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Movement and Nesting of Sage Grouse Hens in Central Montana

Richard Wallestad and Duane Pyrah
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 38, No. 4 (Oct., 1974), pp. 630-633
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3800029
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3800029
Page Count: 4
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Movement and Nesting of Sage Grouse Hens in Central Montana
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Abstract

Movements and nesting cover of sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) hens were studied in central Montana during the springs of 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972. Thirty-one sage grouse hens were radio-equipped resulting in 22 nests being located. Nineteen additional nests were located during nest searches and work incidental to telemetry. Adults laid larger clutches than yearling hens and aldo were more successful in bringing off a brood. Sixty-eight percent of the 22 nests of radio-equipped hens occurred within 1.5 miles (2.5 km) of the strutting ground where the h ens were captured. Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) formed the nesting cover over all of the nests located. Successful nests werre located in sagebrush stands with a higher average canopy coverage than those of unsuccessful nests, and had significantly greater sagebrush cover with 24 inches (60 cm) of nest and within a 100-square foot (9-m2) plot around nest. Consideration fo the ecological requirements animals affected by publicy funded programs in important. This is especially true of sage grouse since extensive areas of sagebrush have already been eliminated or modified by such programs with little apparent regard for the welfare of this unique game bird.

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