Grouse Inc.

Tucson, AZ, United States

Grouse Inc.

Tucson, AZ, United States
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Sedinger J.S.,University of Nevada, Reno | White G.C.,Colorado State University | Partee E.T.,15 East 4th Street | Braun C.E.,Grouse Inc.
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2010

We used band-recovery data from 2 populations of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), one in Colorado, USA, and another in Nevada, USA, to examine the relationship between harvest rates and annual survival. We used a Seber parameterization to estimate parameters for both populations. We estimated the process correlation between reporting rate and annual survival using Markov chain Monte Carlo methods implemented in Program MARK. If hunting mortality is additive to other mortality factors, then the process correlation between reporting and survival rates will be negative. Annual survival estimates for adult and juvenile greater sage-grouse in Nevada were 0.42 ± 0.07 (x ̄ ± SE) for both age classes, whereas estimates of reporting rate were 0.15 ± 0.02 and 0.16 ± 0.03 for the 2 age classes, respectively. For Colorado, average reporting rates were 0.14 ± 0.016, 0.14 ± 0.010, 0.19 ± 0.014, and 0.18 ± 0.014 for adult females, adult males, juvenile females, and juvenile males, respectively. Corresponding mean annual survival estimates were 0.59 ± 0.01, 0.37 ± 0.03, 0.78 ± 0.01, and 0.64 ± 0.03. Estimated process correlation between logit-transformed reporting and survival rates for greater sage-grouse in Colorado was ρ 0.68 ± 0.26, whereas that for Nevada was ρ 0.04 ± 0.58. We found no support for an additive effect of harvest on survival in either population, although the Nevada study likely had low power. This finding will assist mangers in establishing harvest regulations and otherwise managing greater sage-grouse populations. © The Wildlife Society.


Braun C.E.,Grouse Inc.
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2015

We redefine and clarify procedures to classify sex and age (juveniles, yearlings, adults, and breeding-age) of greater (Centrocercus urophasianus) and Gunnison sage-grouse (C. minimus) from wings. Existing keys for greater sage-grouse age and sex classification do not incorporate more recent information on timing and sequence of molt or regional variation. We evaluated keys with the aid of gonadally inspected, hunter-harvested sage-grouse in Colorado (1973-1990) and with birds captured and measured in Washington (1992-1997) and Oregon (2008-2012). The technique is accurate and transferable among biologists who have basic training in reading a key and examining wings (primaries, secondaries, tertials, and coverts). Accurate information on sex and age of grouse, particularly during harvest, is a fundamental component of our understanding of population dynamics, which ultimately enables improved management. © The Wildlife Society, 2015.


Braun C.E.,Grouse Inc. | Tomlinson R.E.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Southwestern Naturalist | Year: 2015

We calculated hatching dates for 2,479 immature mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) captured and banded in a suburban area of Tucson, Arizona, during 2000-2012. Hatching commenced in February and continued into late September. Frequency of hatching peaked during 21-31 May and gradually declined to the end of September. Mourning doves in the Tucson area have hatching distribution similar to those of populations in other parts of the United States. Our data show no measurable differences in length of the mourning dove breeding season among varied locations throughout the United States over a 70-year period.


Kaler R.S.A.,Kansas State University | Ebbert S.E.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Braun C.E.,Grouse Inc. | Sandercock B.K.,Kansas State University
Wilson Journal of Ornithology | Year: 2010

We report results of a 4-year translocation effort to reestablish a breeding population of Evermann's Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta evermanni) in the Near Islands group of the western Aleutian Archipelago. Habitat restoration was completed by eradication of introduced foxes from Agattu Island by 1979. We captured and moved 75 ptarmigan from Attu Island to Agattu Island during 2003-2006, and monitored 29 radio-marked females in the last 2 years of the study. We compared the demography of newly translocated birds (n = 13) with resident birds established from translocations in previous years (n = 16). Mortality risk was increased by translocation and 15% of females died within 2 weeks of release at Agattu Island. All surviving females attempted to nest but initiated clutches 8 days later in the breeding season and laid 1.5 fewer eggs per clutch than resident females. Probability of nest survival (x̄ ± SE) was good for both translocated (0.72 ± 0.17) and resident females (0.50 ± 0.16), and renests were rare. Probability of brood survival was higher among translocated (0.85 ± 0.14) than resident females (0.25 ± 0.12), partly as a result of inclement weather in 2006. Fecundity, estimated as female fledglings per breeding female, was relatively low for both translocated (0.9 ± 0.3) and resident females (0.3 ± 0.2). No mortalities occurred among radio-marked female ptarmigan during the 10-week breeding season, and the probability of annual survival for females in 2005-2006 was between 0.38 and 0.75. Translocations were successful because females survived, successfully nested, and recruited offspring during the establishment stage. Post-release monitoring provided useful demographic data in this study and should be a key component of translocation programs for wildlife restoration. Future population surveys and additional translocations may be required to ensure long-term viability of the reintroduced population of ptarmigan at Agattu Island. © 2010 by the Wilson Ornithological Society.


