Spring habitat requirements of captive-reared attwater's prairie chicken Academic Article uri icon


  • During the summer of 1996, 50 radio-tagged, pen-reared Attwater's prairie chickens (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri) were released on Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge in a restoration effort to supplement a wild population. We evaluated fine-scale habitat use of pen-reared Attwater's prairie chickens during the 1997 nesting season based on 4 variables: obstruction of vision, plant height, litter depth, and percentage of bare ground. Low obstruction of vision (mean = 1.5 dm), plant height (mean = 67.3 cm), and litter depth (mean = 2.7 cm) characterized preferred habitats. Bare ground averaged 16.5% at Attwater's prairie chicken locations compared with 8.2% at random locations. Use locations differed from random locations with respect to visual obstruction (P < 0.001), plant height (P < 0.001), litter depth (P < 0.001), and bare ground (P = 0.007). Potential release sites should be managed using prescribed burning and controlled grazing to produce vegetative structure with an obstruction of vision 1.5 dm, plant height 67.3 cm, litter depth 2.7 cm, and percentage of bare ground 16.5%), the preferred habitat of pen-reared Attwater's prairie chickens.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Lockwood, M. A., Morrow, M. E., Silvy, N. J., & Smeins, F. E.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Lockwood, MA||Morrow, ME||Silvy, NJ||Smeins, FE

publication date

  • May 2005