Now it’s time to argue about the lesser prairie chicken

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Four months after the federal government gave up a court fight to keep the lesser prairie chicken on the endangered species list, environmentalists say there’s new evidence that warrants listing the bird again.

A coalition of environmental groups has filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, arguing that key populations are in danger of extinction as climate change exacerbates problems caused by energy development, farming and other infrastructure such as roads and power lines.

The groups say emergency protections are needed for isolated populations along the Texas-New Mexico border, in Colorado and western Kansas.

Following court rulings in Texas that stripped the bird of protection, federal officials moved in July to formally remove it from the list. The agency has said the bird’s status would be re-evaluated.

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