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November 5, 2013

OU’s Sutton Center presented award for prairie grouse conservation efforts

NORMAN — The Sutton Avian Research Center, affiliated with the University of Oklahoma and located near Bartlesville, has been recognized for its “exemplary contributions to prairie grouse conservation.”

The Prairie Grouse Technical Council awarded its 2013 Hamerstrom Award to the George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center.

The primary mission of the center, which has been affiliated with the Oklahoma Biological Survey at OU since 1997, is “finding cooperative conservation solutions for birds and the natural world through science and education.”

The Prairie Grouse Technical Council presents the award only once every two years.

Under the leadership of Steve Sherrod, executive director, the Sutton Center has been involved in researching the greater and lesser prairie-chicken in Oklahoma and New Mexico for more than 15 years.

Involved in this research since the center’s inception has been senior biologist Don Wolfe, and more recently Michael Patten, director of research, and Lena Larsson, assistant director. Their combined research has resulted in more than 25 publications on these two species alone.

Additionally, Wolfe and other Sutton Center staff developed a method of marking fences to minimize flight collision hazards to grouse.

The Sutton Center staff also has been involved with prairie-chicken recovery through Sherrod’s involvement as a federally appointed member of the Attwater’s Prairie-chicken Recovery Team.

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