Great Plains Natural Science Society


The Prairie Naturalist

Date of this Version


Document Type



THE PRAIRIE NATURALIST, Volume 37, No. 1, March 2005, pp 1-9.


Published by the Great Plains Natural Science Society. Used by permission.


The lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has declined in numbers in Kansas primarily due to the conversion of sand sagebrush (Artemisia .filifolia) prairie to cropland. The lesser prairie-chicken in Finney County, Kansas exists primarily in large fragments of sand sagebrush prairie, and it forages during fall and winter on waste grain in harvested com (Zea mays) fields adjacent to prairie fragments. We used radio-telemetry to monitor lesser prairie chicken locations and found no significant relationship between numbers of bird locations and amounts of waste grain on the ground in harvested com fields. Even the harvested fields with the least amount of waste grain seemed to have sufficient amounts of food available for foraging lesser prairie-chicken. There appeared to be no need to develop supplemental food sources for wintering lesser prairie-chicken populations that have access to harvested fields of irrigated com in Finney County.