A male Attwater’s prairie chicken (APC) at the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler, TX. The males of this species go all out when it comes to attracting a mate; they inflate huge neck pouches with air, flashing color while stomping their feet and moaning loudly, or 'booming'. Females breed with the most vigorous males who have the best displays. (Swipe to see this Attwater's prairie chicken's bright orange air sac inflate)
This remarkable bird is endangered, with just two remaining wild populations (a total of only 130 jndividuals). A major cause of their decline has been invasive fire ants, which devour both hatching chicks and the insects they need as a primary food source. One key to survival is to kill fire ants in the areas where the birds still exist, like the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, which has been treating for fire ants since 2009.
The fact that this bird species isn't extinct today is largely thanks to the captive breeding efforts being done at the Caldwell Zoo, the @houstonzoo, Abilene Zoo, @fossilrim Wildlife Center, and very soon at a large facility run by the Sutton Avian Research Center near Bartlesville, OK.
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