Illinois counting its chickens

Jul 14, 2006

A research scientist in Illinois wants to bring the state's prairie chicken population back to the level it was when Abraham Lincoln was alive.

Jeff Walk, who works for the Illinois Natural History Survey, believes it will only take 10 years to have a viable, self-sustaining population living in the open grasslands of Pyramid State Park, the Southern Illinoisian newspaper reports.

According to estimates, in Lincoln's day some 10 million to 15 million prairie chickens roamed the southern part of the state but their numbers soon dropped because of an agricultural boom that robbed them of grasslands.

"Pyramid is our best shot for establishing another population, because of its size," Walk explained. "It takes probably at least 5,000 acres of grassland in a small area. There are very, very few places in the state where we have those conditions."

Prairie chickens are members of the grouse family.

Donor birds would likely come from Nebraska, one of the few remaining states with a substantial prairie chicken population.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Explainer: How to solve a jewel heist (and why it takes so long)

Related Stories

Q&A: Why are antibiotics used in livestock?

8 hours ago

Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, is the latest company to ask its suppliers to curb the use of antibiotics in farm animals. Here's a rundown of what's driving the decision: ...

Recommended for you

Top UK scientists warn against EU exit

13 hours ago

A group of leading British scientists including Nobel-winning geneticist Paul Nurse warned leaving the European Union could threaten research funding, in a letter published in The Times newspaper on Friday.

Publisher pushback puts open access in peril

May 21, 2015

Delegates at the The Higher Education Technology Agenda (THETA) conference on the Gold Coast last week heard from futurist Bryan Alexander about four possible scenarios for the future of knowledge. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.