Cow on McIntyre Ranch (Photo by Leta Pezderic / NCC Staff)
Join us in a groundbreaking endeavour to safeguard one of the largest remaining private tracts of Prairie grasslands in Canada: the McIntyre Ranch. The conservation of this historic and breathtaking ranch, spanning over 22,000 hectares, is the largest private initiative for Prairie grasslands in Canadian history.
Prairie Grasslands: The unsung hero
Prairie grasslands, one of the most endangered ecosystems in world, are disappearing at an alarming rate. Conversion and alteration of this landscape is endangering Prairie species. More 80 per cent of Canada's Prairie grasslands have been lost already, but with your support, we can still save what remains before it’s too late.
The ecosystem services provided by Prairie grasslands are invaluable. Like forests, grasslands sequester and store large amounts of carbon. Wetlands found in the Prairies not only provide essential habitat for wildlife, but also offer benefits such as water collection, filtration and storage. This contributes to the overall health of our environment.
A transformative Prairie grassland initiative
McIntyre Ranch serves as a living testament to the rich ecosystem that once stretched across the Canadian Prairies. By conserving this vast landscape, we are not only protecting Alberta's natural heritage but also making a significant contribution to Canada and beyond.
The ranch is a haven for biodiversity. It teems with life and supports a rich diversity of species. Numerous plant species and more than 150 wildlife species have been identified on here, including 33 species classified as at-risk. Among these are iconic species such as ferruginous hawk, Sprague's pipit and chestnut-collared longspur. More than 80 per cent of the property has been designated as provincial Environmentally Significant Areas, and Birds Canada has identified McIntyre Ranch as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area.
Ferruginous hawk (Photo by Leta Pezderic / NCC Staff)
Sharp-tailed grouse (Photo by Leta Pezderic / NCC Staff)
Pronghorn (Photo by Leta Pezderic / NCC Staff)
The Thrall Family, owners of the McIntyre Ranch, share the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) commitment to conservation and sustainable land management practices. Their dedication and understanding of the rarity and significance of this habitat led them to work in partnership with NCC and Ducks Unlimited Canada to create a conservation agreement on the property. This agreement ensures that the McIntyre Ranch will remain in its natural, healthy, unfragmented state for the long term, while still serving as a working cattle ranch.
Making conservation history
Conserving McIntyre Ranch is a collaborative effort that relies on the generosity and support of individuals like you. By investing in the McIntyre Ranch project, you become a guardian of our grasslands, securing the long-term survival of at-risk and declining species that live here.
Join us in this ambitious endeavour to conserve the McIntyre Ranch, a crucial piece of our natural heritage.
Thank you to our partners — Ducks Unlimited Canada, McIntyre Ranch Co. Ltd., the Government of Alberta, the Government of Canada, the Weston Family Foundation, the Gerald A. Cooper Key Foundation, and Cenovus Energy — for your invaluable support of the McIntyre Ranch project.