PROTECTION STATUS: Not currently listed (first listed March 2014 as “threatened” with 4(d) rule; delisted July 2016)

RANGE: Southeastern Colorado; the southwestern quarter of Kansas (largest population); the panhandle and northwest counties of Oklahoma (in limited areas); east-central New Mexico; the northeastern and southwestern corners of the Texas Panhandle (in small areas)

THREATS: Habitat loss and degradation from livestock grazing, agriculture, oil and gas extraction, herbicides, unnatural fire and fire suppression, wind-energy production, habitat fragmentation from fences and power lines, disturbances from mining and roads

POPULATION TREND: The lesser prairie chicken population was estimated to be at 25,261 birds in 2016, down from an estimate of 29,162 birds in 2015. The lowest recent population estimate was made in 2013, when the population sank to a low of fewer than 18,000 birds.
Lesser prairie chicken photo by Kevin Rolle/Flickr