Threats to Habitat

Ken Brunson photo

The biggest threat to lesser prairie-chickens is the loss and fragmentation of their habitat.

The conversion of native prairie to croplands, road construction, fire exclusion, and improper grazing of rangelands all contribute to the decline of the lesser prairie-chicken. Tall structures — including power lines, buildings, fences, and other built structures, as well as trees that invade prairie habitat in the absence of fire — contribute to habitat loss, since prairie-chickens avoid even high-quality habitat if it is located near such vertical structures.

Andy Lawrence photo

Andy Lawrence photo

LPCI’s technical and financial support aims to help landowners mitigate the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation through carefully planned range management. LPCI field staffers, through NRCS, provide technical support for the Conservation Reserve Program, which has enrolled 5.8 million acres in grassland restoration within the lesser prairie-chicken’s range.