Greater Prairie-chicken

greater prairie chicken, credit: Tony Morris CC BY-NC 2.0

Extirpated Provincially and Nationally

Description

• Large brown grouse with light and dark barring; short rounded tail
• Male has yellow eye combs
• During courtship dance male erects its wings and tail feathers, and produces a loud booming sound from orange air sacs on its neck
• Non-migratory bird that requires large undisturbed areas of grasslands with few trees and shrubs for nesting and overwintering

Range

• No longer found in Canada, but still found in United States
• Once ranged from Alberta to Ontario, numbering in the millions
• Expanded into northwestern Ontario when land was cleared for agriculture in early 1900s
• Extirpated from Ontario by 1970s

Threats

• Habitat loss (grasslands)

Protection

• Provincially protected under the Endangered Species Act, 2007
• Federally protected under the Species at Risk Act, 2002

Fact

The greater prairie-chicken is no longer found in Canada but can still be found in some parts of the United States.

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