An area of native grasslands and seasonal wetlands that are home to several birds deemed threatened or of special concern is being protected in southern Saskatchewan.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada and its partners have purchased 135 hectares in the Upper Qu'Appelle Natural Area near Craven.

The new Valley View conservation area becomes part of a significant wildlife habitat corridor that stretches west to east across the province.

The Nature Conservancy says the Sprague's pipit, chestnut-collared longspur and Baird's sparrow are likely to be found at the newly protected site.

The group says the property was at risk of rural subdivision and development.

Scientists are planning to do an inventory of all plant and animal species so that a management plan can be developed.

Money to purchase the property came from the federal and provincial governments as well as from individual contributors.

The Nature Conservancy says grasslands are one of the world's most endangered ecosystems. More than half around the world have been lost to development.

In Saskatchewan, 80 per cent of the province's original grasslands are gone.