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Obviously habitat loss and land use practices are at the heart of the  
decline.  But throughout this discussion I've not seen a reference to  
predation.  Predators and habitat form an interactive factor.

The habitat has changed.  Many folks talked about intensification of  
farming practices, but perhaps as important is tilling up the grass  
or sending more cattle on it is the growth of trees and shrubs in the  
fencerows, farmsteads and beyond the watercourses.  These create  
great habitat for predators.

It has been said that there are no more predators now than in the  
past.  That is probably wrong in a couple of ways.

There are fewer acres of habitat suitable for prairie chickens, so  
even the same number of predators are concentrated in a smaller area.

There are probably more predators.  These include:  coyote, bobcat,  
skunk, raccoon, opossum, dog, domestic cat.

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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