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Vegetational Cover and Predation of Sage Grouse Nests in Oregon

Michael A. Gregg, John A. Crawford, Martin S. Drut and Anita K. DeLong
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 58, No. 1 (Jan., 1994), pp. 162-166
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3809563
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3809563
Page Count: 5
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Vegetational Cover and Predation of Sage Grouse Nests in Oregon
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Abstract

Because of long-term declines in sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) abundance and productivity in Oregon, we investigated the relationship between vegetational cover and nesting by sage grouse in 2 study areas. Medium height (40-80 cm) shrub cover was greater (P < 0.001) at nonpredated (x̄ = 41%, n = 18) and predated (x̄ = 29%, n = 106) nests than in areas immediately surrounding nests (x̄ = 15 and 10%, n = 18 and 106, nonpredated and predated, respectively) or random locations (x̄ = 8%, n = 499). Tall (>18 cm), residual grass cover was greater (P < 0.001) at nonpredated nests (x̄ = 18%) than in areas surrounding nonpredated nests (x̄ = 6%) or random locations (x̄ = 3%). There was no difference (P > 0.05) in grass cover among predated nests, nest areas, and random sites. However, nonpredated nests had greater (P < 0.001) cover of tall, residual grasses (x̄ = 18%) and medium height shrubs (x̄ = 41%) than predated nests (x̄ = 5 and 29% for grasses and shrubs, respectively). Removal of tall grass cover and medium height shrub cover may negatively influence sage grouse productivity.

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