Length: 10 min.
4, 5, 6, 7, 8
American Grasslands documents the great diversity in one of North America’s most ecologically significant and threatened biomes and highlights the various types of grasslands, from the famed tallgrass prairie to lesser known desert and coastal grasslands. A special program within the series explores conservationists’ efforts to protect the highly fragmented grassland habitats and restore them to their original state by reintroducing fire and native flora and fauna. Highlighting the various types of grasslands and with stunning footage of some of the diverse wildlife that inhabits this biome, American Grasslands will be an important addition to any community or science, history or language arts classroom.
1. North American Grasslands — This program provides an overview of the various grasslands in the continent and examines distinct habitats such as California, desert, and intermountain grasslands.
2. Tallgrass Prairie — The so-called “true prairie,” tallgrass prairie was once the most dramatic North American grassland, reaching up to 12 feet in height. Today this habitat covers only 1% of its former range.
3. Mixed Prairie — A combination of both short and tallgrass prairie, mixed prairie contains more plant species than any other prairie type.
4. Shortgrass Prairie — Grazing by large ungulates such as buffalo and pronghorn and small animals like prairie dogs historically maintained these grasslands.
5. Coastal Grasslands — Many people are surprised to discover that remnant grasslands can be found along the Gulf Coast in Texas and Louisiana and within the Everglades.
6. Grasslands Conservation — Public and private environmental groups are working together to save North America’s relict grasslands and restore them to their original condition through prescribed burning and the reintroduction of native species.
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Assignment: The World has been discontinued by the producer and is no longer available for broadcast.
PBS Newshour Extra’s Daily News Story is a great alternative.