Lesser Prairie Chicken

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The lesser prairie chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a species in the grouse family, is slightly smaller and paler than its near relative the Greater Prairie Chicken. About half of its current population lives in western Kansas, with the other half in the sandhills and prairies of western Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle including the Llano Estacado, eastern New Mexico, and southeastern Colorado.

Like its larger relative, it is known for its lekking behavior.

Considered “vulnerable” by the IUCN due to its restricted and patchy range, it is vulnerable to habitat destruction.[2] There is evidence suggesting that global warming may have a particularly detrimental influence by greatly reducing the size of the sagebrush ecosystem.[3] Subfossil remains are known, e.g., from Rocky Arroyo in the Guadalupe Mountains, outside the species’ current range but where more habitat existed in the less humid conditions in the outgoing last ice age. Range contraction apparently took place no later than about 8000 BC. source

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