Extinct Animal : Greater Prairie Chicken
The story of the greater prairie chicken is one of response to environmental change. A bird of the tallgrass prairies of midwestern North America, it moved into the prairie provinces in the 1880s, when a few wet years, agricultural settlement, fire suppression and the disappearance of the bison produced ideal habitat. It became abundant there and eventually spread to Ontario.
As intensive agricultural practices took over on the prairie, however, the greater prairie chicken began to disappear. By the 1930s it was almost gone. It now survives in scattered areas of southern Canada and the midwestern United States, where, in the latter, land is being acquired for managed habitats to save the bird from extinction.