Landowners in more than a dozen northwest Oklahoma counties are being urged to apply for a federal program aimed at protecting the habitat of lesser prairie chicken.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service in Oklahoma announced Monday that it's opened a second round of signups for landowners to participate in the project.
The goal is to improve the habitat for the stocky, ground dwelling bird that's native to the prairie grasslands in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Kansas. The program is available in Alfalfa, Beaver, Beckham, Cimarron, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Major, Texas, Roger Mills, Woodward and Woods counties. Those interested in participating should apply by April 29.
Loss of habitat prompted the bird's listing as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 2014.