This passage talks about the different types of prairie and why they are now protected by government laws.

Lexile Level: 570L

Categories: Animals & Nature

Grasslands are found in the interior of continents. They are between forests and deserts. Antarctica is the only continent that doesn't have grasslands. Grasslands are called "prairie" in North America. Prairies are open fields and meadows with deep rooted grasses. There are three types of prairie. They are tallgrass, mixed, and shortgrass. In areas with heavy rainfall, grass grows tall. Before farming, you could ride a horse through tallgrass prairie and no one could see you. There isn't much left of the natural prairie of North America. As settlers moved west, they realized the soil was perfect for farming. They plowed the open fields. They planted wheat and corn crops. The grassland became farmland. At the same time, cities developed. Animals were forced from their prairie habitat. At one time, 650 million bison roamed prairie. Now there are only 250,000. Today, there are reserves protecting the natural prairie that remains.


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