SCIENTIFIC NAME:Tympanuchus cupido POPULATION: 400,000 TREND: Decreasing HABITAT: Native prairie and oak savanna
The Greater Prairie-Chicken andLesser Prairie-Chickenare famous for their unique mating dances performed on special display grounds, called leks, each spring. Their genus name, Tympanuchus, comes from the Ancient Greek; its meaning, “holding a drum,” refers to this bird’s booming calls, which are amplified by inflatable neck sacs.
Greater Prairie-Chicken populations declined to near-extinction over the past century, mainly due tohabitat lossas native prairie was converted to farmland. Loss of genetic diversity,pesticides, andcollisionswith manmade structures also pose threats.