Assessment of CRP fields within current Lesser Prairie-Chicken range
By: D. Ripper and T. VerCauteren
Populations of Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus; LEPC) have declined by more than 90%. The main factors precipitating this decline have been the conversion of sand-sage and mixed-grass prairie to agriculture, juniper encroachment, excessive cattle grazing, and fossil-fuel and suburban development. Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) fields contribute greatly to the remaining habitat of the LEPC; however, approximately three million acres of CRP within the current LEPC distribution will soon expire, and potentially be re-converted to cropland.
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