I did not know before today that New Mexico’s eastern plains are home to the Lesser Prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a rare and troubled bird. Historically, it lived across a great swath of what is now Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Nebraska as well as my home state. No more. As you can see here, its range is now limited to a few much smaller patches.
I know all this because I received in the mail a survey from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish regarding my views on the Lesser Prairie-chicken and the efforts underway to save its sorry ass. The survey assured me I was scientifically selected, and that my views were important. I take my survey-responding responsibilities seriously. I filled it out.