As I read Mike’s posting on less than 100 Greater Prairie Chickens left in Missouri, it made me reflect on such a unique bird and that all who have witnessed their courtship displays cannot but feel a great sadness.  Mike Niles and I have been taking students to Dunn Ranch for the past few years but did not go last year due to such low numbers. 


The posting also made me reflect on Aldo Leopold’s comments in A Sand County Almanac during the February section as he sawed through the “Good Oak” and recollected the events dating back to the civil war.  For anyone who has not read the book, here are the pertinent excerpts:


“1896, when 25,000 prairie chickens were shipped to market from the village of Spooner alone;”


“Oct. 27, 1879, six migrating prairie chickens perched on the rooftree of the German Methodist Church in Madison, and took a look at the growing city.”


“In 1876 came the wettest year on record; the rainfall piled up 50 inches.  Prairie Chickens declined, perhaps owing to hard rains.”


“In 1875 four hunters killed 153 prairie chickens at York Prairie, one county to the eastward.”


“In 1873 one Chicago firm received and marketed 25,000 prairie chickens.  The Chicago trade collectively bought 600,000 as $ 3.25 per dozen.”



Let’s all hope that this great species can eventually be re-established into some stable populations for the generations to come……


Terry L. Miller

Kearney HS

Clay Co., MO

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From: Missouri Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kathleen Anderson
Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2009 2:46 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Is the Prairie Chicken about to become extinct in MO.


My reaction to the presentation by Tim Barksdale at the Fall ASM Meeting was that the Greater Prairie Chicken is in trouble in Kansas also.   So you can ask:  Is the Prairie Chicken about to become extinct.  

Kathleen Anderson, Columbia

Quoting Mike Doyen :

At the annual MPF meeting yesterday in Cole Camp I listened to Max Alleger (Grassland Coalition Coordinator) tell us that at last count there are less than one hundred Greater Prairie Chicken left in Missouri. Max and the Grassland Coalition are very concerned that we might just loose this iconic Missouri bird. Of more pressing concern is that the Greater Prairie Chicken has crossed the threshold for there ability to reproduce and populate.


I know everyone in the Grassland Coalition is working overtime to try and find a solution. ASM has been a supporting partner in the Grassland Coalition for some years but I am wondering if it is enough and what more can we do. I would like to recommend that the board consider joining the battle with all our resources and commit ourselves and our organization to doing what ever more we can to help save the Greater Prairie Chicken from going extinct on our watch. In the last century Missouri lost the Red-cockaded Woodpecker and the Brown-headed Nuthatch to habitat destruction, lets not start this centruy off with another lost species.


This will take personal commitment, coordination, resources and planning, we as individual members and as an organization must do everything we can to save the Greater Prairie Chicken from extinction in Missouri.


Mike Doyen

Rolla, MO.

Bird by bird I've come to know the earth.
Pablo Neruda.

The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Fall Meeting: September 25-27 at Lake of the Ozarks State Park


The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Fall Meeting: September 25-27 at Lake of the Ozarks State Park