US Fish and Wildlife Service Proposed Lesser Prairie-Chicken Listing Decision

The USFWS announced today ( the decision to propose the listing of two distinct population segments (DPS) of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The USFWS proposes to list the Southern DPS as endangered, and the Northern DPS as threatened with a rule issued under ESA section 4(d), providing exceptions to ESA take prohibitions for agriculture and prescribed burning. WEST has been on the forefront of evaluating the conservation needs of lesser prairie-chickens by monitoring the range-wide population over the last decade, developing analytical techniques to predict population trends and occurrence, and by conducting research to evaluate potential threats to the population. WEST has developed both range-wide and project-specific impact assessment strategies and conservation plans to minimize and mitigate potential impacts to the species and address agency compliance requirements. WEST’s lesser prairie-chicken experts are prepared to rely on this experience to develop science-based strategies that address the challenges facing project proponents concerned with the conservation of this species.