Bringing Back The Birds
Proud Partner of the
National Audubon Society
Our “Silent Spring” is finally here. We have paved over, plowed under and poisoned the habitat that provides food and shelter to grassland birds. No bugs, no birds. No grasslands, no birds. Therefore, it should be no surprise that grassland birds are in a precipitous decline worldwide.
It’s time to act, and ranching is one place we can do this quickly at scale.
Audubon Conservation Ranching
Perhaps surprisingly, grazing of cattle is a powerful tool to fix this. The trick is to graze differently - in a way that mimics how it would have happened in nature before we disrupted her patterns.
The National Audubon Society is one of this country’s oldest and most respected conservation groups. Several years ago, they recognized the very large potential to renew vast areas of grassland bird habitat by working more directly with the people who manage most of them - ranchers.
So they created the Audubon Conservation Ranching program to help recreate grasslands that are good for birds across American landscapes. Any farmer and rancher can apply to join the program, but they have to adhere to a set of protocols for 1) habitat management, 2) forage and feeding, 3) animal health and welfare, and 4) environmental sustainability.
All of our beef comes from ranches that have been certified under this program. You can learn more about the Audubon Conservation Ranching program here. The map below shows the ranches currently enrolled in the ACR program.
Who Needs Your Help?
A new major report from Audubon documents a range of grassland birds whose future is threatened by climate change and whose habitat can be regenerated using good grazing. They include:
Although it looks like a shorebird, this plover rests in patchy shortgrass in mostly arid regions where it can both watch for predators and hunt for insects. Already gone from much of its former range, its remaining habitat will largely disappear with warming of only 2-3 ℃.
This songbird likes to hide in wetter mixed- or tall-grass settings in and around prairie potholes. Retaining these whole complex and functioning ecosystems is vital to their survival. Climate change could lead to the collapse of its breeding habitat without a new kind of management.
With the conversion of former prairies to today’s farmland, this species has already lost a large portion of its habitat. Lark Buntings thrive on the western plains in short- and mixed-grass prairies. If temperatures rise by 3℃ , this bird will lose much of its breeding range.