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Predation and the management of prairie grouse

Category: Wildlife Research and Management - Game Management and Conservation

Date Published:  2001

Number of Pages: 9

Author(s): Michael A. Schroeder and Richard K. Baydack

Originally published in Wildlife Society Bulletin 29(1):24-32.

This paper examines the importance of predation in the life cycles of sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus), greater prairie-chicken (T.cupido), and lesser prairie-chicken (T.pallidicinctus). Most individual prairie grouse eventually succumb to predation, with substantial effects on nest success, juvenile survival and adult survival. Predator control has occasionally been used as a management tool with the belief that reducing predator numbers can enhance viability of game populations in general and prairie grouse in particular Although some experimental research has shown that direct reduction of predator numbers can increase grouse recruitment most current management plans recommend indirect management of the grouse-predator relationship by manipulating habitats. However, as habitats become more fragmented and altered and populations of prairie grouse become more threatened and endangered, it is important to reconsider predator control as a management option and to evaluate its viability through experimentation.

Suggested Citation:

Schroeder, M. A., and R. K. Baydack. 2001. Predation and the management of prairie grouse. Wildlife Society Bulletin 29:24-32.