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Tuesday, February 7 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Survival, Nesting, and Brood-rearing Ecology of Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse in Northwestern Colorado

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AUTHORS: Rachel E. Harris, University of Wisconsin – Madison; R. Scott Lutz, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Anthony D. Apa, Colorado Parks and Wildlife

ABSTRACT: Habitat loss and degradation throughout the range of the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse (CSTG; Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus) has reduced populations to < 10% of their historic range.  Various factors influence the survival of CSTG at different life stages, with habitat being one contributing factor.  In Colorado, the reliance on artificially created habitats such as mineland reclamation and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands have helped stabilize declining populations, but may also threaten the stability of future CSTG populations, particularly as these habitats age or landowners remove lands from CRP.  We investigated spatial use of females during the nesting and brood-rearing seasons in landscapes with CRP and mine reclamation grasslands to gain a better understanding of the habitats contributing to greater survival of offspring and nesting success.  Additionally, we investigated the use of radio transmitters and passive integrated transponders as techniques for estimating survival of individual brood members.  We captured CSTG in the spring and marked adult and yearling females with 15 g necklace-mounted radio transmitters to monitor survival, nesting success, and habitat use.  Using chicks produced from our radio marked females, we captured and marked a subset of CSTG chicks with 0.55 g and juveniles with 2.4 g backpack style transmitters.  We also marked a subset of chicks with subcutaneously injected passive integrated transponders to compare the two marking procedures and estimate individual survival.  Information gained from this study will serve as pre-treatment data in a long-term habitat improvement study evaluating female, chick, and juvenile survival, as well as nesting success from pre-treatment study areas to immediate and long-term post-treatment habitats in northwestern Colorado.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Lancaster Ballroom