Prairie chicken listed as threatened

Published:

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is placing the lesser prairie chicken on a list of threatened species.

The decision could affect oil and gas drilling, wind farms and other activities in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico.

The decision by the Fish and Wildlife Service is a step below "endangered" status and allows for more flexibility in how the protections for the bird will be carried out under the Endangered Species Act.

The wildlife agency's director says he knows the decision will be unpopular with governors in the five states but that the bird is "in dire straits" and needs help.

The states are Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico.

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