Conservation Matters March 2012

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

TPWD begins lesser prairie-chicken aerial survey

Lesser Prairie ChickenThis spring, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will collaborate with state fish and wildlife agencies from New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado, West Ecosystems, Inc., and Texas Tech University to conduct a large-scale aerial survey for lesser prairie-chicken booming grounds across the High Plains region in all five states.

Information from these surveys will be used by TPWD and the other state agencies to help conserve the bird in partnership with landowners and private industries, including oil and gas, wind energy and electric utilities, according to TPWD.

"These surveys represent a unique effort by state fish and wildlife agencies across the region to work together to monitor population trends over time and to effectively manage for this species," said Lubbock-based TPWD wildlife diversity biologist Sean Kyle. "This information, combined with other ongoing conservation efforts, could help avoid the need to list the lesser prairie-chicken as federally endangered. The surveys will provide more data to inform the US Fish and Wildlife Service's decision about whether to list the species."

TPWD estimated that surveys would begin around March 24 and continue through mid-May. Read the full TPWD news release.

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