Restoring Indiana’s Grasslands
This award-winning project is a response to the loss of grassland habitat, which the state wildlife action plan identified as the greatest threat to species. The restoration of grassland habitat will benefit you, threatened-and-endangered species, and pollinators. The Division of Fish & Wildlife expects to establish more than 2,000 acres of new grasslands across five focal areas in the state. More than 30 conservation-minded partners are supporting this program already and we are hoping to expand the support to make an even bigger impact.
Increase grassland and pollinator habitat complexes throughout focal regions of Indiana
Improve populations of “at-risk” species and species of greatest conservation need like the Northern bobwhite quail, loggerhead shrike and Henslow’s sparrow
Improve soil health and water quality, while improving wildlife habitat
Why it matters
“The ocean of grass…is no longer what it was…” ~ John Graves
Grasslands for Gamebirds and Songbirds matters to both people and wildlife. The impact for you will be better air to breathe, higher-quality water to drink, sustainable food sources to eat, and more recreation opportunities to enjoy. The impact on wildlife is providing more habitat to help them recover and thrive. The grasslands will create new natural environments that provide important shelter and food sources for wildlife and pollinators. Additionally, grasslands help prevent flooding and are essential to carbon sequestration which is critical to soil health.
Grasslands are vanishing due to a number of factors, including encroachment of invasive species, urban sprawl, and land-use conversions such as habitat fragmentation and the increase of farming intensity. The disappearance of habitat makes it difficult for wildlife to survive. Because only about 4% of Indiana’s land is publicly owned, making significant habitat restoration to better support declining gamebird, songbird and pollinator species is most feasible on private lands. Another unique feature of this project is that agreements are being made with landowners to open their properties to limited public access for outdoor recreation opportunities.