Agency reports increase in prairie chicken population

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The threatened lesser prairie chicken is experiencing a growth in population.

According to an aerial survey by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife agencies lesser prairie chicken populations are up 20 percent from last year in five states including New Mexico.

The group says the extra rain over the last few years have made for perfect living condition, aiding in their growth.

The federal government recently listed the bird as a threatened species which prompted a number of lawsuits from farmers and the oil and gas industry. They say required protections for the bird would hurt their industry.

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