Prairie Pothole Region


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Prairie Pothole Region,

large geographic area of central North America consisting of grass-covered wetlands. Stretching northwest from N Iowa through SW Minnesota, E South Dakota, E and N North Dakota, SW Manitoba, and S Saskatchewan to SE and E central Alberta (and including bordering areas of N Montana), the region is covered with thousands of shallow, sometimes seasonal ponds known as potholes or sloughs, which were created when continental glaciers retreated more than 10,000 years ago. The area is the summer home and breeding grounds of some 45 million mallard, pintail, gadwall, and teal ducks as well as many other shore-, song-, and gamebirds, and is popular with hunters and birdwatchers. Located in an important agricultural region, the ponds were routinely drained by farmers to plant wheat and other crops prior to 1985, and the bird and wildlife population had fallen precipitously. The 1985 U.S. federal farm bill, however, provided for conservation subsidies and, in a "swampbusters" provision, withdrew agricultural subsidies from farmers who drained wetlands. As a result, grass replaced wheat in many parts of the region, providing habitat for birds and other animals and leading to an increase in their populations. The program also aided the efforts of family farmers to keep their land by providing funds that counteracted economic losses resulting from low grain prices.
References in periodicals archive ?
With the Protect Our Prairies language included, the 2014 Farm Bill has helped strike a healthier balance between production and conservation in the Prairie Pothole Region.
Breeding bird richness in the Prairie Pothole Region of Minnesota.
If they don't have adequate nesting conditions in the Prairie Pothole Region, they keep flying north.
rule that increased protections on intermittent streams, so vital in trout spawns, and wetlands, like the Prairie Pothole Region, that incubate much of this country's waterfowl.
Located in the heart of the prairie pothole region, there were lots of pheasants and waterfowl a few miles from town and plenty of prairie grouse and Hungarian partridge to the west.
Ruddy Ducks primarily breed in the prairie pothole region of the U.
NORTH AND SOUTH DAKOTA, particularly the landscape known as the Prairie Pothole Region, a network of wetlands formed by glaciers 10,000 years ago, exude a moody, rugged allure.
The increases are attributable to good management and adequate rains in the prairie pothole region where most ducks breed.
Bird populations, especially Ring-necked Pheasants, Sage Grouse, grassland birds, and ducks from the Prairie Pothole region in the northern Great Plains, enjoy a less bleak outlook since the CRP's inception.
Conservation Practice 37, or the "Duck Nesting Habitat Initiative," will be increased by 50,000 acres for states in the Prairie Pothole Region with the majority of the allotment going to North Dakota and South Dakota.
The 64-million-acre Prairie Pothole Region in the north-central United States provides breeding grounds for over 60 percent of key migratory bird species in the United States.
The number of breeding ducks in the prairie pothole region could be cut in half.

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