Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
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Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR - Monthly Staff Notes - April 2008
Southwest Region, April 30, 2008
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The official estimated wild Attwater's prairie chicken (APC) numbers for 2008 is 72 birds (52 at the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), four at the Texas City Prairie Preserve (TCPP), and 16 on private property in Goliad County, Texas). This increase reflects the highest annual population estimate since 1994 when 158 birds were estimated.

By the end of April, 14 APC nests at APC NWR were located and each secured with a predator deterrent fence. Unfortunately, one nest was destroyed by a raccoon already.  Two nests already hatched.  An additional five hens still have not started nesting.  Plans are to continue to intensely manage most of the broods this spring to determine why newly hatched chicks struggle with surviving past the first week of life. Eight of nine hens have started nesting on the Goliad County property and two nests have been located on the TCPP to date.

Production at all APC captive breeding facilities is in full swing with the first chicks hatching out during mid-April. More than 700 eggs have been produced by the end of April, potentially setting the stage for one of the most productive egg producing years the APC breeding program has ever experienced since its start in 1992.  Noteworthy is Fossil Rim Wildlife Center's (FRWC) and the Abilene Zoo's efforts in producing 381 eggs and 165 eggs, respectively, so far.  Over 40 APC chicks hatched by month's end.


Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov
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