About 800 million people live in grasslands. In the Americas, most of the original land has been turned into
agricultural uses and urban areas. On the contrary, very few people live in the
Steppe climate because of the harsh conditions.
North American prairie
Before settlers moved west, the
prairies were inhabited and looked after by Indian tribes who had learnt to
respect and support the natural life cycles. Today very little of the original
prairies survive. There is a strong movement to educate people about prairies.
Many states are rehabilitating what is left of their prairies and reintroducing
the native wildlife and plants.
South American pampas
The humid Pampas ecosystem is one of
the richest grazing areas in the world. Because of its temperate climate and
rich, deep soil, most of the Pampas has been cultivated and turned into
croplands. Unfortunately, domestic livestock and farming have severely affected
the pampas. Fertilizers and overgrazing are a serious threat to the pampas.
There are only a very few pristine remnants of the legendary "ocean of
grass" that was the Pampas. It is considered to be one of the most
endangered habitats on earth.
Very few people live in the Steppe,
mostly migrating shepherd tribes because the vegetation is only grass. Farmers
would have a hard time growing crops because the soil is so poor and its so
In many parts of the savannas of Africa
people have started using it to graze their cattle and goats. They don't move
around and soon the grasses are completely eaten up. With no vegetation, the
savanna turns into a desert. Huge areas of savanna are lost to the Sahara
desert every year because of overgrazing and farming.
To mostSouth Africanfarmers
today the “veld” refers to the land they work, much of which has long since
ceased to be “natural.”
Northern Australian Grasslands
For all known history, Northern Australia
was home to about 100 tribal groups. Aboriginal populations fished, hunted and
lived on wild plants.Captain
Cook was thrilled to discover the lush, green carpet of grass and wild flowers
that covered the land from coast to coast when he first arrived in Australia.
However, European settlers changed much
of this natural scenery. Most native grasslands were turned into grazing
pastures or changed for farming and housing.
Though some of the traditional
knowledge has been lost, modern-day Australians have realised the need to return to tradition
and there is a growing movement to restore land rights to the indigenous populations
to enable them to reconnect with their cultural heritage.