©John E. Marriott via AllCanadaPhotos.com Swift Foxes on the wild grasslands southern Saskatchewan


Despite protecting large areas in the northeast and southwest of the province, Alberta has largely overlooked protections for grasslands – the area that is home to the largest number of at-risk species in the province.

Alberta is an excellent example of how a region can achieve area-based protection targets while failing to protect areas that are essential to supporting and recovering wildlife that are at risk of extinction. Nearly the entire grassland ecosystem of Alberta is considered a priority region for the establishment of new protected areas, largely due to the high prevalence of at-risk species. Alberta’s existing protected areas are heavily restricted to the Rocky Mountains and northeastern parts of the province.

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© Chase Clausen / Shutterstock

Regional Spotlight

Prairie grasslands are one of the world’s most endangered ecosystems – they are poorly or not at all protected in Alberta, despite the fact they are home to so many of the province’s at-risk species.