Nongame and Rare Species Program: Federal Candidate and Petitioned Species Resources

Lesser Prairie-Chicken Tympanuchus pallidicinctus

Lesser Prairie-Chickens were once found throughout short- and mid-grass prairies in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico. In 1998, the species received candidate status under the Endangered Species Act. On March 27, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced their intention to list the species as threatened. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and other state fish and wildlife agencies included in the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Interstate Working Group developed a range-wide management plan to further conservation of the species. On May 26, 2021, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to list two distinct population segments as endangered. This page will be updated with the latest news and developing information on the Lesser Prairie-Chicken, the listing process and timeline, and the multi-state conservation effort.


May 26, 2021 — Service Seeks Comment on Proposal to List the Lesser Prairie-Chicken under the Endangered Species Act

July 1, 2015 — Aerial survey shows lesser prairie-chicken population increased 25 percent from 2014 to 2015 PDF

April 2, 2014 — Lesser Prairie-Chicken Threatened Listing: What Does It Mean For Landowners and Industry? PDF

March 27, 2014 — U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Lesser Prairie-Chicken as Threatened Species and Finalizes Special Rule Endorsing Landmark State Conservation Plan

December 11, 2013 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposed Rule — Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Lesser Prairie-Chicken as a Threatened Species with a Special Rule

May 7, 2013 New Lesser Prairie-Chicken Conservation Plan Presentations —

April 4, 2013 — Range-wide Conservation Plan for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Draft) PDF

December 11, 2012 — The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed listing the Lesser Prairie Chicken (LEPC) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. State fish and wildlife agencies, private landowners, oil and gas industry, conservation organizations, and federal agencies across the five states within the range of the LEPC are working together to create a range-wide conservation plan, Southern Great Plains Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool, and voluntary landowner and industry conservation opportunities. The success of these meaningful measures will be considered by USFWS in the coming year prior to the final listing determination and will continue to contribute to the conservation of the LEPC, regardless of the listing outcome. One of the four Public Hearings will be held in Lubbock, Texas, on February 11th (Monday) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The USFWS is accepting public comment until March 11, 2013. More information on the listing proposal, public comment methods, and the public hearing in Texas can be found in the Federal Register.

October 12, 2012 — Multi-State Group reports range-wide population estimate for Lesser Prairie Chicken PDF

October 3, 2012 — First ever statistically valid range-wide population estimate for Lesser Prairie-Chicken PDF

August 14, 2012 — Lesser Prairie-Chicken stakeholders meeting audio, August 10, 2012 (Click to listen)

July 27, 2012 — USFWS technical white paper: Conservation needs of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken PDF

June 25, 2012 — First range-wide Lesser Prairie Chicken aerial survey concluded

Conservation and Management

Additional Resources