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Restoring America's Wild Prairie News

A bird, called a yellow-billed cuckoo, with a long tail and a yellow bill perches on a branch in a tree
Jan. 12, 2021
Cuckoos are extremely secretive birds and difficult to spot. Researchers are developing a tool, using remote sound recorders and artificial intelligence, to help detect them.
A swift fox with a small body, bushy tail and tall, pointed ears stands on a mound of dirt on an open prairie. The fox is wearing a lightweight GPS collar around its neck.
Jan. 07, 2021
In the midst of the pandemic, as the story goes, a team set out to bring swift foxes back to a land they had disappeared from more than 50 years ago. Learn more in this update from landscape...
American bison on the American Prairie Reserve in Montana.
Nov. 09, 2020
Spending your days with a herd of bison is an idyllic way to pass a summer. I would know, because most of my days from May to August were spent observing the behaviors of a herd of about 300 bison in...
A black-tailed prairie dog stands on its hind legs in short grasses on the plains of Montana
Jul. 02, 2020
At their field site in north-central Montana, ecologist Andy Boyce and intern Andrew Dreelin are learning more about how black-tailed prairie dogs change the landscape and support the many species...
A small fox, called a swift fox, standing on Montana's grassy plains under a cloudy sky. The photo was captured by a camera trap.
Apr. 24, 2020
Landscape ecologist Hila Shamon lives and works in Montana, where she studies the prairie and its wildlife. Over the last year and a half, she has been working with Fort Belknap Indian Reservation...
Two bison with thick fur, big shoulder humps, large heads and short, curved horns stand in grass and shrubs at American Prairie Reserve in Montana
Apr. 01, 2020
Smithsonian ecologists worked with American Prairie Reserve staff to fit bison with GPS ear tags. Their movement study will help researchers understand how bison move and use the landscape at the...
A shorebird, called a long-billed curlew, with a long, slender, curved bill, and mottled brown feathers flies over grasslands in Montana
Oct. 22, 2019
Long-billed curlew are shorebirds that spend their summers breeding in the grasslands of Montana. Smithsonian ecologists are equipping them with GPS trackers to learn more about their movements.
A camera trap photo of a hoofed animal (called a pronghorn) with thick fur, big ears and large, flattened antlers walking across the wide-open grasslands of the American prairie
Aug. 12, 2019
How can you begin to study something as vast and diverse as the American prairie? Find out in the latest blog from landscape ecologist Hila Shamon who is stationed at American Prairie Reserve in...
A bird called a long-billed curlew flies across a blue sky. Its wings are outstretched and its long, thin, curved bill is open.
Jul. 31, 2019
All seasons on the prairie are special. But spring is just a little more special than the rest, as every day birds return for summer breeding season.
A herd of bison running through grasslands in Montana. One of the bison is wearing a GPS tracking collar around its neck.
May. 08, 2019
Landscape ecologist Hila Shamon spent the first two weeks of April working with American Prairie Reserve to place GPS collars on plains bison.
Grasslands of the American Prairie Reserve in Montana under a bright blue sky with a few whispy clouds on a sunny day
Feb. 08, 2019
Conservation ecologist Andy Boyce lives on the American Prairie Reserve in Phillips County, Montana. It's rugged, it's wild and it's one of the only places left on Earth where scientists have the...
Two bison -- large mammals with thick fur coats, rounded sharp horns, big heads and large shoulder humps -- walk through tall grass at sunset
Dec. 27, 2018
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is dedicated to saving species. Every year, its team of conservationists here and around the globe works hard to make that mission a...