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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes listing Lesser Prairie Chicken


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This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 10 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including OrnithologyExchange and the Ornithological Council.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has published a proposal to list the Lesser Prairie Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) under the Endangered Species Act. Under the proposal, Lesser Prairie Chicken would be separated into two distinct population segments. One population (in northeast Texas Panhandle, southeast Colorado, south-central Kansas and western Oklahoma) would be listed as threatened and another as endangered (in eastern New Mexico and the southwest Texas Panhandle). 

The proposal would also provide an exemption from the ESA provisions preventing ‘take’ of the threatened population for agricultural activities and controlled burns, in exchange for commitments by the landowners to perform conservation activities. 

A designation of critical habitat for the Lesser Prairie Chicken is forthcoming. 

The USFWS will hold two virtual public hearings on the listing in July and will accept comments on the proposal until August 2. 

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The Ornithological Council is a consortium of 10 scientific societies of ornithologists; these societies span the Western Hemisphere and the research conducted by their members spans the globe. Their cumulative expertise comprises the knowledge that is fundamental and essential to science-based bird conservation and management. The Ornithological Council is financially supported by our 10 member societies and the individual ornithologists who value our work. If the OC’s resources are valuable to you, please consider joining one of our member societies or donating directly at Birdnet.org. Thank you for your support!

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