HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Greater Prairie Chicken Appears On Comeback Trail In Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Booming mating calls rocked the Illinois prairie in the mid-1800s, announcing that colorful greater prairie chickens were near and abundant. As pioneers moved west, the birds were hunted for food. They fell to predators, their habitats shrank, and, scientists say, even the birds' declining genetic diversity brought their near extinction.

In the Friday (Nov. 27) issue of the journal Science, nine researchers report that an isolated group of the birds is making a comeback. The potential recovery is the result of an experimental conservation-management program, in which birds from other states were added. The program was based on genetic findings and 35 years of population monitoring.

The greater prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) is estimated to have numbered in the millions in Illinois when pioneers moved west. They were "shot by the wagonload for food," said Ronald Westemeier, a recently retired scientist with the Illinois Natural History Survey and lead author of the Science article. As the prairie diminished, so did the birds' habitat - from more than 60 percent of the state to less than 0.01 percent and in just two isolated populations in Jasper and Marion counties. From 1962 to 1994, in Jasper County alone, their numbers fell from 2,000 to less than 50.

Among those 50, Westemeier said, only six were resident males, which are known for the colorful orange sacks that inflate on each side of their necks during their mating call. According to this year's count, not covered in the study, males number 84 in the Prairie Ridge State Natural Area in Jasper County in southeastern Illinois, where Westemeier had directed the comprehensive greater prairie-chicken monitoring program since 1966.

"Right now, it looks very good," Westemeier said. "I feel like I am going out on a high note. Rather than seeing this population of Illinois birds lost altogether, we are seeing a recovery. I am very glad to see this."

The
'"/>

Contact: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor
b-james3@uiuc.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
27-Nov-1998


Page: 1 2 3 4 5

Related biology news :

1. USGS scientist receives award for brucellosis research in Greater Yellowstone Area
2. Genetic Link Shows Children With Allergies Have Greater Tendency To Have Behavior Problems Than Children With No Allergies
3. Family Members And Kissing Contacts At Greater Risk Of Meningitis
4. First-Ever Scientific Estimate Of Total Bacteria On Earth Shows Far Greater Numbers Than Ever Known Before
5. Newfound grasshopper takes to the trees on Konza Prairie
6. Konza Prairie instrumental in research that indicates small streams important in controlling nitrogen, preserving water quality
7. Prairie fire--UIC-style
8. Mowing, Grazing Of Tall-Grass Prairie Increases
9. Prairies Will Be Hit Hard By Global Warming
10. Chicken litter harbors agents that generate antibiotic multi-resistance, according to UGA study
11. Chicken genome assembled

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/6/2019)... ... 05, 2019 , ... Pelican BioThermal , the global ... service center in Mexico City, Mexico. Mexico is the second largest pharmaceutical market ... $1.75 billion in pharmaceutical exports since 2015. The Mexico City network station will ...
(Date:6/4/2019)... ... June 04, 2019 , ... ... salient features of seizure risk signals, usually based on variations of amplitude, frequency ... the only acceptable diagnostic methodology due to the complexity and variability of the ...
(Date:5/31/2019)... ... May 30, 2019 , ... Researchers ... Mayo Clinic, have documented significant differences in the prevalence of hereditary genetic mutations, ... compared to non-Hispanic White women. Results will be presented at the 2019 American ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/15/2019)... ... May 16, 2019 , ... Emulsifiers are the magic bullet ... products rely on these ingredients to create stable quality food that can withstand ... shift triggers food formulators to seek out alternatives for starches, gums and chemical ...
(Date:5/7/2019)... ... May 06, 2019 , ... ... for the growing number of repositories being asked to store cellular products ... the team of contributors who are world leaders, who have shared their expertise ...
(Date:5/2/2019)... S.D. (PRWEB) , ... April 30, 2019 , ... The ... from industrial scale macro breweries to local craft breweries, and even home brewing clubs ... very complex chemical and biological processes, that when mastered can produce a superb product. ...
(Date:4/25/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Frank is an albino, deaf Great Dane. His owners rescued him when he ... health issues. Despite his hearing impairment, he was always an active and playful pup. Frank ... day, every day. As the two grew, playtime became rougher and Frank ended up injuring ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: