A survey on lesser prairie-chicken shows their population remains steady after five years of data collection:
Conducted by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA), the surveys indicated an estimated breeding population of 25,261 birds this year which scientists say is not significantly different from the 29,162 birds estimated in 2015 given the variability in the survey methodology. This spring’s breeding population remains significantly larger than the 17,616 birds estimated in 2013 following two years of severe drought.
Lesser prairie-chicken populations are found in four ecoregions in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, New Mexico and Colorado, with populations in New Mexico and the Texas panhandle experiencing the greatest growth.
According to Bill Van Pelt, WAFWA grassland coordinator, “Lesser prairie-chickens inhabit a large geographic landscape with highly variable weather patterns, so we expect to see annual and regional population fluctuations.”
Read the full article from Lesser-Prairie Chicken Initiative.
Photo courtesy of David Haukos via the Lesser-Prairie Chicken Initiative.