Aerial Surveys to Document Lesser Prairie-Chicken Population Trends
Aerial surveys will begin March 23 and run through mid-May in five states containing lesser prairie-chicken habitat. The surveys are conducted annually by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) to document population trends and determine how the bird is responding to management strategies identified in the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan.
The range-wide plan is a collaborative effort of WAFWA and the state wildlife agencies of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. It was developed to ensure conservation of the lesser prairie-chicken with voluntary cooperation of landowners and industry. The plan allows agriculture producers and industry to continue operations while reducing impacts to the bird and its grassland habitat.
The aerial surveys utilize a consistent methodology to estimate lesser prairie-chicken population abundances. The goal of the surveys is to document population trends over time that will help determine how habitat management strategies are affecting lesser prairie-chicken populations.
The surveys will be conducted by helicopter in locations chosen randomly within the lesser prairie-chicken range, which is part of the methodology strategy. In previous years, some of the fly paths prompted calls, which is why WAFWA is getting the word out about the start of aerial survey work.
Initial results from this year’s surveys will be available on July 1.
WAFWA news releases available at http://www.wafwa.org/news/
Since 1922, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has advanced conservation in western North America. Representing 24 western states and Canadian provinces, WAFWA’s reach encompasses more than 40 percent of North America, including two-thirds of the United States. Drawing on the knowledge of scientists across the West, WAFWA is recognized as the expert source for information and analysis about western wildlife. WAFWA supports sound resource management and building partnerships at all levels to conserve wildlife for the use and benefit of all citizens, now and in the future.
Contact Bill Van Pelt, (623) 236-7573, email@example.com