Briefly

Stuff that matters

Little(r) home on the prairie

WWF-US/Clay Bolt

We plowed up more wild habitat in the Great Plains than in the Brazilian Amazon in 2014.

The Great Plains lost 3,686,960 acres that year; in contrast, the Brazilian Amazon lost 1.4 million, as the World Wildlife Fund points out.

The WWF calculates that an area the size of Kansas has been converted to row crops since 2009. That puts monarch butterflies — along with many other species of birds, plants, and insects — at risk.

“America’s Great Plains are being plowed under at an alarming rate,” said WWF’s Martha Kauffman in a statement. “Centuries old, critical prairie habitat that’s home to amazing wildlife and strong ranching and tribal communities is rapidly being converted to cropland and most people don’t even realize it.”

Ultimately, there are just two ways to stop conversion of land to agriculture: Reduce demand (i.e. eat less meat, use less biofuel), or grow more food in less space. More here.