The US Fish and Wildlife Service has officially removed the Lesser Prairie-Chicken from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. This decision comes after years of data evaluation regarding this species which is found in Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico.
“The storied prairie landscape of the Southwest is of tremendous economic and cultural importance. It is also a critical area for the birds, mammals, reptiles and other animals that rely on this unique habitat,” Service Director Dan Ashe said in a statement. “Responding to this court ruling by removing the bird from the federal list does not mean we are walking away from efforts to conserve the lesser prairie chicken. Far from it. We are undertaking a new status review to determine whether listing is again warranted, and we will continue to work with our state partners and others on efforts to protect vital habitat and ensure this flagship of the prairies survives well into the future.”
The Lesser Prairie-Chicken was listed on April 10, 2014. The move comes after a 2015 court challenge by the oil and gas industry requested the agency remove the bird from the list. Read the Federal Register