North American Grassland Birds Are in Peril
This is spurring all-out efforts to save birds and their habitat
When Reed Cammack hears the first meadowlark of spring, he knows his family has made it through another cold, snowy winter on the western South Dakota prairie. Nothing is better, he said, than getting up at sunrise as the birds light up the area with song.
"It's part of the flora and fauna of our Great Plains, and it's beautiful to hear," said Cammack, 42, a sixth-generation rancher who raises cattle on 10,000 acres (4,047 hectares) of mostly unaltered native grasslands.
But the number of returning birds has dropped steeply, despite seemingly ideal habitat. "There are quite a few I don't see any more and I don't know for sure why," said Floyd, Cammack's 92-year-old grandfather, whose family has allowed conservation groups to install a high-tech tracking tower and to conduct bird surveys.
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