A temperate grassland is a biome where grass is the dominant plant. Because of the lack of moisture in this environment, trees and shrubs cannot grow in temperate grasslands and the main plants found are grasses and flowers. This biome can be found across the globe on every continent except for Antarctica and, although there is a low diversity in plant life, animal life is abundant in temperate grasslands.
In southern Africa, the temperate grassland region is called the veld. Due to mass slaughter, trophy hunting and encroachment of farmers, most species of animals have been thinned out over the veld. Fortunately, the South African and Zimbabwean governments have taken action to protect what animals are left, and now the lion, leopard, cheetah, giraffe, hippopotamus, elephant, oryx, kedu, eland and antelope survive in or near protected wildlife reserves. Rhinoceroses and zebras can be found wandering all over the veld as well.
The Australian temperate grassland region is known as the southern tablelands. A famous temperate grassland organism Australia is home to is the kangaroo. Other animals that live in this biome include the dingo, fox, raven, eagle, wallaby and emu. Australia doesn't have any large mammals like the ones that can be found in most other temperate grassland regions but has plenty of small rodents.
The prairies of North America were once much larger than they are today. The bison, also known as buffalo, used to roam these prairies by the millions before European settlers arrived, but are now scarce in the wild. The prairies are also home to the jackrabbit, prairie dog, California condor, coyote, gray wolf, ground squirrel, meadow vole, rattlesnake, skink, pronghorn antelope, red fox, tiger beetle and western meadowlark.
The pampas of South America spread from the Atlantic Ocean to the Andes Mountains and are located primarily in Argentina and Uruguay. Some of the common animals that live here are the pampas deer, puma, Geoffroy’s cat, pampa fox, nutria, opossum and several waterfowl such us the gallareta chica, the cuervillo de cañada, and the cigüeña Americana.
The temperate grasslands of Eurasia, known as the steppes, range from the Ukraine eastward through Russia and Mongolia. This temperate grassland is home to many organisms, including the hedgehog, pika, squirrel, mole rat, birch mouse, hamster, vole, Siberian ferret, saiga antelope, Mongolian gazelle and wild boar. Most of the animals that live in the steppes are small mammals in the rodent family. The only predators in this biome are of the canine family, such as the gray wolf and fox.