The Prairie-Chicken wiped out in Canada

"The Greater Prairie-Chicken, a bird that once numbered in the millions on the grasslands, is now considered wiped out in Canada" - Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada

From millions of birds to none in about 100 years, the prairie-chicken has been wiped out in Canada. Another sad symptom of our suicidal short term lust to turn the consumption of the biosphere's bounty into quick bucks. The first Europeans to encounter North America's grasslands stood atop many feet of topsoil built up over millennia, the sequestered carbon exceeding 500 billion tons. Today, along with the prairie chicken, the top soil's extinction is imminent in most of the grassland's former domain.

When those first explorers and pioneers arrived on the North American prairie they saw the living grasslands from horizon to horizon. The most abundant types of plant life being: Buffalo Grass, Sunflower, Crazy Weed, Asters, Blazing Stars, Coneflowers, Goldenrods, Clover, and Wild Indigos. They saw a cornucopia of animals in the grasslands: Coyotes, Eagles, Bobcats, the Gray Wolf, Wild Turkey, Fly Catcher, Canadian Geese, Crickets, Dung Beetle, Bison, and of course the Prairie Chicken.

Thousands of years of agriculture have created ecological crisis throughout the world, but nowhere is the story more dramatic than in the North American grassland. We fenced the range, slaughtered the bison, overgrazed our cattle and over harvested the land. We ate up the topsoil, killed the microbes that sustained it with our fertilizers, harvested and harvested until the drought and the wind blew it away.

DNA evidence has concluded that the prairie-chicken is a species native to North America and has been around for at least 9,000 years. The flora and fauna of the grasslands created and sustained each other once, they could again. If the grasslands of North America were to allowed to live again they would begin to re-sequester the biomass we insanely used up. The grasslands and the prairie chicken can make a comeback, we, the rogue primate, can learn to live with our cousins not off them.

Nature has given us clear instructions as to how we must redesign agriculture and economy to resurrect the creative power of the plains. These instructions point the way not only to ecological restoration, but also to revived economy and human well-being. - Richard Manning