Among specific topics are the legal status of the lesser prairie-chicken, genetic variation and population structure in prairie grouse and implications for the conservation of lesser prairie-chicken, public and private land conservation dichotomy, grasslands of western Kansas north of the Arkansas River, and ecology and conservation in Sand Shinnery Oak
Natural vegetation was characterized by a community of sand shinnery oak
(Quercus havardii) or sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia; Dhillion et al.
Caption: The dunes sagebrush lizard is a rare species found only in shinnery oak
dune habitat in southeastern New Mexico and adjacent Texas.
The lizard lives in the shinnery oak
, and the Fish and Wildlife Service has said that drilling threatens the lizard's habitat, as does the removal of oak for grazing.
Rough rocky areas are common throughout the Plateau and usually support tall or mid-grass understory and a brush overstory of Plateau live oak (Quercus fusiformis), shinnery oak
(Quercus havardii), Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei) and mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa).
Native short- and midgrasses once dominated the area, but have been partially replaced by sand shinnery oak
The individual we discovered was in shinnery oak
(Quercus havardi) and sand-dune blowout habitat.
Lesser prairie chickens require habitats with sandy soils that support shinnery oak
(Quercus harvardii)bluestem (Andropogon sp.
In addition to drought, one or a combination of other factors, such as predation, improper grazing practices, conversion of native habitat to cropland, chemical control of sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia) and shinnery oak
(Quercus havardii) and hunting when populations were low, may have significantly reduced size of populations and geographic range of this species during the past 100 years (Ligon 1927; Crawford 1980; Taylor & Guthery 1980; Bailey & Williams 2000).
For example, the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) occurs primarily in habitat that contains shinnery oak
(Quercus havardii)or sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia; Giesen, 1998).
The application of Tebuthiuron last fall to control shinnery oak
and help restore the native tall- and mid-grasses should benefit the chickens and a range of species, but biologists will be checking vegetation composition, available plant cover, soil moisture, seed and herbaceous production, and populations of birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects to make sure.
For example, much of the geographic range of scaled quail in New Mexico has been subjected to treatments intended to control shinnery oak
(Quercus havardii) (cf.