The Missouri Department of Conservation says a group of prairie chickens has been brought to the state from Nebraska.
Forty-five chicks were released at the Dunn Ranch Prairie in northwest Missouri, the department said Wednesday. This is the second year of a three-year program to help repopulate the endangered species.
As of this spring, the department counted only 12 prairie chickens at Dunn Ranch.
Prairie chickens can indicate overall grassland health. The birds, considered a grassland grouse, also can travel long distances and intermingle between flocks. Rainy and cool nesting seasons diminished Missouri’s population.