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Lesser Prairie-Chicken Conservation Plan Receives Windfall

Associated Press - January 15, 2015 6:24 pm

Kansas fish and wildlife officials are saying that the plan to protect the endangered lesser prairie-chicken has raised nearly double the expected revenue in its first year.

The plan collects funds from fees on new developments in the bird’s natural habitat and dedicates that revenue to conservation efforts. Fish and wildlife officials told lawmakers Thursday that the effort has collected $36.8 million since last year, far exceeding the plan’s goal of $20 million.

According to a spring 2014 estimate, just 22,415 lesser prairie chickens remain in their natural habitat across parts of Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. The five-state plan aims to triple the bird’s population to 67,000.