Habitat wetter than 2008 so far

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Written by Phil Thorpe
Sunday, May 17, 2009

Photo of Phil Thorpe.We finished up the grassland units of the survey today. The grasslands northwest of Moose Jaw to the Alberta border are actually drier than last year. The contrast between the extremely wet conditions in the southeast to the extremely dry conditions in the northwest grasslands is typical of the prairies. Although temporarily bad for ducks, the wet-dry cycle of ponds in the prairies is critical to the long-term health of the habitat. The dry cycle allows the prairie to restore itself, and provides renewed resources to waterfowl when it becomes wet again.

Dry conditions in the southwest grasslands.  Photo by P. Thorpe (USFWS)

Dry wetland basins in the southwest grasslands.  Photo by P. Thorpe (USFWS)

Dry basins in the northern grasslands, drier than 2008.  Photo by P. Thorpe (USFWS)