In many former ranges, the prairie chicken is gone, probably never to return

The prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido) once numbered about 3 million across an area that stretches through eastern New Mexico, eastern Colorado, western Kansas, western Nebraska, northwest Oklahoma, and in parts of the Texas Panhandle and South Plains. Estimates show their population now at 30,000 to 40,000. In some places that used to be native range, estimates show a 97 percent decline. In many other former ranges, these birds are gone, probably never to return. Today, these birds currently occur in parts of only 10 states. Scientists say the prairie chicken population has dropped 80 percent nationally since 1963.

Prairie chickens and sharptail grouse are medium to large chicken-size birds. Their diet consists of vegetation such as leafy forbs, buds, and seeds but during warmer times of the year, they eat mainly insects, especially grasshoppers.
Source: Beatrice Daily Sun, October 19, 2016…