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prairie chicken

Greater Prairie-Chicken

Fifty years ago, people often heard the eerie, hollow cooing sounds of male greater prairie-chickens on their spring booming grounds throughout the tallgrass prairies of central and eastern North America. In Missouri, prairie-chicken numbers have been declining since the 1960's and biologists predict the species will disappear from the state by the year 2009.

The Conservation Department is working to restore the bird's prairie habitat -- both private and public -- by replanting native warm season grasses and using controlled burning to keep non-native fescue and woody vegetation from taking over grassland habitats.

-- Amy Salveter, endangered species coordinator

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