© shutterstock Sprague's pipit


Though 78 per cent of physical habitats have some form of protection in Saskatchewan, only 17 per cent are adequately protected, impacting their value for wildlife.

Widespread loss and deterioration of grassland habitat has threatened the many species that rely on grassland ecosystems. While Saskatchewan has many small protected areas scattered throughout the southern portion of the province that enhance its ecological representation, these protected areas lack connectivity and are not sufficiently large to ensure that biodiversity can thrive. Native prairie grasslands are one of the most threatened terrestrial ecosystems in the world and these regions should be prioritized for landscape-scale protection. In addition to habitat loss, at-risk grassland species suffer from habitat degradation via the intensification of agricultural operations and application of pesticides.

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© James Gabbert / Shutterstock

Regional Spotlight

Southern Saskatchewan’s scattered and small protected areas provide good coverage but lack connectivity and are not sufficiently large to effectively support grasslands wildlife like the Sprague’s Pipit.