Study Material and Notes of Ch 9 Life in the Temperate Grasslands Class 7th Geography

Topics in the Chapter

• Grasslands
• The Prairies
→ Climate
→ Flora and Fauna
→ People
• The Velds
→ Climate
→ Flora and Fauna
→ People


• Definition: Grassland is a region where grasses form the dominant type of plant life.

• Grasslands make up almost 25% of the total land surface.

• Climate and soil influence the types of plants.

• Types of Grasslands: 
→ Temperate grasslands: grows in temperate regions.
→ Tropical grasslands: grows in tropical regions.

The Prairies

• The temperate grasslands of North America are known as the Prairies.

• It is a region of flat, gently sloping or hilly land.

• The Prairies are bound by the Rocky Mountains in the West and the Great Lakes in the East.

• It covers parts of United States of America and parts of Canada.
→ In the USA, the area is drained by the tributaries of Mississippi.
→ In the Canada, the area is drained by the tributaries of Saskatchewan Rivers.


• The climate is of continental type with extreme temperatures because located in the middle of a continent.

• The summers are warm with temperatures of around 20°C while in winter temperature may be as low as -20°C.
→ In winters a thick blanket of snow covers this region.

• The annual rainfall is moderate and is ideal for the growth of grass.

• A local wind “Chinook” blows in this region due to the absence of the north-south barrier.

Flora and Fauna

• The region is tree less where water is available, trees such as willows, alders and poplars grow.

• Places that receive rainfall of over 50 cm, are suitable for farming as the soil is fertile.

• Major crop is maize. 
→ Other crops includes potatoes, soybean, cotton and alfa-alfa.

• Large cattle farms called ranches are looked after by sturdy men called cowboys.

• Most important animal is Bison or the American buffalo. 
→ It nearly got extinct due to its indiscriminate hunting and is now a protected species.

• The other animals found in this region are rabbits, coyotes, gophers and Prairie dog.


• The people of this region are very hardworking. 

• They have successfully harnessed technology to utilise their rich natural resources. 

• The USA and Canada are two of the most developed countries are located in this region.

• The Prairies has huge surplus of wheat production, therefore known as the “Granaries of the world,”

• Dairy farming is another major industry.

• This is the most industrialised region in the world due to large mineral deposits particularly coal and iron and a good network of roads, railways and canals.

The Velds

• The temperate grasslands of South Africa are called the velds.

• Velds are rolling plateaus with varying heights ranging from 600 m to 1100 m.

• It is bound by the Drakensburg Mountains on the east and Kalahari Desert in the west.

• It covers parts of South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia.

• The region is drained by the tributaries of rivers Orange and Limpopo.


• The velds have a mild climate due to the influence of the Indian Ocean. 

• Winters are cold and dry. 
→ Temperatures vary between 5°C and 10°C.
→ July is the coldest month. 

• Summers are short and warm.

• The region receive rainfall mainly in the summer months from November to February mainly because of the warm ocean currents that wash the shores of the velds.

Flora and Fauna

• The vegetation cover is sparse.

• Grasses dominate the landscape. 
→ Red grass grows in bush velds. 
→ Acacia and maroola are present in high velds.

• Lions, leopards, cheetah and kudu are the primary animals in velds.


• Velds are known for cattle rearing and mining.

• Sheep rearing is the most important occupation of the people mainly for wool.

• Dairy farming is the next important occupation. 
→ Cattle are reared in the warmer and wetter regions
→ The dairy products like butter, cheese are produced for both domestic supply and also for export.

• The soils are not very fertile in the velds due to the presence of discontinuous grasses exposing barren surface.
→ Where the land is fertile crops are grown. 
→ The main crops are maize, wheat, barley, oats and potato. 
→ Cash crops like tobacco, sugarcane and cotton are also grown.

• The velds have rich reserve of minerals.
→ Iron and steel industry has developed where coal and iron are present. 
→ Gold and diamond mining are major occupations of people of this region. 

• Johannesburg is known for being the gold capital of the world. 

• Kimberley is famous for its diamond mines.

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