The mission of the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative is to lead the development, facilitation and integration of science and management to ensure strategic natural resource conservation on the Great Plains.
Formed in 2010, the Great Plains LCC is an applied conservation partnership that provides science and decision support tools to assist natural resource managers conserve plant, fish, and wildlife in the mid- and short-grass prairie of the southern Great Plains. Some of the most imperiled habitats in the U.S are found in this area, along with a number of imperiled species.
Temperate grasslands represent one of the most altered ecological systems on Earth; their biodiversity and ecological processes are threatened by habitat loss and degradation. Despite these issues, grasslands in the Great Plains still include an assemblage of over 2,000 native species of plants and animals.
Playas, one of the most unique wetland ecosystems in the United States, are also found in the Great Plains. These playas or shallow lakes attract and provide habitat for a variety of wildlife species. It is estimated that over 90 percent of wintering waterfowl in the Texas panhandle utilize playas as their primary habitat. Throughout the year, playas serve as biodiversity centers, hosting more than 200 species of birds and other wildlife.
The Great Plains landscape overlays the world’s largest aquifer — the High Plains (Ogallala) Aquifer and is recharged by playa wetlands. It is the single most important water source in the Great Plains region and is critical to the health and survival of both human populations and wildlife in the heartland of America. Prairie streams are also a unique habitat on the Great Plains.