The lesser prairie-chicken, whose habitat is spread across five U.S. states, has been listed as endangered or threatened under the stringent Endangered Species Act (ESA), which may lead to issues for future oil and natural gas development.

Lesser prairie-chicken

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) earlier this month listed two distinct population segments (DPS) of the species as endangered or threatened. The listings followed an extensive review of “past, present and future threats,” and by analyzing ongoing conservation efforts.

The Southern DPS, which includes eastern New Mexico and the southwestern Texas Panhandle, “is in danger of extinction,” officials said. 

The Northern DPS, encompassing southeastern Colorado, south-central to western Kansas, western Oklahoma and the...