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Grasslands National Park

Endangered Species and Spaces

Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer / Couleuvre agile à ventre jaune de l'Est
This is the only place in Canada where Eastern Yellow-bellied Racers can be found in the wild.
© Wayne Lynch

In less than one century the native grasslands have become one of the most endangered biomes in the world. Changes to the prairie due to settlement, brought about the extirpation of the Bison, Prairie Wolf, Plains Grizzly, Elk, Wolverine, Swift Fox, Black-footed Ferrets, Greater Prairie Chicken and the near extinction of the Pronghorn Antelope.

Plains bison / Le bison des plaines
Plains bison graze the prairie grasses.
© Nigel Finney

Grasslands National Park is home to a unique blend of prairie-adapted common and endangered species from the Pronghorn Antelope, Sage Grouse, Burrowing Owl, and Ferruginous Hawk to the Prairie Rattlesnake and Greater Short-horned Lizard. Grasslands and the area immediately around the park are the only places in Canada where Black-tailed Prairie Dogs and Black-footed Ferrets exist in their native habitat.

Greater Short-horned Lizard / Grand iguane à petites cornes
In Canada, the Greater Short-horned Lizard exists in less than 10 scattered locations that are severely fragmented.
© Betsy Rosenwald

The park has a proven track record of effective recovery for species at risk. Parks Canada is a leader in ecological management and restoration. Grasslands has been very successful in developing and delivering prairie conservation actions that are effective, efficient and truly engage Canadians. Through collaborative efforts with partners and stakeholders, Grasslands protects and monitors a fairly complete range of prairie flora and fauna. Here you can find a yellow-bellied blue-racer coiled under the lavender-blue blossoms of slender beardtongue or observe the vulnerable ferruginous hawk swooping over the rare black-tailed prairie dog.

Burrowing Owl / La chevêche des terriers
The endangered Burrowing Owl will use abandoned Prairie Dog burrows for a nest.
© Wendy Michael

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