PRATT – An icon of the Kansas prairie, the greater prairie chicken, will soon be the subject of an aerial survey conducted by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) every three years. From sunrise until approximately two-and-a-half hours after sunrise, KDWPT biologists will work with a contracted aerial service company to operate three helicopters throughout the state’s greater prairie chicken range, including the eastern Smoky Hills, Flint Hills, Glaciated Plains, Northern High Plains, Osage Cuestas and Chautauqua Hills regions (northcentral and eastern half of the state).
Surveys will take place during the greater prairie chicken lekking period when the birds are displaying on leks, or booming grounds, around March 15 to May 15.
Data collected from the aerial surveys will be used in conjunction with data from KDWPT’s annual ground surveys to further document population trends and better determine the species’ response to current management efforts.
For more information on the greater prairie chicken, including a map of the species’ range in Kansas, visit ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/Upland-Birds/Greater-Prairie-Chicken.