The Sooty blue butterfly (
Zizeeria knysna), a common yet easily missed resident species in grassland habitats.
Butterflies are sentinel species – their interactions with landscapes help scientists understand other insects better.
A bison herd on the America Prairie reserve in Montana.
Amy Toensing/Getty Images
Governments and wildlife advocates are working to protect 30% of Earth’s lands and waters for nature by 2030. An ecologist explains why creating large protected areas should be a top priority.
An ape that lived 21 million years ago was used to a habitat that was both grassy and wooded.
Contrary to the idea that apes evolved their upright posture to reach for fruit in the forest canopy, the earliest known ape with this stature, Morotopithecus, lived in more open grassy environments.
California’s snowpack was more than twice the average in much of the state in early March 2023.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Reservoirs and streams are in good shape in California and the Great Basin, but groundwater and ecosystems are another story. And then there’s the Colorado River Basin.
Plus, why you should always remove grass cuttings from your lawn.
Native grasses, long overlooked, have been shown to benefit cattle and diverse native animals.
Growing native grasses as cattle forage is an example of working lands conservation – balancing human use of the land with conservation goals.
Scientists’ involvement in media reporting on fire leads to more nuanced and balanced messages.
Cathy Withers-Clarke via shutterstock
Fire must be allowed to play its natural role.
A farm in South Africa’s Eastern Cape struggles with woody encroachment.
Maintaining ecological balance in savannas is essential
Efforts to preserve biodiversity and slow climate change make natural bedfellows.
Sandstorm approaching Merzouga Settlement in Erg Chebbi Desert, Morocco.
Humanity’s biggest challenges are not technical, but social, economic, political and behavioural. Effective actions are still possible to stabilise the climate and the planet, but must be taken now.
A plateau pika (
Ochotona curzoniae) emerges from its burrow.
John Holmes/Alamy Stock Photo
The electric Pokemon’s real-life muse is charged with degrading the vast meadows of the Tibetan Plateau.
The Dixie Fire devastated rural Greenville, California, a town of 800 residents, on Aug. 4, 2021.
Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images
Hundreds of computer simulations point to a few best strategies for keeping homes safe from fire in a warming climate.
Aerial view of native seedlings for forest restoration at the the Instituto Terra, Aimores, Brazil.
Christian Ender/Getty Images
Large-scale tree-planting projects are politically popular and media-friendly, but without effective planning and long-term management, they can do more harm than good.
Grasslands can store carbon reliably under increasingly hot and dry climates.
Large areas targeted for forest restoration in Africa are covered by savanna and grassland, which provide important ecosystem services that would be lost should they be converted to forests.
As in humans, environmental changes provoked chimpanzees to develop a diverse range of behaviours.
A restored prairie in southern Michigan.
Restoring former prairies that have been plowed under for farming delivers land, wildlife and climate benefits. But a new study finds that the weather plays a surprising role.
John Glover’s paintings show open savannahs and grasslands in Tasmania. (1838)
Art Gallery of NSW
Two hundred years of forced dispossession cannot erase millennia of land ownership and connection to country.
Bighorn sheep on grassland in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.
North America’s prairies once were home to millions of wild animals. Today, most of that land is farmed or developed, but some grasslands have never been plowed and could be rewilded.
Burning invasive, nonnative grasses on federal land at Lower Table Rock, Oregon.
Along with climate change and drought, invasive grasses are promoting wildfires across the US, even in areas that don’t normally burn.
Yellow-headed Blackbird in flight over cattails in a prairie marshland in Alberta.
The Canadian Prairies are vanishing more quickly than the Amazon rainforest as they are converted for agriculture and industrial uses.