- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts is partnering with a private oil and gas pipeline company to help protect the habitat of the Lesser Prairie Chicken.

The association announced on Tuesday its plans to work with Oklahoma City-based Access Midstream Partners.

The plan calls for Access Midstream to donate funds that will be used to provide incentives to landowners to preserve the bird’s habitat in western Oklahoma.

The colorful grouse was listed as an endangered species in March by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Federal officials say the bird has lost more than 80 percent of its traditional habitat, mostly because of human activity such as oil and gas drilling, ranching and the construction of power lines and wind turbines.

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