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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Monday, April 27, 2009

GREATER SAGE GROUSE

Anyone who knows me, and many who don't will realise that I have somewhat of an obsession with chickens and their relatives. Last week I used a flimsy excuse to show a video of a lesser prairie chicken, and was rewarded by some comments of a distinctly cryptozoological nature. Now, I am chancing my arm even further because I can think of absolutely no justification whatsoever for showing you this video, except for the fact that this is an even more magnificently absurd fowl than the one I showed you last week. Now someone please justify this for me...




1 comment:

Retrieverman said...

North America is to grouse what Asia is to pheasants. We have so many different species.

I remember watching a lek of greater sage grouse on a nature documentary when I was probably 5 or 6 years old, and just being transfixed. It was like these birds had poached eggs on their breasts-- the air sacks.

The Gunnison sage grouse, a close relative of the ones in the clip, is losing ground. Just as the red grouse of Britain require heather to live, the sage grouse require sage brush. (We call our subspecies of Lagopus lagopus a "willow ptarmigan." Ours turns white in the winter, while your red grouse do not.)

However, the Gunnison sage grouse has yet to be added to the Endangered Species list, because it lives in areas where there are reserves of oil and gas. To add it to the list would encumber this exploration, and since our previous government was essentially a political wing of the petroleum and natural gas industry, the Gunnison wasn't added. Further, it would close off some lands for cattle grazing, and that is one thing the US government doesn't like to do.

Further, the Gunnison is of some interest to those looking for new species. Until 2000, it was listed as a subspecies of the Greater sage grouse. It was discovered that it was genetically quite distinct from the greater sage grouse, so the American Ornithological Union classified it as a distinct species.

In fact, there is some movement toward calling the greater sage grouse the "sage grouse" and calling the Gunnison sage grouse the "Gunnison grouse." To further reflect their separate species status.

You can find out more about the Gunnison here: http://www.sagebrushsea.org/sp_gunnison_grouse.htm