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State of the Birds Report

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Greater Prairie-Chicken by
Gerrit Vyn

Thirty Watch List species are specialized birds of grasslands, deserts, sagebrush, and chaparral—some of the most neglected and maligned habitats in America. These are places where development, intense agricultural production, and energy extraction are primary land uses.

Among the most threatened species are Greater and Lesser prairie-chickens and
Greater and Gunnison sage-grouse. These spectacular dancing birds still perform their spring breeding rituals across 18 states in the Midwest and West.

Cooperative conservation habitat initiatives are enlisting ranchers and farmers to help keep these iconic American birds on the land. Conservation efforts on private working lands must be coordinated with improved management across vast western public lands to reverse the declines not only of prairie-chickens and grouse, but also thrashers, sparrows, and longspurs.


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