Prairie Chicken Episode, with John Magera

This Prairie Chicken Will Make Your Heart Quicken: Fighting Species Extinction (Ep. 4)

A hundred years ago, you could see the Attwater’s Prairie Chicken all across the Texas Gulf Coast. And on mornings during spring mating season, you’d hear thousands of males call out for females. The soundscape they wove was quintessentially Texan  – you just couldn’t find it anywhere else.

Today fewer than two hundred prairie chickens are left, and saving the species from extinction is an uphill battle. But John Magera, who manages the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, is ready to fight. Hear him tell me about his motivations, his admiration for the men and women who started the captive breeding program, and the preciousness of this vulnerable bird.

(And just in case you’re confused, like I was: The name of the bird contains an apostrophe – “Attwater’s” – but the name of the refuge does not)

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Episode Transcript

To view the episode transcript, either click here to open the pdf file or scroll through the text below.

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