Wildlife Officials Work to Protect Endangered Prairie Chicken

Monday, Apr 8, 2013  |  Updated 4:54 PM CDT
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Wildlife Officials Work to Protect Endangered Prairie Chicken

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

The Fossil Rim Wildlife Center southwest of Fort Worth has 24 pairs of the chickens as part of a captive breeding program.

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Officials at a North Texas wildlife center are working to save a nearly extinct species of a brown-and-orange prairie chicken.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the Attwater's prairie chicken is the focus of efforts by conservationists. Just 66 of the chickens remain in the wild on two preserves in Texas.

The Attwater's prairie chicken is about 12 inches tall and known for its loud, distinctive mating dance. Roosters emit a booming cry and swell their orange neck sacs.

The Fossil Rim Wildlife Center southwest of Fort Worth has 24 pairs of the chickens as part of a captive breeding program.

Fossil Rim animal care director Kelley Snodgrass says while many people focus on cheetahs and rhinos, the center's work with chickens is some of its most important.

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