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Federal Officials Again Review Status of Lesser Prairie Chicken

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Federal Officials Again Review Status of Lesser Prairie Chicken

Associated Press reports:  

Federal wildlife officials on Tuesday agreed to reconsider the status of a grouse found in pockets across the Great Plains as environmentalists fight to return the bird to the list of protected species.

The lesser prairie chicken was removed from the threatened and endangered species list earlier this year following court rulings in Texas and a decision by government lawyers not to pursue an appeal.

Environmentalists responded by petitioning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take another look at the bird. They argued that emergency protections are needed for isolated populations of the bird along the Texas-New Mexico border, in Colorado and western Kansas.

“This is a bird that used to number in the millions and now in recent years it has declined to roughly 25,000 birds. The population that straddles Kansas and Colorado, for example, may already be gone. So it’s still very much losing ground,” said Noah Greenwald with the Center for Biological Diversity.

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Source:  Capital Press

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