JV8 Central Grasslands Conservation Initiative

North American native grasslands are disappearing.

Grasslands are incredible ecosystems that support bird populations, pollinators, working lands, opportunities for hunting and outdoor recreation, carbon sequestration, and water security. The loss of grasslands and the benefits they provide impacts rural communities and economies across the continent.

Musselshell Grasslands. Photo © Dan Casey
Northern Bobwhite. Photo © Jim Giocomo

Over the last 40 years, North American grassland bird populations have declined faster than any other group of birds. Over three-quarters of grassland bird species have shown significant population declines.

Since 1970, North American grassland birds have lost 53% of their population.

While populations of birds that depend on wetland habitats have rebounded due to conservation efforts, other birds are declining at rapid rates, especially those that depend on grasslands (Data from Rosenberg, K. V., et al. 2019. Decline of the North American avifauna. Science 366: 120-124. Graphic by Miruh Hamend, Playa Lakes Joint Venture).

Migratory Bird Joint Ventures helped turn things around for wetland birds. Now we are applying that strategy to grassland birds.

Through the JV8 Central Grasslands Initiative (JV8), eight Migratory Bird Joint Ventures — representing over 72 federal, state, provincial, non-profit, and industry conservation partners from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico — are collaborating to stem grassland losses and the negative impacts to migratory birds. The JV8 is implementing grassland conservation programs across a landscape of 500 million acres and across multiple nations with the goal of reversing or stabilizing the decline of bird populations in the central grasslands of North America.

Our Vision: By working together, we can create a world where the central grasslands from Canada to Mexico support stable, thriving, and diverse communities of birds, other wildlife, and people into the future.

Grasshopper Sparrow. Photo © Kevin Barnes


For more information about the JV8 Central Grasslands Conservation Initiative, contact:

Graeme Patterson, PhD
JV8 Central Grasslands Conservation Director
718-877-4035 | graeme.patterson@jv8.org

Click on a logo to visit the website for each Joint Venture in the JV8.

Northern Great Plains Joint Venture
Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture
Prairie Habitat Joint Venture
Prairie Pothole Joint Venture
Playa Lakes Joint Venture
Rainwater Basin Joint Venture
Rio Grande Joint Venture
Sonoran Joint Venture


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Banner photo © Dan Casey