Since the early 1800's, the Southern Great Plains habitat of this key species has been reduced by 90 %, which has been instrumental in an 85% decline of the grouse's population. 'The lesser prairie-chicken will disappear forever without protection of the Endangered Species Act,' said Jay Lininger, an ecologist with the Center for Biological Diversity.
'Voluntary measures that preserve a little habitat are convenient for some, but they won't be effective for the prairie-chicken. ' The lesser prairie-chicken is threatened by habitat loss and degradation from livestock grazing, agriculture, oil and gas extraction, herbicides and unnatural fire as primary
threats to the lesser prairie-chicken. Habitat fragmentation from fences, power lines, together with disturbances from roads, mining, and wind energy production also affect the species. Climate change and drought are increasingly important threats.