When we improve habitat for lesser prairie-chickens, we improve habitat for the whole prairie community.
A big umbrella shelters a wide swath of ground beneath it. Ecologists refer to the lesser prairie-chicken as an “umbrella species” because when conditions are optimal for this prairie grouse, they benefit countless other members of the Southern Great Plains. Lesser prairie-chicken populations need large tracts of intact, high-quality prairie to survive and reproduce, and they require many different micro-habitats throughout the year.
Much the way a keystone secures the other stones in an archway, the lesser prairie-chicken is a keystone species in a stable, balanced prairie ecosystem. As LPCI improves habitat for the lesser prairie-chicken, habitat for many other grassland species improves as well. Below we showcase just a few of the myriad wildlife species that live in the Southern Great Plains and benefit from LPCI’s habitat conservation work.