Grasslands cover about 30 percent of the Earth’s surface. The country of Africa contains the largest area of grasslands, covering about 14.5 square kilometers. There are many animals that depend on this land to live, such as African elephants, lions, zebras, giraffes, black rhinos, prairie dogs, and more. The grasslands usually get between 10 to 30 inches of rain a year. If it got anymore it would become a forest. Any less and it would slowly become a desert. So there is a seasonal drought each year. The animals that live there are really only active during rain season. The population of animals that used thrive in African grasslands has diminished. Many of the animals have had to find new homes. There are also the central grasslands in North America. The animals that typically live there are prairie dogs, elks, buffalo (until the population died down), bison, and owls. The animal populations in about all grasslands have been slowly decreasing over the years, but now the amount of animals living in the grasslands is decreasing at a higher rate. Some are afraid that the precious animals that live there will soon become extinct. In Africa 80% of the grasslands have been destroyed, but as we continue to decrease the amount of grassland area we have we don’t realize what were doing. In the grasslands Africa there are about 976 different species of animals 329 of which are found no where else on Earth. So as we continue to destroy the animals home they have no where else to go leaving them without a home. Also there is a large economic importance for humans in the grasslands. We depend on the grasslands to raise live stock for dairy products and human consumption. Without the grasslands we would have no where to raise most of the cattle and the other animals we depend on. Issues Facing Grasslands Today: Today there are many problems facing grasslands but the most important ones include the wild fires. Wild fires are created mostly in the summer because the temperature gets so high that the grass will catch on fire very easily. These are very dangerous because they spread through the dry grass quickly. The grasslands do not get much rain in the summer making these fires very hard to control. Also the ground in a the area that the grasslands live are being taken over by humans. This is because the soil is really good for farming , such as the growing of corn. If these area’s continue to be taken away the grasslands will slowly diminish on the Earth. As you can tell from the middle section of text this is not a good thing because economically we need these area’s. Also there are many advantages of keeping the grasslands which you will read about on the next page.

Grasslands Continued.
Advantages of having grasslands: If we keep the grasslands around instead of destroying them we will have cleaner air. With all the other pollution in the world we need some source of clean air. A study done in the United States shows that the grasslands in Central America store more carbon then the forests in that area. Meaning this particular grassland has a counter effect on pollution. Grasslands are also very good at absorbing water. This would reduce run off, which would reduce the amount of pollution in our water. There are also many grassland products. These include wheat, oats, barley, maize, sugar, and sorghum. As you can see there are many advantages to keeping grasslands around. We need to do more to save our grasslands. Africa, the country with the most grasslands in the entire world is currently only preserving 2% of their grasslands when this biome covers about 80% of the whole continent . So as far as preserving goes we as the only species that can save the grasslands are not going a good job.

What will happen if we continue to take advantage of grasslands? If you think about it the grasslands have done so much to help us. Without them our air would not be as clean as it is now. This will make our air even more polluted. They have also provided a place for out cattle to eat and live. We will also have no place to raise the essential animals we need. The grasslands serve as a place to prevent run off so without them we will have many other bad things in our water, polluting it even more then it already is. So in 20 years if we keep destroying or using our grasslands in inappropriate ways then all of the things listed above will slowly begin to happen.

There are many things that have been effected in the grasslands because of the issues discussed above but the two that I would count as the most significant ones would be the decreasing amount of animals and the continuous destruction of vital plants. Since the grassland area has been taken over by people the animals and the plants are having issues surviving in the harsh conditions they are put under. The animals are practically forced off of their own land. Some of these animals do not know how to survive without the grasslands. There are also important plants that depend on the grasslands to live.

Grasslands. MBG, 2007. Web. 09 Dec. 2009. <>. The Grassland Biome. Web. 09 Dec. 2009. <issues:>.

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