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: Sniffing out a partner at a London pheromone party

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists gear up to fight deadly snake fungal disease

Jul 15, 2014

Researchers have developed a faster and more accurate way to test for infection with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, a fungus that is killing snakes in the Midwest and eastern United States. The test also allows ...

Researchers move endangered mussels to save them

Sep 11, 2013

(Phys.org) —Researchers have transported two endangered freshwater mussel species from Pennsylvania to Illinois in an attempt to re-establish their populations in the western part of the Ohio River Basin.

Searching for ways to control an agricultural nuisance

Sep 06, 2013

Even the name sounds threatening. Known as "dog-strangling vines" in Canada, European swallowworts are invasive vines that can grow to 8 feet in length and wrap around supporting vegetation and smother it. ...

Protecting our pollinators

Jul 15, 2013

Bees, so crucial to our food supply, are dying off at alarming rates. CALS researchers are taking a close look at everything from the microbes in their hives to the landscapes they live in to identify in what ...

Recommended for you

How to win a Tour de France sprint

Jul 22, 2014

The final dash to the line in a Tour de France sprint finish may appear to the bystander to be a mess of bodies trying to cram into the width of a road, but there is a high degree of strategy involved. It ...

User comments : 0