In 2014, the Lesser Prairie Chicken was added to the Endangered Species Act's (ESA's) threatened species list in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado by the Fish & Wildlife Service. Under the law, a "threatened" listing means the species is likely to become in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future; it is a step below "endangered" under the ESA and allows for more flexibility in how the Act's protections are implemented.
At that time, the habitat of the Lesser Prairie Chicken had shrunk by 84 percent. A conservation plan was crafted and administered by state wildlife agencies, and supported by energy companies and landowners, to reduce the chicken's top threats and offset the impacts of development on the species. Thanks to those who willingly participate in the protection program and conservation efforts, as well as the hard work and collaboration of the industry with state agencies, the Lesser Prairie Chicken has been removed from the Endangered Species and no longer a threatened species of grouse.