Playas are shallow, temporary ponds that collect runoff from the surrounding area after large rain events. Some dry up within days. Others contain water for weeks or months. With more than 80,000 scattered across the western Great Plains, playas are the most numerous wetlands in the region. These important wetlands not only support a diversity of plants and wildlife, including resident and migratory birds, they also support the people who live here by recharging the Ogallala Aquifer and improving the quality of that water. To continue to work effectively, playas need their basins to be intact, excess sediment removed, and a filtering grass buffer that traps sediment while allowing water to reach the playa.
Playa Conservation Initiative
The PLJV partnership is vested in helping to make sure producers, local communities, birds and other wildlife all prosper and thrive in this landscape. We work with a variety of partners including conservation groups, wildlife agencies and private industry to help conserve playas and to target conservation efforts in areas that will provide the most benefit.
PLJV’s Playa Conservation Initiative incorporates the latest work of the partnership in a number of fields to drive more playa conservation throughout the region. The initiative is comprised of interrelated projects focused on addressing current conservation challenges and taking advantage of available opportunities.
This approach to playa conservation builds upon the work done over the last decade by the Joint Venture partnership and will provide direction for the next decade of conservation action. The projects range from creating decision support systems that prioritize playas for conservation to developing playa research priorities and promoting ecosystem services provided by playas.
Information and Resources
Use the links below to learn more about the benefits playas provide and tools to help with playa conservation efforts.