Breeding and NonBreeding Survival of Lesser PrairieChickens Tympanuchus pallidicinctus in Texas, USA
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Lesser prairie-chickens Tympanuchus pallidicinctus have declined throughout their range because of loss or fragmen-tation of habitat from conversion of native prairie to agricultural cropland, exacerbated by overgrazing and drought. We used data from radio-marked lesser prairie-chickens to determine whether differences in survival ex-isted between populations occurring in two areas dominated by different vegetation types (sand sagebrush Artemisia filifolia vs shinnery oak Quercus havardii) in the Texas Panhandle from 2001 through 2005. We used a model-selec-tion approach to evaluate potential generalities in lesser prairie-chicken survival. Our results indicated that survival of lesser prairie-chickens differed between breeding and non-breeding periods, and between study populations. We estimated annual survival of lesser prairie-chickens at 0.52 (95% CI: 0.32-0.71) in the sand sagebrush and 0.31 (95% CI: 0.12-0.58) in the shinnery oak vegetation type. Our results suggest that demographic differences in lesser prairie-chicken within sand sagebrush and shinnery oak vegetation types throughout the Texas Panhandle should be eval-uated, especially during the breeding season. Based on our results, higher mortality of birds during the breeding season illustrates the need to manage for vegetation components such as sand sagebrush and residual bunchgrasses as opposed to shinnery oak such that potential breeding season mortality may be lessened. Wildlife Biology.
author list (cited authors)
Lyons, E. K., Collier, B. A., Silvy, N. J., Lopez, R. R., Toole, B. E., Jones, R. S., & DeMaso, S. J.
complete list of authors
Lyons, Eddie K||Collier, Bret A||Silvy, Nova J||Lopez, Roel R||Toole, Benjamin E||Jones, Ryan S||DeMaso, Stephen J