Saving World's Grasslands theme of spring issue of Great Plains Research

Released on 05/04/2010, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, Neb., May 4th, 2010 —

Great Plains Research, a publication of the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, begins its 20th year of publication with its spring issue devoted to "Saving the World's Grasslands."

The authors presented their papers at an April 2009 workshop in Lincoln on "Grasslands of the World" sponsored by The Grassland Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, Denver Zoological Foundation and several sponsors at UNL, including the Center for Great Plains Studies, Center for Grasslands Studies, School of Natural Resources, and the Nebraska Rural Initiative.

Guest editor Richard Edwards, UNL professor of economics, and his co-editor Richard P. Reading, Director of Conservation Biology at the Denver Zoo, introduce the issue with a discussion on the need for protection and conservation of global grasslands, including those in the Great Plains. Nearly all of America's original tallgrass prairie has been converted to agriculture or urban use, but most of the Great Plains shortgrass prairie remains intact, including much of its biodiversity.

Edwards and Reading wrote, "Traditionally, conservationists have thought of protected areas as requiring public landownership, in the form of parks, wilderness areas, and wildlife refuges, but as some authors report, there is a growing movement in several parts of the world for private landowners, including private, for-profit owners, to establish protected areas."

An international set of authors wrote about the conditions and conservation efforts in some of the world's most important grasslands. Illustrations in the issue include several maps and color photos plus two fold-out maps that display the grasslands discussed in the issue.

The articles focus on three main themes: the encouragement of biodiversity conservation on privately owned grasslands, the compatibility of cattle ranching with biodiversity protection in private protected areas, and the crucial importance of scale to achieving many conservation benefits -- wildlife and flora populations often require large areas for maintaining genetic diversity.

Following is a list of articles, authors and their institutions:

* "Global Trends in Private Protected Areas and Their Implications for the Northern Great Plains" by Jeff Langholz, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, Calif.

* "Lessons Learned from Biodiversity Conservation in the Private Lands of Laikipia, Kenya," by Siva R. Sundaresan, Denver Zoological Foundation; and Corinna Riginos, Princeton University.

* "Conservation and Economic Lessons Learned from Managing the NamibRand Nature Reserve," by Nils Odendaal and Danica Shaw, NamibRand Nature Reserve, Windhoek, Namibia.

* "Cattle Ranching and Biodiversity Conservation as Allies in South America's Flooded Savannas," by Almira Hoogesteijn, Centro de Investigacion y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, Yucatan, Mexico; and Rafael Hoogesteijn, Cattle Management and Wildlife Research Liaison for the Jofre and San Bento Ranches, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.

* "The Role of Conservation Research and Education Centers in Growing Nature-Based Tourism," by Richard Edwards and Eric Thompson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

* "Proposed Standards and Guidelines for Private Nature Reserves in the Northern Great Plains," by Curtis Freese, Dawn Montanye, and Steve Forrest, World Wildlife Fund's Northern Great Plains program, Bozeman, Montana.

* "Conserving Mongolia's Grasslands, with Challenges, Opportunities, and Lessons for North America's Great Plains," by Richard P. Reading, Denver Zoological Foundation; Don Bedunah, University of Montana, Missoula; and Sukh Amgalanbaatar, Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Ulaanbaatar.

* "The Role of Ecotourism in Biodiversity and Grassland Conservation in Botswana" by Glyn Maude, University of Bristol, England; and Richard P. Reading, Denver Zoological Foundation.

* "Toward a Strategy for the Conservation and Protection of the World's Temperate Grasslands," by William D. Henwood, World Commission on Protected Areas, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Vancouver, British Columbia.

The journal is available for purchase from the Center for Great Plains Studies at (402) 472-3082 or in the Great Plains Art Museum gift shop, 1155 Q St. For more information on the center, visit

WRITER: Linda Ratcliffe, Center for Great Plains Studies, (402) 472-3965