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The Prairies

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The Prairies - Lesson Summary

Vast uplands covered by grasses are called grasslands. The grasslands cover about one-fourth of the earth’s land and are either large, flat lands, or areas with rolling hills. The climate and soil play an important role in the formation of grasslands.

There are two kinds of grasslands. Tropical grasslands, also called the Savannas, are located around the equator and the Temperate grasslands, called the prairies in North America, steppes in Eurasia, downs in Australia, pampas in South America, and velds in South Africa.

The prairies are found both in USA and Canada and stretch from the Rocky mountains to the Great lakes. The tributaries of the river Saskatchewan in Canada and the river Mississippi in the USA drain the prairies.

The summers in these regions are moderate with the average temperature of 20 degrees Celsius while the winters can be very cold, with the temperatures going as low as 20 degrees below zero. The Prairies receive 25 to 76 centimeters of rainfall annually.

The environmental of the prairies foster the cultivation of crops like wheat, maize, corn, oats, barley, rye and oil seeds. The important animals of the region are the bison or the American buffalo, and the pronghorn. Other animals found in this region are rabbits, coyotes, ground squirrels and the prairie dog.

The most important occupations of the people here are cultivation and dairy farming. Due to immense natural resources and the use of advanced scientific methods in cultivation, these areas produce a surplus of wheat, and are, known as the “Granaries” or the “Wheat Basket of the World.”

An abundance of mineral deposits like coal and iron is also found in this region. 

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