I have seen recently that it might be legal in some areas to own prairie chickens.
Now, let me start off by saying that I am a Texan. I currently reside in Utah but my planned home in progress is to be located in Texas, provided that I can find an appropriate piece of land in an area where my desired animals and plants of choice are legal. I have a great deal of respect for species in general but I am especially fond of the Texas Prairie Chickens.
In Texas, the Lesser Prairie Chicken and the Attwater's Prairie Chicken are endangered species. The Greater Prairie Chicken is NOT native to Texas to my knowledge. The Attwater's Prairie Chicken is Critically Endangered, with a tiny wild and captured population. Attwater's Prairie Chickens live in a highly endangered, coastal Texas prairie habitat. I will be living clear on the other side of Texas. It is HIGHLY illegal to own, disturb or otherwise have anything to do with an Attwater's Prairie Chicken. They have been on the Endangered Species List for decades and are a hen's breath away from going extinct. Needless to say, ownership of this subspecies is out of the question.
Next up we come to the Lesser Prairie Chicken. Beautiful creatures, native to Texas and could use a helping hand in the way of conservation. This would be my Prairie Chicken of choice. They are listed as a Vulnerable species, the same as the Greater Prairie Chicken.
Finally, we have the Greater Prairie Chicken. http://www.purelypoultry.com/exotics-c-178.html
Take a look at that webpage. They have them for sale. However, I do not know if they are legally eligible for sale. Do you need a permit to own one? I believe it is likely that you can't just go and sell these to just anyone. These persons also have a pair of East African Crowned Cranes for sale, which are listed as an Endangered Species which makes me wonder what is going on. I know it is possible to get a permit to purchase Endangered Species in some instances, but are there not additional regulations to protect the offspring of the animals purchased? I do not know the legality of this and I do not mean to imply that the person(s) operating this website are breaking the law. I am simply unclear of what the law is and how it applies to Prairie Chickens.
I assume, considering that the Greater Prairie Chicken is listed for sale on several other websites as well, that it might be plausible that the Lesser Prairie Chicken might also be a bird that is legal for ownership. I am not interested in owning a Prairie Chicken that is not native to Texas because the danger of an escaped bird possibly mating with a Lesser Prairie Chicken and onward could cause a hybridization of the species and deal a death blow to it! Not a risk worth taking! I don't know if the species can cross like that but again, not a risk worth taking.
I have always wanted a Prairie Chicken ever since I was little and saw them at the zoo. I think they are the most beautiful, lovely bird in creation and would love to own some and to help breed them responsibly and to help the species recover.
With that said, does anyone know the legality of owning a Prairie Chicken, reputable dealers to purchase from so I can be certain I am not buying from poachers and supporting the black market animal trade and the requirements and regulations for keeping such birds?
I am sure that there must be some group or organization out there with similar views or members of this forum who are in the know that can help point me in the right direction.