May 1, 2011
In the dim light before sunrise, a loud bubbling sound fills the air over the expanse of sand and tall grasses in northern Yoakum County.
To prevent the species from becoming endangered, the TPWD and the Texas Tech University department of natural resources development teamed up to determine population estimates in the Texas Panhandle and to work with landowners to protect the birds' habitat.
The two-year project evolved from rising concerns about projected changes to the birds' native habitat and the species' higher priority level as an endangered species candidate.
Jennifer Timmer, a Texas Tech graduate student interested in the human impact on the environment, will use the survey data to create a model that can predict where high populations of prairie-chickens are, about how many live in Texas and the relationship between populations and urban development.