Prairie Collection

Explore the sounds of the prairie

Related: Find out about the sounds of Montana’s four major ecosystems in a story map we co-created with ESRI Story Maps.

About our Prairie Collection

To the east of Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front lies the High Plains Ecosystem. This area includes some of the world’s largest remaining stretches of intact shortgrass prairies, also called grasslands. Thousands of migratory birds flock here and their calls at first light create the prairie’s distinctive dawn chorus.

Where they exist, such prairies are rich in wildlife, but less than 5% of temperate grasslands are considered protected, making them among the most endangered ecosystems in the world.

In 2017, the Acoustic Atlas began documenting the sounds of Montana's shortgrass prairies through a collaboration with the American Prairie Reserve.

We continue to visit the Reserve to make recordings of species and soundscapes that we place in our online collection. You can get a list of playable sounds by clicking on any picture displayed in the following list of relevant species. The buttons and text box below allow you to filter the sound list.