K-State Research and Extension news service 


In this video, K-State Research and Extension wildlife specialist Drew Ricketts sits with Agriculture Today producer Samantha Bennett to explain what the November, 2022 designation of the Lesser Prairie Chicken as an endangered species means to western Kansas agriculture producers and landowners.


In Kansas, he notes, the Lesser Prairie Chicken – a prairie grouse – is primarily found in the western third of the state.


“So if you own land, or are conducting activities that could result in taking a lesser prairie chicken in the western third of Kansas, then I think it’s important to look at some of the maps and resources (to)… know whether or not you’re included in that area,” Ricketts said.


Ricketts said ‘take’ is a very specific term in the Endangered Species Act that refers to harming, harassing, pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, trapping, capturing or collecting — or attempting to engage in any such conduct.


“If you know that there are Lesser Prairie Chickens on your land or a neighbor’s land, then you need to be careful,” Ricketts said.


The protections for the bird do not apply to land that is already being cultivated, Ricketts said. “So we can still apply the herbicides that we normally do for agriculture land. We can use whatever tillage practices we normally do and all those sorts of things. That land is considered non-habitat (for the Lesser Prairie Chicken) because it is actively being farmed.”


K-State Research and Extension video by Matt Campbell