Already, more than 600 farmers and ranchers participating in the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative have restored and protected almost one million acres of lesser prairie-chicken habitat since 2010.
The initiative helps decrease lesser prairie chicken habitat loss, increase habitat connectivity and ensure the continued viability of western ranching.
NRCS and its conservation partners are helping farmers and ranchers enhance, restore and protect habitat for this sensitive and reclusive bird. Many of the conservation practices that promote healthy grazing lands are also productive for the Lesser prairie chicken and other wildlife: prescribed grazing, upland wildlife habitat management, brush management, prescribed burning, range plantings, and restoration and management of rare or declining habitats.
The Lesser Prairie Chicken is a grassland-nesting upland bird found in mixed grass, sand-sage and shinnery oak prairies of western Kansas, southeast Colorado, northwest Oklahoma, the Texas panhandle, and eastern New Mexico. Once widely distributed, the bird has experienced a 92 percent reduction in population since European settlement.