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The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is looking for prairie chickens this fall and Iowans can help.
Iowa’s prairie chicken population resides in three locations in Ringgold County – two on or near the Kellerton Wildlife Area; the third is on private land – but have been seen in Union, Clarke, Decatur and Taylor counties.
The goal of this project is to identify if there are any other locations where prairie chickens have moved, or if there are other populations that were previously unknown.
“Whether you’re hunting, checking on the cattle, combining corn or beans, or working the fields, we’d like you to keep an eye out for prairie chickens and let us know if you see them,” said Stephanie Shepherd, wildlife biologist with the Iowa DNR’s diversity program.
Sightings can be reported by calling 515-230-6599 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or by going to www.iowadnr.gov/wildlifediversity and clicking on the report prairie chickens link.
“There’s a concern for this population,” Shepherd said. “Our numbers are down, not just here, but across the border in Missouri, and we want to keep tabs on any birds that we missed as part of our previous surveys.”