and Plain

A prairie is a type of plain. Learn the essential features of these two landscapes so you’ll never confuse them again. More...

Article
DifferenceBetween.com
Energy Pyramid: Prairie

Energy Pyramid: Prairie

Like any ecosystem, the prairie maintains a delicate balance. Investigate the relationship between its producers and consumers — and how coyotes play an important role. More...

Interactive
Harcourt School
Grassland and Prairies

Grassland and Prairies

The tall grasses and wide-open spaces of the grasslands are an ecosystem in danger. Discover the biggest threats to habitats around the globe. More...

Article
The Nature Conservancy
Mixed-Grass Prairie

Mixed-Grass Prairie

The mixed-grass prairie is a diverse ecosystem to hundreds of species of animals and plants, including many that are threatened and endangered. Take a look at some of the native residents. More...

Article
NatureNorth
Plains

Plains

Broad and flat, plains cover more than 1/3 of the land area on the globe: They appear on every continent and on other planets. Discover the Great Plains of North America. More...

Article
National Geographic
Plains: Photo Gallery

Plains: Photo Gallery

In Kansas, Africa, Australia, and elsewhere, plains are the subject of some stunning photos. Take a look at how they differ. More...

Images
National Geographic
Prairie Dogs Sound the Alarm

Prairie Dogs Sound the Alarm

Watch how prairie dogs track a coyote’s every move to warn their community of danger. Join the jump yip fiesta when the coast is clear. More...

Video
Animal Planet
Restoring the American Prairie

Restoring the American Prairie

Once vast and unending, the prairies and its animal inhabitants have endured much human activity. Conservationists are working to restore the open spaces that Lewis and Clark explored. More...

Video
National Geographic
Tallgrass Prairie: Nature and Science

Tallgrass Prairie: Nature and Science

Most of our tallgrass prairie is gone, but an ancient remnant survives in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Find out more about the hundreds of species of plants and animals that make their home there now. More...

Article
National Park Service
The Song of the Lark: Prairie Settlement

The Song of the Lark: Prairie Settlement

When people began settling on the tallgrass prairies of the Great Plains in the 1860s, they changed its landscape. Meet some of these pioneers and learn about their lives. More...

Article
PBS

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