Braun C.E.,Grouse Inc. | Tomlinson R.E.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Wann G.T.,Colorado State University
Wilson Journal of Ornithology | Year: 2015

Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura) are common throughout much of North America and have been extensively studied. Seasonal changes in body mass are largely unreported and have not been examined in relation to replacement of primary flight feathers. We studied changes in body mass in relation to primary molt of doves captured in southeastern Arizona during 2000 through 2012. Body mass for adult males and females averaged 116.3 g (SE = 0.16) and 109.0 g (SE = 0.18), respectively. The distribution of body mass was similar for all months and was normally distributed. Body mass of adult males was lowest in August and September, and highest in November through January. Body mass of adult females was lowest in June through October and increased from October through March. Changes in body mass of adults generally tracked breeding and nesting activities and to a lesser extent timing of primary feather replacement. Body mass of juvenile doves increased linearly with replacement of juvenal primaries from prior to molt through replacement of P 8-10, while body mass of adult doves decreased from prior to molt through replacement of P 8-10. Adult primary feather replacement started in April and was mostly completed by October with some doves still replacing adult primaries well into December. Primary feather molt of hatch-year doves started in April, depending upon when hatching occurred and was mostly completed by December. The relationship between declines in body mass and progress of primary molt in adults is believed to be due primarily to energetic demands of breeding activities, although primary molt may also have a role. © 2015 The Wilson Ornithological Society.


Wann G.T.,Colorado State University | Aldridge C.L.,U.S. Geological Survey | Braun C.E.,Grouse Inc.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Animal populations occurring at high elevations are often assumed to be in peril of extinctions or local extirpations due to elevational-dispersal limitations and thermoregulatory constraints as habitats change and warm. However, long-term monitoring of high-elevation populations is uncommon relative to those occurring at lower elevations, and evidence supporting this assumption is limited. We analyzed 45 years of reproductive data for two Colorado populations of white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura), an alpine-endemic species with restricted distribution in western North America. Seasonal temperatures measured by the number of growing degree days warmed significantly at our study sites for pre-nesting, nesting, and brood-rearing seasonal periods (mean advance of 8 growing degree days per decade), and both populations advanced their reproductive phenology over the study period based on median hatch dates (median advance of 3.7 and 1.9 days per decade for the northern and southern sites, respectively). Reproductive performance measured by the number of chicks per hen declined significantly at one study site but not the other, and differences between sites may have been due to habitat degradation at one study area. Annual variability in chicks per hen was large at both sites but only weakly related to seasonal weather. An index of precipitation and temperature during the brood-rearing period was the best predictor for reproductive success with warm and dry conditions relating positively to number of chicks per hen. Our results provide evidence for two alpine ptarmigan populations that are remarkably invariant to fluctuations in seasonal weather with respect to reproductive success as measured by number of chicks per hen in the breeding population. These results are surprising given the general perception of alpine animal populations as being highly sensitive to warming temperatures. © 2016, Public Library of Science. All rights reserved. This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.


PubMed | U.S. Geological Survey, Grouse Inc. and Colorado State University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

Animal populations occurring at high elevations are often assumed to be in peril of extinctions or local extirpations due to elevational-dispersal limitations and thermoregulatory constraints as habitats change and warm. However, long-term monitoring of high-elevation populations is uncommon relative to those occurring at lower elevations, and evidence supporting this assumption is limited. We analyzed 45 years of reproductive data for two Colorado populations of white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura), an alpine-endemic species with restricted distribution in western North America. Seasonal temperatures measured by the number of growing degree days warmed significantly at our study sites for pre-nesting, nesting, and brood-rearing seasonal periods (mean advance of 8 growing degree days per decade), and both populations advanced their reproductive phenology over the study period based on median hatch dates (median advance of 3.7 and 1.9 days per decade for the northern and southern sites, respectively). Reproductive performance measured by the number of chicks per hen declined significantly at one study site but not the other, and differences between sites may have been due to habitat degradation at one study area. Annual variability in chicks per hen was large at both sites but only weakly related to seasonal weather. An index of precipitation and temperature during the brood-rearing period was the best predictor for reproductive success with warm and dry conditions relating positively to number of chicks per hen. Our results provide evidence for two alpine ptarmigan populations that are remarkably invariant to fluctuations in seasonal weather with respect to reproductive success as measured by number of chicks per hen in the breeding population. These results are surprising given the general perception of alpine animal populations as being highly sensitive to warming temperatures.


Braun C.E.,Grouse Inc. | Williams Iii S.O.,University of New Mexico
Southwestern Naturalist | Year: 2015

We report the known pre-settlement distribution of Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) in New Mexico, the late Pleistocene fossil record of Centrocercus in the state, the only known specimen from New Mexico, and review the introduction of nonnative greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) into the state. Fossil bones of sage-grouse have been reported from San Juan, Sandoval, Grant, Hidalgo, and Donã Ana counties, indicating a former widespread distribution. Sage-grouse were uncommon to rare in New Mexico based on reports of observers and travelers through the state prior to 1900, with only one known specimen. The last known report of the native sage-grouse in New Mexico was from near Chama in about 1912. At least 326 greater sage-grouse were transplanted into Taos (175), Rio Arriba (103), and San Juan (48) counties between 1933 and 1969 by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish; all of these introductions failed.


Braun C.E.,Grouse Inc. | Williams S.O.,University of New Mexico
Western Birds | Year: 2015

We reviewed the literature and observations of the occurrence and status of the White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura) in New Mexico. Historical reports were infrequent, likely because of an inadequate system for recording observations from the public, although by 1928 biologists had a good understanding of the distribution and status of the species in the state. By 1980, ptarmigan persisted in small numbers in the northern portion of the New Mexico range but were uncommon or absent in the southern portion of the range, prompting a transplant of White-tailed Ptarmigan from Colorado into the southern area in 1981. Following that successful transplant, observations initially increased and subsequently continued at a relatively low level with most reports coming from the southern portion but including others from throughout the historical range. White-tailed Ptarmigan are localized in suitable habitats, but their abundance in New Mexico may be affected by the decreasing size of alpine snowfields in summer, grazing in areas dominated by willow (Salix spp.), and the shift to a warmer and drier climate.


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Grouse Inc. | Date: 2016-06-16

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