A Symbol of Grassland Health
Missouri's prairie chickens are indicators of healthy grassland ecosystems. Management for prairie chickens helps many other species as well. When settlers’ covered wagons rolled across the state, tens of thousands of the birds occupied every county that contained prairie.
Help from Private Landowners is Key
Today there are fewer than 100 birds left in the state, and grasslands that meet the needs of nesting hens and young broods have become so scarce that biologists worry prairie chickens could become extirpated in Missouri. Private landowners who have large acreages near prairie-chicken restoration sites (mostly in the western part of the state) can help prairie chickens by creating more nesting and brood-rearing habitat on their property. This will benefit not only prairie chickens, but also a whole suite of grassland birds that include bobwhite quail, eastern meadowlarks, and eastern kingbirds.
Have a large acreage near a restoration effort? We'd love to hear from you
The Department of Conservation seeks opportunities to work with private landowners in landscapes where prairie chicken restoration efforts are underway. Financial assistance is available and participation is always voluntary.