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Content tagged with "prairie chicken"

Manage your Missouri land to help this endangered species.

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Photo of a male greater prairie-chicken in courtship display

Greater Prairie-Chicken

Tympanuchus cupido
This rare bird breeds in select grasslands in the spring, filling the air with their unusual booming calls. With their numbers dwindling, prairie-chickens need strong conservation support.

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Photo of female greater prairie-chicken

Greater Prairie-Chicken Female

Although female prairie-chickens incubate their eggs for 3 weeks, and the chicks stay with their mothers for 8–10 weeks before the brood breaks up, brood survival is very low. Without substantial increases in suitable habitat, prairie-chickens, which once numbered in the hundreds of thousands in our state, will likely soon be extirpated. Prairie conservation is the key to their survival.

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Photo of a male greater prairie-chicken

Greater Prairie-Chicken Male

Adult prairie-chickens are barred with brown, tan, and rust throughout and are about the size of a small domestic chicken. The tail is short and rounded at the tip. There are tufts of long feathers on the sides of the neck; these tufts are longer in males. Orange air sacs and eyebrows are conspicuous on males in the spring.

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I am Conservation

This content is archived
"I am Conservation" for the November 2009 Missouri Conservationist.

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Map of Prairie Chicken 1,165-Mile Journey

Map of Prairie Chicken 1,165-Mile Journey

This map from July 29 shows the prairies chicken's 1,165-mile journey in Missouri and Iowa. The red circle represents the Grand River Grasslands prairie focus area. The upper green dot is a lek at the Kellerton Wildlife Management Area in Iowa where Bird No. 112 was first released. The lowest green dot is Dunn Ranch in Harrison County, Missouri, where prairie chickens were also released and are being tracked. The darker the square, the more recent the bird’s position. The longest single movement was about 24 miles on April 25 from Grundy County to Mercer County, Missouri.

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Prairie chicken hen

Prairie Chicken Hen

Prairie chicken hens hatched several healthy broods this summer with help from early-summer weather that was not overly cool and wet, a crucial boost to a critically endangered species in the state.

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Prairie Chicken Radio Collar

Prairie Chicken Radio Collar

This prairie chicken hen was outfitted with a radio transmitter by MDC staff and released at Dunn Ranch in northwest Missouri in late April. These transmitters must be tracked by staff with antennae and have a limited range. They are different than the larger transmitter connected with a satellite that Iowa biologists placed on Bird No. 112. The purpose of both types of transmitters is the same. Biologists track the birds to determine what habitat management will best help prairie chickens recover in areas where public-private partnerships are protecting remnant prairies or restoring native grasses and wildflowers.

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