Species at Risk
The Redstreak Restoration Project
Grasslands are recognized as one of BC’s most threatened ecosystems. In fact, grasslands represent less than 1% of the provincial land base, and are far more endangered than old growth forest.
© Parks Canada / A. Dibb / 2005
British Columbia’s grasslands are important for the ranching industry
that has raised livestock in BC for over a hundred years. Grassland valleys
also provide important transportation corridors and agricultural areas. Grasslands
are also becoming the places where people choose to develop their living spaces.
There are no large, undisturbed areas of grassland left in British Columbia.
Historically the low-elevation forests and grasslands of British Columbia’s Southern Interior depended on occasional low-intensity surface fire (5 – 30 year fire cycle) to maintain their open structure and ecosystem function. Fire suppression created closed forests and loss of habitat for bighorn sheep and other species that rely on grassland/open forest ecosystems.
Grasslands face a number of threats, including residential development, habitat
fragmentation, climate change, damage from recreational activities, inappropriate
grazing practices, forest in-growth and non-native invasive plants.