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Understanding the ecology, habitat use, phenology and thermal tolerance of nesting Lesser Prairie-Chickens to predict population level influences of climate change

Dates

Start Date
2010-07-21
End Date
2013-02-28

Summary

We found few reports in the literature containing useful data on the nesting phenology of lesser prairie-chickens; therefore, managers must rely on short-term observations and measurements of parameters that provide some predictive insight into climate impacts on nesting ecology. Our field studies showed that prairie-chickens on nests were able to maintain relatively consistent average nest temperature of 31 °C and nest humidities of 56.8 percent whereas average external temperatures (20.3–35.0 °C) and humidities (35.2– 74.9 percent) varied widely throughout the 24 hour (hr) cycle. Grazing and herbicide treatments within our experimental areas were designed to be less intensive than in common practice. We determined nest locations [...]

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Purpose

Climate models predict that the region of the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) will experience increased maximum and minimum temperatures, reduced frequency but greater intensity of precipitation events, and earlier springs. These climate changes along with different landscape management techniques may influence the persistence of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act and a priority species under the GPLCC, in positive or negative ways. The objectives of this study were to conduct (1) a literature review of lesser prairiechicken nesting phenology and ecology, (2) an analysis of thermal aspects of lesser prairie-chicken nest microclimate data, and (3) an analysis of nest site selection, nest survival, and vegetation response to 10 years of tebuthiuron and/or grazing treatments.

Project Extension

projectStatusCompleted
projectProducts
productDescriptionPublication on lesser prairie-chicken nesting habitat and survival
statusDelivered

Budget Extension

totalFunds99154.0
annualBudgets
year2010
totalFunds99154.0

Communities

  • Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative
  • LC MAP - Landscape Conservation Management and Analysis Portal

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