Lesser Prairie Chicken’s listing under the Endangered Species Act is in effect today

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Photo via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Lesser Prairie Chicken will officially be added to the Endangered Species List today.

Just last week, the Texas Attorney General filed a lawsuit in an effort to stop the listing. Officials in Kansas and Oklahoma have threatened legal action as well as county governments across five states.

If the listing holds, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule will require livestock producers in parts of five states to start grazing plans to protect themselves from activities that could harm the birds.

“So, we’re not trying to set the bar for livestock operations in terms of how they operate. So there is some potential for take that occurs in grazing activities. It’s fairly limited, and the benefit to the species that we can accept that take is there is a grazing place,” said Chris O’Melia, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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