Essential to iconic species and insects alike
Grasslands, shrublands, and savannas are home to iconic fauna like lions and giraffes, as well as key insect and bird species. They each have their individual and unique organism, habitat and foodweb relationships.
Savannahs, for example, are home to the largest animal populations on Earth. They serve essential roles with preserving biodiversity and genetic vibrancy, storing carbon, controlling erosion, facilitating pollination through the provision of pollinator habitat and forage, and providing habitat for numerous species of wildlife, plants, macro- and microbiota.
Issues facing grasslands, shrublands & savannahs
Almost half of all temperate grasslands and 16% of tropical grasslands have been converted to agricultural or industrial uses and only 1% of the original tallgrass prairie exists today1. Over-exploitation, monocropping and poor management are dramatically degrading these habitats. Climate change increases drought, urban sprawl insights clearing and wood removal, overgrazing causes soil erosion, the encroachment of invasive species erodes biodiversity. All of this erodes and degrades habitats, resulting in a loss of biodiversity and indigenous cultures.
Species and habitat loss reduce our resiliency as a species. Acceleration of drought, soil loss, and climate change has negative consequences on our ability to persist as a species and a planet.
Solutions to help grasslands, shrublands & savannahs
Education and community involvement are vital. Sustainably managed land management practices use an appropriate mixture of land management including prescribed burns and replanting with managed population growth. Sustainable managed urban growth needs to be combined with ecologically sound and balanced watershed level master planning.
Carbon sequestration can be incorporated through compensatory mitigation banking and biodiversity improved through native seed collection and replanting. Habitat for wildlife and fisheries must be preserved, enhanced and restored through targeted revegetation that aligns with key species needs.
HOW WE CAN ALL HELP
- Educate ourselves on the benefits of and threats to these ecosystems
- Visit and enjoy the landscape responsibly and sensitively
- Respect and conserve grasslands where you live
- Avoid behaviours that can start wildfires
- Support conservation organisations that project these ecosystems
Ramboll's work supporting grassland, shrubland and savannah ecosystems
Click below to read more about projects and news related to this ecosystem