Sunday, April 7, 2013

Prairie Chickens!

I spent part of the least week out in Western Nebraska trapping prairie chickens for a reintroduction project.  There were two early mornings, starting around 4:30 am sitting in a blind watching the natural world wake up and being surrounded by the haunting booming and wild whoops and cackles of the male prairie chickens as they did their best to look and sound sexy for the ladies.  The fellow pictured above was stationed about 10 ft from our blind.  It was a breathtaking reminder of how diverse and incredible our world is and how much we lose when we lose species. 

The locals seemed to have a different viewpoint.  When it was explained why we were there, usually in response to the questions, their normal response was usually "You're doing what?  You actually getting paid to do this?"  I always wanted to respond "I know, right?  Can you imagine a more fulfilling, worthwhile and downright awesome job?"  But I am pretty sure they didn't mean it that way.  I'm pretty sure they meant it in a "There is money being spent on something so incredibly ridiculous and worthless?" sort of way.  Pretty discouraging and doesn't bode well for wildlife and natural resource conservation. 

Got any strong feelings about Greater Prairie Chickens? Do they deserve to be valued and have people working on their behalf?

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