U.S. Energy industry vs. the Lesser Prairie Chicken

Lesser Prairie Chicken, photo by: Greg Kramos / USFWS
Lesser Prairie Chicken, photo by: Greg Kramos / USFWS

Here’s some more information from The Texas Tribune about the upcoming battle between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and  the American Energy Industry over the survival of the lesser prairie chicken.

As I wrote in this post, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service may list the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species. This would result in serious repercussions for the energy industries in the midwest.

Texas Energy Industry Could be Stymied by Small Grouse

“In a few months, a grouse known as the lesser prairie chicken will emerge from its West Texas winter hideaway. Males will do a loud and elaborate mating dance, delighting females — and birdwatchers.

But there is less dancing now because the chickens’ numbers have declined. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, acting under the Endangered Species Act, will decide by the end of September whether to put the birds on its list of threatened species. Such a move could have serious repercussions for wind farms, as well as oil and gas drilling, conceivably halting activity in some areas. Those industries are fighting to keep them off the list…”

You can read all the post here.

Duck numbers take flight…

Mallards - number of 15% in 2012
Mallards – number of 15% in 2012

Ha – sorry. I couldn’t help myself with the headline. But here’s some good news about ducks from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released its preliminary report today on breeding ducks and habitats, based on surveys conducted in May and early June. Total populations were estimated at 48.6 million breeding ducks in the surveyed area. This estimate represents a 7 percent increase over last year’s estimate of 45.6 million birds, and is 43 percent above the 1955-2010 long-term average. This year’s estimate is a record high and is only the sixth time in the survey’s history that the total duck population exceeded 40 million.” Read more here at the Ducks Unlimited site.