Scientific Name: Tympanuchus cupido
Taxonomy Group: Birds
Range: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario
Last COSEWIC Assessment: November 2009
Last COSEWIC Designation: Extirpated
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Extirpated
Image of Greater Prairie-Chicken
The Greater Prairie-Chicken is a medium-sized grouse with a barred plumage, a short round tail, and feathered toes. Narrow elongated feathers occur on an inflatable sac on both sides of the neck. These narrow elongated feathers, which function in the mating display, are poorly developed on the females.
Distribution and Population
The Greater Prairie-Chicken has vanished from Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta. There were some 15 sightings in Saskatchewan between 1965 and 1977. This species is now considered extirpated from Canada, although the sightings from Saskatchewan indicate that some individuals may still occur in Canada, probably during migration. This species colonized the Prairie provinces and southern Ontario in the 1870s-1880s, from North Dakota and Minnesota. By 1900, an estimated one million or more Greater Prairie-Chickens were breeding in the Prairies. Today, the species' range extends from the Canadian Prairies to Texas and Louisiana.
The Greater Prairie-Chicken inhabits natural grasslands, open to fairly bushy; it will also use lightly grazed or ungrazed grasslands located near bushy natural grasslands.
There is no information available on the breeding habits of Greater Prairie-Chickens in Canada. In the United States, breeding begins in April or early May. Nests are shallow depressions on the ground, lined with grass and other materials, and usually surrounded by tall grass or bushes. Clutches usually contain 11 or 12 eggs. The young are precocious (rapidly independent). This species has both high reproductive potential and high mortality.
Reasons for extirpation
Lack of adequate habitat, namely extensive, ungrazed blocks of grassland, is the main limiting factor for Greater Prairie-Chickens. The conversion of natural grasslands to agriculture is ongoing.
Federal ProtectionThe Greater Prairie-Chicken is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
Status of Recovery Planning
Recovery Strategies :
Name National Recovery Strategy for Greater Prairie Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido)
Status Approvals process initiated
PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
8 record(s) found.
- COSEWIC Status Reports (2 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Assessments (2 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (1 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Consultation Documents (1 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Document Posting Plans (1 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
COSEWIC Annual Reports
COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 (2010)Under Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. During the past year, COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings and reviewed the status of 79 wildlife species (species, subspecies, populations). During the meeting of November 2009, COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of the status of 28 wildlife species. COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of an additional 51 wildlife species (species, subspecies and populations) during their April 2010 meeting. For species already found on Schedule 1 of SARA, the classification of 32 species was reviewed by COSEWIC and the status of the wildlife species was confirmed to be in the same category (extirpated - no longer found in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere, endangered, threatened or of special concern). The wildlife species assessment results for the 2009-2010 reporting period include the following: Extirpated: 6 Endangered: 39 Threatened: 16 Special Concern: 17 Data Deficient: 1 This report transmits to the Minister the status of 46 species newly classified as extirpated, endangered, threatened or of special concern, fulfilling COSEWIC’s obligations under SARA Section 24 and 25. A full detailed summary of the assessment for each species and the reason for the designation can be found in Appendix I of the attached report. Since its inception, COSEWIC has assessed 602 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 262 Endangered, 151 Threatened, 166 Special Concern and 23 Extirpated. In addition, 13 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct. Also, to date, 46 wildlife species have been identified by COSEWIC as Data Deficient and 166 wildlife species were assessed as Not at Risk. This year has been a particularly productive year for COSEWIC’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Subcommittee. In April 2010 COSEWIC approved the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Process and Protocol Guidelines, providing clear and agreed principles for the gathering of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge to carry out COSEWIC functions as required under Section 15(2) of SARA (See Appendix III of the attached report). We are grateful for the rich and enthusiastic contribution made by community elders and experts in helping the ATK Subcommittee prepare the ATK protocols.
Recovery Document Posting Plans
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