Grasslands

This ambitious page is a huge undertaking, and we’re so excited to share the final result with you when it’s ready.

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Each grass-covered hillside is an open book for those who care to read. Upon its pages are written the conditions of the present, the events of the past, and a forecast of those of the future. Some see without understanding; but let us look closely and understandingly, and act wisely, and in time bring our methods of land use and conservation activities into close harmony with the dictates of Nature.
John E. Weaver
1954

Tropical Grasslands

Tropical grasslands (savannas) are often dotted with trees and even covered with a loose canopy at times. The always-warm climate alternates between a dry and wet season, so savannas may be subject to flooded or arid conditions.

kangaroo in an australian savanna
Photo by Trevar Chilver on Unsplash

Australian Grasslands

Mostly arid or semi-arid, the grasslands of Australia are often a very harsh place with extreme droughts, fires, and floods. Some of the grasslands are more traditional oceans of grass, while others are dotted by trees.

private farm in Brazil at dusk
Rachel Roth | 2017

The Cerrado is the little sister of the Amazon Rainforest, and the most biodiverse grassland in the world. With vibes like a natural orchard, the ancient Cerrado is a beautiful, complex ecosystem shaped by fire and drought.

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giraffe in a uganda savanna
Photo by Andrew S on Unsplash

African Savannas

Covering more land than the entire USA, Africa’s savannas are as iconic as they are expansive. Megafauna dominate these well-known landscapes, including the Serengeti, Sudanian Savanna, and Miombo.

termite mounds in Colombia's llanos
©2011CIAT/NeilPalmer

Llanos

The Llanos of the Orinoco basin of Venezuela and Columbia are savannas under severe threat. Flooding each year by the Orinoco river drives back the scattered trees.

Temperate Grasslands

Semi-arid desert and steppe grasslands cover 14% of the world. These grasslands have four distinct seasons with warm summers and cold winters.

Sergio Tittarini/2016
Sergio Tittarini/2016

Eurasian Steppe

Spanning across Europe and Asia the Eurasian Steppe is about 5,000 miles long and is home to only the toughest of animals that can survive its bitter cold winters and short summers.

prairie coneflower on tallgrass prairie national preserve
Rachel Roth/2019

Spanning three climate zones, the Great Plains has its own range of tallgrass, mixed grass, and arid shortgrass prairies. As the rainfall changes from East to West so do the plants and animals that call each area home.

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Veld

South Africa and Zimbabwe’s temperate grassland.

Paul Balfe / 2016

Pampas

Fertile grasslands of South America spanning Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil.

Desert Grasslands

The desert grasslands of the world are located between true deserts and what is often a shrubby landscape associated with mountains. These grasslands are very unique and host a wide range of equally unique plants and animals.

Llama-like guanacos in patagonia
Geoff Livingston/2009

Patagonian Desert Grasslands

A special case of grasslands that span South America. This grassland is very dry, but certainly not devoid of life.

Chihuahuan Desert Grassland
Bureau of Land Management / 2010

North American Desert Grasslands

Chihuahuan desert grassland, Sonoran desert grassland, and others in Mexico and southwestern states are all included here.

Montane Grasslands

Grasslands like the Kinabalu Montane Alpine Meadows (Malaysia) and Southland montane grasslands (New Zealand) exist in alpine, montane, or subalpine regions across the globe. We’re still compiling information, but if you’d like to learn more now, check out the World Wildlife Fund’s description of this ecoregion.

Best Biome: a podcast for grassland lovers

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