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Analyst says data doesn't justify new listing for bird

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A lesser-prairie chicken in its native habitat. (Photo courtesy of NRCS). USDA, Flickr
Ornithologist Bob Zink told elected leaders from across eastern New Mexico that data on the lesser prairie chicken does not warrant a listing on the threatened species list.

Zink, an ornithologist at the University of Minnesota and also affiliated with the Center for Environmental Science, Accuracy & Reliability (CESAR), presented some of the data and conclusions that CESAR made:
  • Although placing markers on the tops of fences would be useful, collision mortality in lesser prairie chicken deaths is a relatively insignificant factor.
  • There is no reason to believe lesser prairie populations are severely impacted by raptors.
  • Direct effects of livestock on the lesser prairie chicken populations are unknown.
  • There is no scientific data indicating noise is a threat to the lesser prairie chicken.

“There is no evidence the lesser prairie chicken is in long-term decline,” Zink said.

Tuggle did not agree with Zink on the condition of the population of the lesser prairie chicken. He said 10 years ago the population of the grouse was about 90,000, and recent research that has not yet been published estimates that the grouse’s population is somewhere between 34,000 and 37,000.


Read more: http://cnjonline.com/2013/07/11/analyst-says-data-doesnt-justify-new-listing-for-bird/

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