Monday, January 7, 2013
Acronyms, don't you just love them?!? Attwater Prairie Chicken at Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge. Now that is a mouth full isn't it?
The refuge was established in 1972 and is 10,528 acres of one of the largest remnants of coastal prairie habitats remaining in Southeast Texas. It is home to one of the LAST populations of the critically ENDANGERED Attwater Prairie Chickens.
This is a picture of a picture...I hope to get my own pretty soon.
The refuge mission is to protect, restore, preserve, enhance, and manage gulf coastal prairie grasslands in support of the Endangered Species Act and the Attwater's Prairie Chicken Recovery Plan while maintaining and perpetuating biodiversity. Today, less than one percent of coastal prairies remain.
Typically, about half the adults die each year from predation or other natural causes. Their courtship rituals take place on a lek, or booming ground and used year after year. For males, a lek is their stage. They perform each morning February through mid-May, and guess what...we will be here!!!
The hen nests on the ground and lays a dozen eggs that hatch 26 days later. Only 30% of all nests escape predation. Less than half the chicks make it to adulthood. They dine on insects, leaves, flowers, and seeds of prairie plants.
So few birds are left that a captive breeding program offers the best hope for saving this species.
We provide tours of the refuge on the first Saturday of the month and the second weekend in April, the festival will be held. You will be given the chance of seeing them on their lek strutting around with their courtship display. Consider this your invitation to come join us!!!
I have been reading their CCP book that is the refuges plan for the next 15 years.
The refuge is one of 13 located in the Central Flyway.
Until next time...