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The Fight to Save a Prairie Chicken

MULTIZ321

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The Fight to Save a Prairie Chicken - by Erica Goode/ Science/ International New York Times/ The New York Times/ nytimes.com

EAGLE LAKE, Tex. —" Every spring during mating season, the few dozen remaining male Attwater’s prairie chickens gather to perform an elaborate courtship ritual.

They drum their feet against the earth in a rapid tat-tat-tat reminiscent of Native American dances, and they inflate the bright orange air sacs at their necks, emitting an eerie booming sound that, with the wind blowing in the right direction, can be heard half a mile away.

“It still makes my neck hairs kind of stand upright,” said Terry Rossignol, the manager of the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge here. “It’s like it’s crying out, ‘Help me!’ ”

The prairie chicken has urgently needed help for some time. Almost a million of them once roamed the coastal prairie of Texas and Louisiana. But by 1919, the birds had disappeared from Louisiana, and in 1967, with only 1,070 left, the chicken, in fact a type of grouse, was listed as endangered.

Since then, its numbers have declined precipitously, despite a vigorous captive breeding program and painstaking efforts to protect young chicks in the wild. In 2002, the yearly count of the birds by the federal Fish and Wildlife Service, which runs the refuge, dipped to 40, an all-time low. This year’s total was 104..."

Male-Attwaters-prairie-hen-T-c-attwateri-displaying-side-view.jpg



Richard
 

VegasBella

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It's cute and colorful :)
 
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