Applaud Restoration of Wildlife to Natural Habitat


Target: Emily Boyd-Valandra, Wildlife Biologist at the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota

Goal: Thank Native American tribes for restoring rare, unique species to their former habitat

Expressing a deep love of the land, many Native American tribe members are working to conserve rare animals but also to honor a cultural memory, one of a land teeming with a variety of wildlife. With a college degree in ecology, Emily Boyd-Valandra, reflects a growing trend among younger Native Americans who have been returning to tribal land to take an active role in revitalizing native ecosystems, according to an article in the New York Times. These wildlife stewards have been instrumental in protecting rare native species like the swift fox, a small, tan dog known for its cleverness. Like many species, the swift fox was killed in massive numbers, following the rise of industrial agriculture in the U.S. In fact, it was nearly placed on the endangered species list, having been nearly decimated by agricultural poisons and preyed on by coyotes, which became abundant in the wake of the extermination of wolves.

Yet, for species to be reintroduced into an environment, they need their natural habitat. For many animals in the Northern Great Plains, that means land untouched by plowing or other agricultural activities. While unplowed temperate grassland is the least protected large ecosystem on earth, according to the non-profit American Prairie Reserve, Native American communities have mostly kept their grasslands intact. Welcoming these rare species back to their home, many Native Americans take pride in enabling these animals to thrive once again in their natural habitat.

By signing the petition below, you can praise these members for their devotion to native wildlife.


Dear Ms. Boyd-Valandra,

I am writing to applaud you for your dedication to restoring native animals to their natural habitat in the plains of South Dakota. Drawing on both science and traditional culture, you and your community have helped protect rare, unique species like the black-footed ferret from threats like habitat fragmentation. Your leadership and hard work are both admired and appreciated.

Thank you for reminding us to respect the land and all the creatures including us that call it home. Your dedication to native ecosystem conservation is truly inspiring, and I wish you the best of luck in your future initiatives.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mariomassone via Wikimedia Commons

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One Comment

  1. Barbara Griffith says:

    It wasn’t just the Buffalo that was almost hunted to extinction it was also the black footed ferret in the photo that was thought to be extinct until someones dog brought home one that it had killed. That started biologists looking for them. Now after almost 20 years there are thousands of them bred from a few animals that were captured. They prey on prairie dogs which is their preferred food. The prairie dogs were poisoned and shot by ranchers of cattle and sheep the prairie dogs were considered pests because of the grasses they ate which the ranchers considered their property. In other words the the animals were here for thousands of years but were pests now. When their food supply was killed off from being shot and poisoned the black footed ferret was thought to be gone for good. Its the only ferret known to be native to North America. There is a lot of information on google about them. Take a look.

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