Wildlife In The Temperate Grasslands — Diverse Or Abundant?
The temperate grasslands are transitional regions i.e. they are usually located between forests and deserts. Their major locations include the pampas of South America, the veldts of Africa, the plains of North America and the steppes of Eurasia.
As its name suggests, grass is the dominant vegetation in these regions. All wildlife, in one way or the other, depends on this grass for survival (see more on exotic animal species of the savannah region).
However, the temperate grasslands only receive rainfall averaging 10 to 30 inches per year, making its wildlife less diverse than in the wetter savannah regions. Drought and fires are a norm in these grasslands, and only the fittest wild animals get to survive.
Predators In The Wild
The temperate grasslands are an excellent breeding ground for predators due to the presence of many herbivorous animals. These predators help maintain the ecological balance of these regions by keeping grazers in check so that they don’t eat up all the grass vegetation. They also vary from region to region. In Africa, the main predators are the big cats (lions, cheetahs, leopards); in Russia, they include polecats and the weasel family, whereas in North America they include coyotes, wolves, and foxes.
The Grazers Of The Grasslands
In the temperate grasslands, there is usually a greater abundance of grazers as compared to predators. However, these grazers also vary depending on the region. Some of the grazers in Africa include zebras and gazelles and notable ones in North America include buffalo and deer. If the grazer population is not checked, it can cause harm to the whole environment. The opposite is also true. Without grazers, the population of predators will also decline. So, the temperate grasslands are an excellent illustration of how nature balances itself out.
Apart from grazers and predators, the temperate grasslands are also home to small animal species. These animals include mice, rabbits, weasels and also snakes. These smaller species either feed on the grass vegetation or other smaller animals. A case example is the garter snake. It usually feeds on rodents, lizards, and amphibians. However, at times these little animals can get the attention of large predators. While they may be too small with respect to the size of their prey, some predators never let the opportunity pass by.
It is quite obvious that wildlife in the temperate grasslands is not as diversified as in other regions. However, the abundance of wildlife makes up for this. During recent times, human activities have become a threat to the ecological balance of these regions, with the main reasons being overgrazing and encroachment. This is because of the habitable nature of this area by human beings. Whether human conflict will disturb the ecological balance of this area in the years to come is still a question that can be asked – but perhaps on another day.
For now let’s enjoy the biodiversity in this region.
UN-Habitats is made up of a team of nature and biological scientists from diverse backgrounds but with a centered interest on the conservation of wild life and natural resources. Our primary goal is to provide information about nature and wildlife from different regions of the world.