Photo: Lesser Prairie-Chicken
"A smaller, paler version of the Greater Prairie-Chicken, the Lesser Prairie-Chicken is now found only in restricted areas of five states in the southern Great Plains." Learn more about this and other birds at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds website. Photo courtesy of Noppadol Paothong.
Tools for Industry
Southern Great Plains Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool
The Southern Great Plains Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool helps energy developers protect the Lesser Prairie-Chicken, a candidate for federal protection, as energy projects are being developed. The geospatial planning tool can be used region-wide to inform the pre-planning of large-scale energy, transportation, and land-use projects and guide industry in making siting decisions that avoid sensitive areas for Lesser Prairie-Chicken. It can also help state and federal agencies and other organizations target research and conservation programs for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken.
The tool is not regulatory and does not replace the need for developers to consult with state agencies; rather, it allows them to learn early in the planning process which habitat areas should be avoided to reduce the likelihood of later conflicts. Developers can use it to consider all Lesser Prairie-Chicken priority areas within the region and choose sites with the least impact on key habitat areas.
The Southern Great Plains Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool was developed as a collaborative effort between the wildlife departments in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, along with the US Geological Survey and Playa Lakes Joint Venture (PLJV) and was funded through a Western Governors' Association grant. The assessment tool will continue to be updated as new information becomes available and will be expanded to include a suite of shared species of greatest conservation need.