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U.S. lists lesser prairie chicken as threatened, energy groups wary


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(Reuters) - The Obama administration on Thursday listed the lesser prairie chicken, a small grassland bird native to parts of the country's oil and gas belt, as "threatened," a move that could draw the ire of some Western lawmakers and energy producers.
 
"The lesser prairie chicken is in dire straits," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director Dan Ashe, citing a "rapid and severe decline" in the species' population.
 
Energy companies worried that some oil and gas fields could become off-limits to drilling and that the move could also affect wind farms and other activity. A coalition of energy groups termed the listing "not warranted" in a letter to the USFWS this month.
 
Read more: http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/03/27/us-usa-wildlife-prairiechicken-idINBREA2Q2CA20140327

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