Researchers try to save endangered prairie grasslands

Scientists near Calgary are working on a project to preserve the endangered native plant species of the prairie grasslands.

Project near Calgary has goal of preserving threatened native plant species

Researchers are reintroducing native grassland species at a provincial park near Calgary. 1:59

Researchers are trying to restore native grasslands in an experimental field at Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, west of Calgary. 

Many of the native plant species on the prairies are endangered. They have been all but wiped out by farming and other human activities.

The plants play a key role in the preservation of animal species.

The goal of the research project at the Glenbow Ranch is to bring back the unique combination of plants that combine to create the prairie grassland ecosystem.  

According to Steven Tannas, the lead researcher on the project, some of the native plant species are extremely fragile.

"Some of these plants can be 300 or 400 years old, " he said. "And they only reproduce in most ideal times."

The plan is to share the findings from the research with ranchers, industry, developers and anyone interested in preserving native grasslands.