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Many of the great grasslands parks of the world have well-developed visitor facilities, and their plentiful wildlife is often easily observed.
East African examples include Serengeti National Park, part of an epic ungulate migration corridor, and Tsavo National Park, which supports large numbers of elephants and maneless lions.
The grasslands, scrub and savannas of southern Africa include such national parks as Kruger, Kalahari-Gemsbok and Etosha.
The tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands are characterized by rainfall levels between 90–150 centimetres (35–59 in) per year.
Rainfall can be highly seasonal, with the entire year's rainfall sometimes occurring within a couple of weeks.
Summer temperatures in the temperate grasslands, and those year-round in the tropical grasslands, can be ferocious, and there is often scant shade to protect against the sun. Wildlife can also pose a threat to the unwary: Hikers in the Dakota badlands, for example, should avoid getting too close to belligerent bison, which can be very dangerous.
Ethan Shaw is a writer and naturalist living in Oregon.
They are widespread in Africa, and are also found all throughout South Asia, the northern parts of South America and Australia, and the southern United States.
Grasslands are broad, open places of billowing grass, yawning horizon, soaring birds of prey and grazing animals.
They also develop where human activities such as the setting of fires and the grazing of livestock help maintain the open environment. Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota and Badlands National Park in South Dakota protect striking examples of badlands topography, sedimentary terrain heavily eroded into hoodoos, castellations and spires, as well as tracts of mixed-grass prairie.
In a given region or country, grasslands go by different names. Elk, bison, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, badgers, prairie dogs and burrowing owls are notable species.