Lesser Prairie-Chicken

About the Lesser Prairie-Chicken
Lesser Prairie-Chicken

The Lesser Prairie-Chicken is a large species of grouse. It is closely related to, and slightly smaller than, the Greater Prairie-Chicken.

Lesser Prairie-Chickens are known for their mating rituals, which includes an elaborate dance performed by male birds in communal areas called leks. The birds puff out their cheek sacs and raise the long feathers on the sides of the face.

Lesser Prairie-Chickens are found in grassland habitat in parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado. Loss of undisturbed prairie habitat has been detrimental to this species.

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Details & Statistics


The Lesser Prairie-Chicken is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2012 by BirdLife International. This species qualifies as Vulnerable owing to a long-term and rapid population decline. Although most populations appear to have stabilized or increased since 1995, populations in north-east Texas and parts of Oklahoma have declined precipitously since 2005, and in south-east New Mexico since 2001. As the effects of drought and the increasing demand for both fossil fuel and renewable energy development (including wind and biofuels) continue to place remaining habitats at risk, the species is precautionarily retained as Vulnerable until positive trends have been sustained.

International Names

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Related Articles

Bird Term: Lek

A lek is a group of male animals, most commonly birds or insects, that gathers as part of a breeding strategy. The males perform displays in an arena-like setting in order to lure observing females into mating. Lekking in most bird species is like a big mating party where...  Read more »