Lesser Prairie-Chicken; Threatened Status with Section 4(d) Rule for the Northern Distinct Population Segment and Endangered Status for the Southern Distinct Population Segment (Draft)
Jun. 3, 2021
USFWS proposes to list two Distinct Population Segments (DPSs) of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a grassland bird known from southeastern Colorado, western Kansas, eastern New Mexico, western Oklahoma, and the Texas Panhandle under the ESA. This determination also serves as their 12-month finding on a petition to list the lesser prairie-chicken. After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, they find that listing the Southern DPS as endangered is warranted, and that listing the Northern DPS as threatened is warranted. Accordingly, they propose to list the Southern DPS as an endangered species under the Act and the Northern DPS as a threatened species with a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act ("4(d) rule"). If finalized it will add these two DPSs to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the ESA's protections to them. They also are notifying the public that we have scheduled informational meetings followed by public hearings on the proposed rule. They will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 2 August 2021. (Federal Register 1 June 2021 [Proposed Rule] Pages 29432-29482).