HomeInitiativesWestern Grasslands InitiativeLesser Prairie-Chicken

Lesser Prairie-Chicken

WESTERN GRASSLAND SPECIES:

Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus)

A North American grouse species that historically occupied sand sagebrush, shinnery oak, and mixed grass vegetation types of the southern Great Plains. LPC and the habitat upon which they depend have diminished across their historical range by about 90%.

WAFWA in partnership with the states of New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas have embarked on an innovative and unprecedented approach to wildlife conservation. 

In 2012 a unique partnership began across the lesser prairie-chicken (LPC) range to work towards avoiding, improving and funding conservation of the species and its habitats. 

The LPC Interstate Working Group was formed od WAFWA, the State Wildlife Directors of the five states that are home to the Lesser Prairie Chicken and its habitats, and the industry; oil, gas, wind, electricity and telecommunications, and private landowners; farmers and ranchers who live and work within lesser prairie-chicken habitat.

The USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) as well as non-governmental conservation organizations like Pheasants Forever and The Nature Conservancy have joined the partnership to work towards avoiding, improving and funding conservation of LPC and its habitats. 

Learn more about the LPC Initiative Council (READ HERE)

Learn more about the LPC Interstate Working Group (READ HERE)


Lesser Prairie Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan

The Lesser Prairie Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan (RWP) was written by the LPC Interstate Working Group to address the species needs, establish population goals, and provide a mechanism for industry to continue operating.

This plan brings together the different voluntary conservation programs in the high plains into a common approach to provide for both minimization/mitigation of impacts and conservation of LPC habitat.  The only plan of its kind endorsed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service was incorporated into the Section 4(d) Special rule at the time of  listing in 2014.

The plan emphasizes tools and incentives to encourage landowners and others to voluntarily partner with agencies in LPC habitat conservation efforts, while also achieving their land use needs.

Lesser Prairie Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan

Adaptive Management (RWP Revisions)
  • Payment Fee Changes, 2017 (PDF, 361 KB)
  • Electric Distribution Guidance, 2016 (PDF, 1 MB)
  • Adaptive Mgmt. Changes, 2015 (PDF, 207 KB)
  • Impact Buffers, 2015 (PDF, 86 KB)
  • Aerial Survey Gap Protocol, 2015 (PDF, 8 MB)
  • Evaluation Unit Guidelines (PDF, 274 KB)

Annual Progress Reports

The following documents represent the annual progress achieved across all nine elements of the LPC conservation strategy.


Range-wide Aerial Surveys

Range-wide Population Size of the Lesser Prairie Chicken: 2012 to 2020

Range-wide Population Size of the Lesser Prairie Chicken: 2012 to2020
20 views / 139 downloads
    pdf, 2.11 MB
    October 12, 2020
Publication Details

Lesser prairie-chickens breed in relatively open areas (e.g., low visual obstruction and low horizontal cover) of grasslands where males congregate to perform a courtship dance. This area is known as a lek. After mating, most females will nest within 3.2 km (2 miles) of the lek site. Due to this high lek affinity, managers monitor the abundance of this life cycle component for population trends.

In 2011, the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Interstate Working Group, representing the state fish and wildlife agencies in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas, developed and implemented a common range-wide survey strategy to estimate the population sizes for lesser prairie-chickens. A range-wide sampling framework and methodology was developed, for aerial surveys and ground truthing, to estimate total abundance of LPC active leks. In 2013, the state fish and wildlife agencies committed to continuing those surveys through 2021. View the 2020 Survey HERE.

View all surveys and the survey protocols below.


Project Clearance Surveys

Methodologies for conducting lesser prairie chicken ground-based and aerial surveys for industry project clearance, as developed under the WAFWA LPC Range-wide Conservation Plan, Appendix G: LPC Survey Protocols for Project Clearance.


Enrollment


Contacts

For companies interested in enrollment:

LPC Program Contact
Sean Kyle
Phone: 806.252.2766

For GIS related inquiries:

WAFWA GIS Services
Chanda Pettie
Phone: 719.207.5053

For general inquiry and information:

LPC Program Director-Chair
J.D. Strong
Phone: 405.522.6279


Field Guides Available for Purchase!
Field Identification Guide for Common Plants
used to Assess Lesser Prairie Chicken Habitat

WAFWA’s Field Identification Guide is filled with 56 laminated pages of color photos, habitat indicators, characteristics and explanation of their importance. Pocket-sized for convenience, at 3″ by 5″ inches.

The field guides are $14.00 each, which includes shipping and handling. If paying by credit card, there is a 3.5% processing fee. To order, please contact the WAFWA office at 208-331-9431 or wafwa.admin@wafwa.org 

Document Name Last Updated Download
LPC RWP Survey Protocol, WAFWA 2020 7/05/2020 Download
LPC Rangewide Population Size: 2012-2018, WAFWA 2018 7/05/2020 Download
LPC RWP Annual Progress Report, 2018 7/05/2020 Download
LPC RWP Annual Progress Report, 2018 7/05/2020 Download
LPC Rangewide Population Size: 2012-2017, WAFWA 2017 7/05/2020 Download
LPC RWP Annual Progress Report, 2017 7/05/2020 Download
LPC RWP Payment Fee Changes for 2017, 2016 7/05/2020 Download
2016-17149_Federal Register Removal of the LPC Final Rule for Delisting 7/06/2020 Download
LPC RWP Electric Distribution Guidance, 2016 7/05/2020 Download
LPC Rangewide Population Size: 2012-2016, WAFWA 2016 7/05/2020 Download
LPC RWP Annual Progress Report, 2016 7/05/2020 Download
LPC RWP Adaptive Mgmt Chgs, 2015 7/05/2020 Download
LPC RWP_Guidelines for Habitat Sampling Evaluation Units, 2015 7/05/2020 Download
LPC Aerial Survey Gap, 2015 7/05/2020 Download
LPC RWP Impact Buffers, 2015 7/05/2020 Download
LPC Occupancy Report, 2015 7/05/2020 Download
LPC Rangewide Population Size: 2012-2015, WAFWA 2015 7/05/2020 Download
LPC RWP Annual Progress Report, 2015 7/05/2020 Download
LPC RWP Permanent Conservation Eligibility Ranking Criteria, revised 2015 7/05/2020 Download
LPC RWP Landowner Application for Non-Offset Agreements, revised 2015 7/05/2020 Download
LPC RWP Conservation Plan and Certificate of Participation, 2015 7/05/2020 Download
LPC Rangewide Population Size: 2012-2014, WAFWA 2014 7/05/2020 Download
LPC RWP Annual Progress Report, 2014 7/05/2020 Download
LPC RWP Permanent Conservation Eligibility Ranking Criteria, 2014 (archived) 7/05/2020 Download
LPC RWP Landowner Application for Non-Offset Agreements, 2014 (archived) 7/05/2020 Download
LPC RWP Industry Certificate of Participation (WCP) Form, 2014 7/05/2020 Download
LPC RWP Industry Property Transfer Form, 2014 7/05/2020 Download
LPC RWP Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances, 2014 7/05/2020 Download
LPC Rangewide Population Size: 2012-2013, WAFWA 2013 7/05/2020 Download
The Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan, WAFWA 2013 7/05/2020 Download
Presentation – Discussion on Mitigation, 2013 7/05/2020 Download
Presentation – draft LPC conservation plan, 2013 7/05/2020 Download
LPC_Range-wide Survey_2012 7/05/2020 Download
LPC Population Survey Design, WEST 2011 7/05/2020 Download
Lesser Prairie-Chicken Conservation Initiative, 2008 7/06/2020 Download