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Sage Grouse Nesting and Brood Habitat in Idaho

Donald A. Klebenow
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 33, No. 3 (Jul., 1969), pp. 649-662
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3799390
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3799390
Page Count: 14
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Sage Grouse Nesting and Brood Habitat in Idaho
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Abstract

Threetip sagebrush (Artemisia tripartita) and big sagebrush (A. tridentata) were the dominant species of shrubs on the sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) study area in southeastern Idaho. Ninety-one percent of the nests were associated with threetip sagebrush, a greater association than with any other species. Conversely, 83 percent of the broods were on sites containing big sagebrush. In the nesting habitat, threetip sagebrush was short-8 inches average-and grouse preferred to nest under the taller plants. Bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata) was a taller species they sometimes used. No nests were found where shrub cover was greater than 35 percent. Only three of 98 broods were discovered in areas with greater than 31 percent shrubby cover. The most dense stands of sagebrush were not used, probably because few or none of the forbs the young grouse fed upon were present. As the summer progressed, broods moved up in elevation following a gradient of green food plants. A stepwise discriminant function analysis was made of the data, in an unsuccessful attempt to develop a means of discriminating between nesting vs. non-nesting areas, and brood vs. non-brood habitat. The analyses only pointed out the most significant variables.

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