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A wild male Attwater’s prairie-chicken booming at The Nature Conservancy’s Texas City Prairie Preserve.

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One of few remaining wild male Attwater’s prairie-chickens looks out from its hiding place at The Nature Conservancy’s Texas City Prairie Preserve.

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A male Attwater’s prairie chicken at The Nature Conservancy’s Texas City Prairie Preserve.

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Close-up portraits of a male Attwater’s prairie-chicken (endangered).

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Close-up portraits of a male Attwater’s prairie-chicken (endangered).

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Close-up portraits of a male Attwater’s prairie-chicken (endangered).

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One of few remaining wild male Attwater’s prairie-chickens performs for potential mates at The Nature Conservancy’s Texas City Prairie Preserve.

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Two male Attwater’s prairie-chickens face off at The Nature Conservancy’s Texas City Prairie Preserve.

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Two male Attwater’s prairie-chickens face off at The Nature Conservancy’s Texas City Prairie Preserve.

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One of few remaining wild male Attwater’s prairie-chickens performs for potential mates at The Nature Conservancy’s Texas City Prairie Preserve.

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One of few remaining wild male Attwater’s prairie-chickens looks out from its hiding place at The Nature Conservancy’s Texas City Prairie Preserve.

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One of few remaining wild male Attwater’s prairie-chickens looks out from its hiding place at The Nature Conservancy’s Texas City Prairie Preserve.

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A wild male Attwater’s prairie-chicken booming at The Nature Conservancy’s Texas City Prairie Preserve.

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Feathers shed from the endangered Attwater’s prairie-chicken.

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Feathers shed from the endangered Attwater’s prairie-chicken.

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Feathers shed from the endangered Attwater’s prairie-chicken.

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A female Attwater’s prairie-chicken hides in the grass at a captive breeding facility.

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A mother watches over a juvenile Attwater’s prairie-chicken at a captive breeding facility.

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A juvenile Attwater’s prairie-chicken hides in the grass at a captive breeding facility.

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A juvenile Attwater’s prairie-chicken looks out from its hiding place in the grass at a captive breeding facility.

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A female Attwater’s prairie-chicken hides in the grass at a captive breeding facility.

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Two male Attwater’s prairie-chickens fight for dominance and position at The Nature Conservancy’s Texas City Prairie Preserve. Though fights are common, the birds are seldom injured. The strongest males usually end up in the center of the booming ground, displaying and squabbling constantly with other males in case a female flies in to select a mate.

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Male Attwater’s prairie-chickens booming on a lek near Texas City, Texas.

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Male Attwater’s prairie-chickens booming on a lek near Texas City, Texas.

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Male Attwater’s prairie-chickens booming on a lek near Texas City, Texas.

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Male Attwater’s prairie-chickens booming on a lek near Texas City, Texas.

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An aerial showing the massive impact of the oil industry in the Galveston Bay area of Texas.

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An aerial showing the massive impact of the oil industry in the Galveston Bay area of Texas.

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Managers at the Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR must use controlled fire to kill invasive woody species and keep the prairie healthy.

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The Houston ship channel flows through what used to be native coastal prairie. Industrial development and sprawl from the city have greatly reduced the range of the Attwater’s prairie-chicken and other wildlife to small pockets of grassland habitat.

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White tailed-hawks are normal parts of the prairie ecosystem, but when shrinking habitat leaves endangered birds like the Attwater’s prairie chicken no place to hide, predation becomes a problem. The McCartney rose bush underneath its nest is a woody, exotic species that threatens the prairie itself.

Photo: Julie Jensen Director of Marketing | WVC O: 866.800.7326 | D: 702.443.9249 | E: j.jensen@wvc.org

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