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April 17, 2017JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. | By: Dieringer
The Missouri Department of Conservation and its partners have seen success in a five-year prairie chicken restoration program.
Prairie chickens were trapped in Kansas and Nebraska and released at Dunn Ranch in northwest Missouri and across the nearby Iowa state line. Prairie chickens are currently endangered in Missouri because of scarce grassland habitats. The Missouri Department of Conservation's Media Specialist Bill Graham says that habitat loss has severely affected the population of this unique bird and it would be a tragedy to lose the species in Missouri.
While the relocation of out-of-state prairie chickens is over, the Missouri Department of Conservation isn't finished with the program.
Radio transmitters were placed on prairie chicken hens that were released. MDC biologists will continue to track these birds throughout the year to determine the kind of habitat they prefer. The MDC hopes to continue to increase the prairie chicken population in Missouri during the coming years.