Grassland types found in rangelands globally

In its narrow sense “grassland” can be defined as ground covered by vegetation dominated by grasses, with little or no tree cover. The map has been produced by mapping the grassland terrestrial ecoregions as defined in the terrestrial ecoregions and biomes of WWF. For more information on these terrestrial ecoregions see:

Key figures

1. Grasslands make up 23% of global terrestrial surface (148,326,000 km2) and 44% (34,819,964 km2) of rangelands (79,509,421 km2).

2. There are 42 types of grasslands found in rangelands. 

3. The most prominent grassland found is the “north sahel semi-desert scrub and grassland” covering 3,060,186 km sq. and the smallest/rarest is the “African (Madagascar) montane grassland and shrubland” with only 1,280 km2

4. Brazilian grasslands are made up of three types – Brazilian-parana freshwater marsh, wet meadow and shrubland covering 171,429 km2, Brazilian-parana lowland shrubland grassland and savanna covering 2,047,404 km2 and Brazilian-parana montane shrubland and grassland covering 26,386 km2. This totals 2,245,219 km2 or 1.5% of global terrestrial surface. 

Grassland types found in rangelands globally


Source: Terrestrial ecoregions of the world. Downloaded in 2021 from:  Original source: Olson, D. M., Dinerstein, E., Wikramanayake, E. D., Burgess, N. D., Powell, G. V. N., Underwood, E. C., D'Amico, J. A., Itoua, I., Strand, H. E., Morrison, J. C., Loucks, C. J., Allnutt, T. F., Ricketts, T. H., Kura, Y., Lamoreux, J. F., Wettengel, W. W., Hedao, P., Kassem, K. R. 2001. Terrestrial ecoregions of the world: a new map of life on Earth. Bioscience 51(11): 933-938.