Image # 8549
Endangered Prairie-Chicken in Breeding Display
adult male mating display, airsacks full The Attwater's Prairie-Chicken, a type of grouse closely related to the extinct Heath Hen, is now in danger of extinction itself. The prairie chickens are dependant on the tall bunch grasses of the coastal prairie, and less than one percent of this ecosystem remains. Attwater's Prairie-Chicken National Wildlife Refuge provides 8000 acres of habitat for the prairie chickens, and refuge manager Terry Rossignol hopes to acquire additional land. Because it is difficult for species to survive in isolated pockets of land, managers of the Attwater's recovery program are also working with private landowners and with several captive breeding programs to help insure the species' survival. This male prairie chicken is strutting for the benefit of female chickens. Males compete with each other to become the center of the lek. The winner will be able to mate with the most females.