Did you know?

Nearly 3 billion birds have been lost in North America since 1970. Roughly 25% of those were grassland birds.

Spatial Planning Tools

Spatial tools help guide our conservation actions to the places most likely to provide tangible conservation outcomes for birds and local partnerships. In addition to the NGPJV’s Conservation Guidance Web Tool, which is designed to help local producers and on-the-ground practitioners, NGPJV partners continue to develop and update science-based, spatially explicit maps that guide our work.

The USFWS Habitat and Population Evaluation Team developed several spatial planning tools for the NGPJV including maps of grassland cover and priority areas for waterfowl conservation based on wetland and grassland complexes. The wetland density maps indicate areas predicted to provide the highest quality waterfowl habitat within the Joint Venture. These types of maps can help target limited resources to areas with the highest conservation value and greatest return on investment. 

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies is one of several partners that have developed species-specific models showing areas of predicted densities and maps of species richness that help guide NGPJV priorities. Read their full grassland bird conservation business plan to learn more.

The World Wildlife Fund is tracking land-use patterns and annual change in the plains and prairies with their Plowprint Report. WWF’s interactive Plowprint map shows the cumulative footprint of cropland across central North America and can help identify areas with intact grasslands as well as areas that may benefit from restoration.

Another spatial tool relevant to NGPJV conservation planning is the Rangeland Analysis Platform (RAP). The RAP provides information on the timing and location of annual forb and grass cover, perennial forb and grass cover, and areas transitioning to woody plant species within the grasslands, along with other valuable information for understanding the spatial context of NGPJV’s conservation projects.