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."


Contact: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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:

(Date:6/15/2016)... ALBANY, New York , June 15, 2016 ... published a new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market ... Trends and Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the ... at USD 11.60 billion in 2015 and is ... and reach USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... -- Paris Police Prefecture ... to ensure the safety of people and operations in several ... tournament Teleste, an international technology group specialised in ... that its video security solution will be utilised by ... safety across the country. The system roll-out is scheduled for ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... , June 3, 2016 ... von Nepal hat ... Lieferung hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung ... in der Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. ... Ausschreibung im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use the ... models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. ... the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent flow ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or ... of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for ... as WDR5 represent an exciting class of therapies, ... medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have been ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), ... new ways to harness living systems and biotechnology, announced ... (MoMA) in New York City . ... participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater ... Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and design, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced ... of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The trials ... dose studies designed to assess the safety, tolerability, ... in healthy adult volunteers. Forty subjects ... single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) or ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: