Feds acquiring land to protect the lesser prairie chicken

U.S. Bureau of Land Management has acquired land in eastern New Mexico to protect a lesser prairie chicken habitat

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) - The area of protection for the lesser prairie chicken in New Mexico is expanding.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and others announced Friday that is has acquired 1,789 acres of land in eastern Chaves County known as lesser prairie chicken habitat.

The BLM had sought the help of the Conservation Fund to acquire land near a special management area for the member of the prairie grouse family.

No taxpayer funds were used for the acquisition.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering formally listing the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species. The chicken's range includes parts of New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Nearly 85 percent of its grass and brush-land habitat has been affected by ranching and farming. Most of its habitat is on private land.

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