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American Prairie Reserve (APR) is assembling a world class wildlife park in northern Montana, with the goal of one day creating a seamless 3.5 million acre grassland ecosystem. Learn more about APR, including our bison restoration efforts and how to visit, on the Reserve's website.

The Butcher Bird – Life, Death and Fast Food on the Plains

Heading into the seventh month of a year-round citizen science program on American Prairie Reserve, I’m able to witness the hidden treasures of the ecosystem in ways I’d never imagined. Thanks to volunteers from around the world, we’re able to capture, document and share what’s happening at a level of detail that we can’t do…

Unexpected Conservation Connection Between Montana, Azerbaijan and the United Arab Emirates

My wife Kayla and I, after decades of living in Montana, made a rookie mistake last month as we tried, on a week’s notice, to secure a three-night spot at one of our favorite camping areas. We figured the second week of July would be a perfect time for relaxing and wildlife watching. Apparently so…

Exploring Montana’s Sea of Grass

By Ellen Anderson, American Prairie Reserve –  In prairie ecosystems, it is difficult to see the biodiversity that is there from the window of a vehicle, even for people who are plant nerds like my husband Lars and me. Who can really distinguish different grass species without walking out into the prairie? Once we throw…

Signs of Spring on American Prairie Reserve

By Damien Austin Freezing rain has left inches of ice across a snow-crusted prairie. A few days from now the creeks will be running high as warm weather moves in to unravel the layers of winter. It’s also the time of year when my two young daughters stand at the kitchen windows with their faces…

Landmark Adventure Science: public access to a cherished landscape leads to open access data

With temperatures hovering around minus 21 degrees Fahrenheit, six outdoor enthusiasts gear up for volunteer training on American Prairie Reserve. The blue skies and sunshine are deceptive. Standing too long in these temperatures will create a chill in one’s body that is hard to shake, no matter how much physical exertion is expended. The orientation…

PHOTOS: 5 Animals That Outsmart Winter on the Northern Plains

While parts of the U.S. bundle up for extreme winter weather, the animals on American Prairie Reserve (APR) have enjoyed several warm weeks in January. Since my last trip to the Reserve earlier this month, our staff and volunteer adventure scientists have spotted bison, mule deer, and large groups of pronghorn moving with ease across the…

In Praise of Silence

In the past twelve years, I’ve made many winter trips to this area of the American Prairie Reserve and every time, when the wind calms, I’m still caught off guard by the lack of sound, any sound, for miles.

Top 20 Photos of 2013 from American Prairie Reserve

Looking back over a year’s worth of photos, the prairie weaves an ever-changing tale of drama, peace, microscopic detail, magnitude, and resilience. The seasons become less defined, and the decade I’ve spent helping build American Prairie Reserve blends in a single, long journey. As you scroll through our snapshots from the field, I hope you get…

One-Ton Teamwork: Biologists and High Tech Animal Tracking

WRITTEN BY Lars Anderson, with Kyran Kunkel You would be surprised by how slowly a dart filled with sedative travels through the air. You can see it as it leaves the shaft of the gun and slowly floats toward its target. With any luck, the dart lands in its rather large destination – a bison’s…

A Wild Life at 40 Below: Working on a Snow-Covered American Serengeti

When you think about modern day adventurers, how many of them live and work in the continental United States? On American Prairie Reserve, our staff spend their lives submersed in the grassland ecosystem in all seasons. As winter rolls in across the plains, extreme weather teaches us a lot about what it means to survive…

Ferrets In the Night – Recovery Efforts Continue for Masked Bandits in Montana

The region of the American Prairie Reserve encompasses two national wildlife refuges. This is an area of Montana with dramatic cliffs cut by the Missouri River and rugged, wooded terrain housing mountain lions, elk and big horn sheep. As you move up from the river and north across the prairie, an expansive network of ecologically…

Celebrating National Bison Day with Lewis and Clark

On National Bison day today, we are reminded of the magnificent role that bison play in the prairie ecosystem. Oral history, diaries and journals, and paintings by early explorer/artists like George Catlin tell us that large herds of bison were awe-inspiring (and intimidating) sights. Imagine standing on the high cliffs above the Missouri River and…

Burrowing Owl Chicks Will Steal Your Heart (and maybe your camera)

American Prairie Reserve is home to hundreds of species of birds, including the charismatic burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) that makes its seasonal home in the Reserve’s growing prairie dog towns. Weighing in at 5 ounces and only 9 inches tall, adult burrowing owls are surprising attention-grabbers owing to their unique ground-dwelling lifestyle, striking yellow eyes and…

5 Good News Stories About Grasslands

    THIS MONTH: Bison Make a Comeback, Przewalski’s Horse Decoded, Antelopes Rebound, Habitat for Grassland Birds, Nebraska’s Sandhills In an effort to increase awareness of grasslands issues, American Prairie Reserve compiles news items that encourage you to fall in love with our world’s prairies. These stories introduce you to the organizations working to restore this endangered…

Construction Ahead: Prairie Dogs Build Diversity Across the Plains

An Interview with Dr. David J. Augustine, USDA –  Black-tailed prairie dogs are helpful homebuilders, gardeners and gourmet meals according to recently published research in Conservation Biology. In “Associations of Grassland Bird Communities with Black-tailed Prairie Dogs in the North American Great Plains,” authors David J. Augustine and Bruce W. Baker reveal that the areas…