Download PDF Download Document

Unusually High Reproductive Effort by Sage Grouse in a Fragmented Habitat in North-Central Washington

Category: Wildlife Research and Management - Wildlife Research

Date Published:  1997

Number of Pages: 9

Author(s): Michael A. Schroeder

Originally published in The Condor 99:933-941

Productivity of Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) was studied in north-central Washington during 1992-1996. Nest timing and success, clutch size, probability of nesting and renesting, and variation associated with age and year were examined for 84 females monitored with the aid of radio telemetry. Although date of nest initiation varied annually, yearling females (hatched in previous year) consistently nested later than adults; mean date of initiation of incubation was 22 April overall. The average nest contained 9.1 eggs and was incubated for 27 days. Clutch size was smaller for renests than for first nests; clutch size also varied annually. Although the overall rate of nest success was only 36.7%. all females apparently nested at least once, and at least 87.0% of females renested following predation of their first nests. As a result of renesting, annual breeding success was estimated as 61.3%. Percent of all females that produced a brood at least 50 days old was 49.5%; at least 33.4% of 515 chicks survived > 50 days following hatch. Although the rates of nesting and renesting appear to have been under-estimated in other studied populations, Sage Grouse in north-central Washington display more reproductive effort overall; they lay more eggs and are more likely to nest and renest.