Saving the Lesser Prairie Chicken, 1 Million Acres at a Time

Due to it’s restricted range in the prairies and sandhills of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas, the Lesser Prairie Chicken is considered a “vulnerable” species. Because of human activity as well as persistent drought, habitat destruction has directed the species towards candidacy for a threatened or endangered listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In fact, reports estimate that the grouse’s population has declined to approximately 17,615 individuals, and the species currently inhabits only 17% of its historic range. However, not all is lost for the Lesser Prairie Chicken as recovery and conservation efforts are on the rise. The Lesser Prairie Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan (RWP) developed by the Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) outlines tools and provides incentives to encourage landowners and others to voluntarily partner with agencies in habitat conservation efforts. One such company dedicated to the conservation front is Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Oxy), an oil and gas exploration and production company who announced last week that it will commit $12 million over a three-year period to enroll nearly 1.8 million acres of its interests in conservation programs to support the recovery of the grouse species.

One response to “Saving the Lesser Prairie Chicken, 1 Million Acres at a Time”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *