Landmark Deal Ushers in a New Era of Prairie Grouse Conservation

We are pleased to announce that the Society of Tympanuchus Cupido Pinnatus, Ltd. (STCP) has struck a major deal with the George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center (Sutton Center) which will benefit prairie grouse research and conservation efforts well into the future. The agreement involves dissolution of STCP, with $1M of the proceeds being generously gifted to the Sutton Center. These funds will be used to support and expand research and conservation studies on prairie grouse.

STCP, which was founded in Wisconsin in 1961, has a long history of studying and conserving prairie grouse. In recent years our focus shifted from purchasing and protecting land for the Greater Prairie-chicken in Wisconsin, to broader endeavors in grouse research and conservation across the American prairies. Because this evolving effort aligned well with the Sutton Center’s conservation and research efforts with grouse, and because STCP was developing a focus well outside of a single species in a restricted area, the Board of Directors of the STCP decided the most effective way of supporting prairie grouse conservation was to throw their full support behind the grouse research and conservation programs at the Sutton Center.

During their combined 85-year history, STCP and the Sutton Center have independently contributed much to the scientific understanding of grouse such as Greater and Lesser Prairie-chickens. The arrangement between our organizations now promises to advance upland bird research and conservation by not only pooling financial resources under the Sutton Center, but also through the synergizing effects of exceptional STCP personnel who will be joining its staff and Board. The Sutton Center will also be the recipient of an extensive collection of manuscripts, databases, and preserved specimens that will be archived at the Sutton Center or affiliated departments at the University of Oklahoma.

Under the agreement, longtime STCP Research Consultant Dr. John Toepfer will join the Sutton Center as the first STCP/Hamerstrom Prairie Grouse Research Chair. He will continue his life’s work of conducting and publishing scientific research on prairie grouse. Since the mid 1970’s Dr. Toepfer has been studying and actively working to conserve grouse across the American prairies and has published more than 60 scientific and popular press articles about this research. In 2003 the National Prairie Grouse Technical Council awarded him The Hamerstrom Award for outstanding contributions in the field of prairie grouse biology. We anticipate that he will be able to earn Adjunct Professor status at the University of Oklahoma and will continue to help plan, conduct, mentor students, and publish about prairie grouse research.

The arrangement also opens four positions on the Sutton Center Board of Directors for former Directors of STCP. Collectively, the Sutton Center Board will continue to help direct the growth of the organization, but will also strive to ensure that the legacy of the STCP remains a guiding presence.

We believe that this arrangement will provide for continued focused conservation efforts and help elevate the Sutton Center’s status as a leading research center for grouse conservation.

STCP Receives Cabela’s Outdoor Fund (COF) Grant

COF Assists STCP’s Nebraska’s Sandhills Prairie Grouse Research

STCP is pleased to announce that we have recently been awarded a $30,750.00 grant from Cabela’s Outdoor Fund. The grant will provide funding for GPS radios

and additional airplane time for aerial radio-tracking of greater prairie-chickens.

A significant portion of the hen prairie-chickens we’ve been following in Nebraska have moved great distances seasonally - some up to 75 miles. Determining when and how these movements are made will provide the information necessary to

help us better understand how much of an area these birds truly require and

manage populations accordingly so that greater prairie-chickens will not become threatened/endangered and instead remain true icons of our prairie grasslands.

STCP would like to express our sincere appreciation to Cabela’s Outdoor Fund

for their much appreciated support.

The Nebraska Sandhills: 2012-2015

A Focus on the Future

STCP’s Prairie Grouse Research Project in Nebraska’s Sandhills

Until now, there has never been a year-round study of the ecology of the greater prairie-chicken in the core of the range where populations are associated with vast expanses of native grassland habitat. Nebraska, and specifically the Sandhills region with its estimated 32 million acres of grasslands is the last best place to undertake such a study.

In a unanimous vote at its annual meeting in December 2011, STCP committed to funding the field research necessary to determine the factors that contribute to maintaining what is likely the largest remaining population of greater prairie-chickens in North America.

To learn more about this project and view Progress Reports click here.

US Fish & Wildlife Service Lists Lesser Prairie-Chicken

as Threatened Species       

In response to the rapid and severe decline of the lesser prairie-chicken, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the final listing of the species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.  USFWS NewsRelease.pdf

“A Threatened Species: The Imperiled Lesser Prairie Chicken”

This article by author Tom Davis is featured in the July/August 2014 issue of

Pointing Dog Journal magazine and is made available here courtesy of the author and Pointing Dog Journal.

To download a copy of this article click here.

Save The Last Dance

A Story of North American Grassland Grouse

STCP Co-sponsors New Book on North America’s Prairie Grouse

A new book by award-winning photographer, Noppadol Paothong, and noted outdoor writer, Joel M. Vance, strives to rescue grassland grouse from the brink of extinction by showing the world what it stands to lose if these species are allowed to disappear forever.

This 204-page hardbound book, Save the Last Dance – A Story of North American Grassland Grouse, captures the dazzling beauty of seven grouse species whose populations are diminishing across the prairies and plains of America – and one species that has already lost its battle for survival. Fortunately, many conservation groups including STCP have championed the cause of grassland grouse.

For additional info click here.

“Magnificent Obsession - Pursuing prairie chickens may be the purest form of hunting....It’s surely the most introspective”

This article by author Tom Davis is featured in the August 2012 issue of Sporting Classics Magazine and is made available here courtesy of the author and Sporting Classics.

To download a copy of this article click here.

“The Bird that Followed the Plow”

Prairie chickens followed settlers across the Minnesota territory. Their history in the state is a twisting tale—rapid expansion, startling collapse, and perhaps revival today.

This article by Greg Hoch is featured in the September/October 2011 Minnesota DNR publication, Minnesota Conservation Volunteer.

To access this article online click here.

“A History of Grouse Hunting”

Published in NEBRASKAland Magazine, August, 2011

To access this article online click here.

Site Index

                 Copyright STCP | 2008-2015      | Home | About Us | Projects | Attwater’s Prairie-Chicken | Resources | Contact Us |                                                 STCP.htmlAbout_Us.htmlProjects.htmlAttwaters_Prairie-Chicken.htmlResources.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1shapeimage_1_link_2shapeimage_1_link_3shapeimage_1_link_4shapeimage_1_link_5