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Within the U.S. portion of the Central Flyway, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages waterfowl on numerous individual units (i.e., Refuges) within the National Wildlife Refuge System. Presently, the extent of waterfowl use that Refuges receive and the contribution of Refuges to waterfowl populations (i.e., the proportion of the Central Flyway population registered at each Refuge) remain unassessed. Such an evaluation would help determine to what extent Refuges support waterfowl relative to stated targets, aid in identifying species requiring management attention, inform management targets, and improve fiscal efficiencies. Using historic monitoring data (1954–2008), we performed this assessment for 23 Refuges...
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Diets during critical brooding and winter periods likely influence the growth of Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) populations. During the brooding period, rapidly growing Lesser Prairie-Chicken chicks have high calorie demands and are restricted to foods within immediate surroundings. For adults and juveniles during cold winters, meeting thermoregulatory demands with available food items of limited nutrient content may be challenging. Our objective was to determine the primary animal and plant components of Lesser Prairie-Chicken diets among native prairie, cropland, and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) fields in Kansas and Colorado, USA, during brooding and winter using a DNA metabarcoding...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: The Auk
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Grasslands are among the most imperiled ecosystems in North America. Reasons that grasslands are threatened include conversion to row-crop agriculture, fragmentation, and changes in fire regimes. The reduction of fire processes in remaining prairies has resulted in tree encroachment and establishment in grasslands, further reducing grassland quantity and quality. Grassland birds have been experiencing precipitous population declines in recent decades, commensurate with landscape changes to grasslands. The lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus Ridgway) is a declining species of prairie grouse of conservation concern. We used second- and third-order habitat selection metrics to test if female lesser prairie-chickens...
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Long-distance movements are important adaptive behaviors that contribute to population, community, and ecosystem connectivity. However, researchers have a poor understanding of the characteristics of long-distance movements for most species. Here, we examined long-distance movements for the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a species of conservation concern. We addressed the following questions: (1) At what distances could populations be connected? (2) What are the characteristics and probability of dispersal movements? (3) Do lesser prairie-chickens display exploratory and round-trip movements? (4) Do the characteristics of long-distance movements vary by site? Movements were examined from populations...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosphere
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Climate models predict that the region of the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) will experience increased maximum and minimum temperatures, reduced frequency but greater intensity of precipitation events, and earlier springs. These climate changes along with different landscape management techniques may influence the persistence of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act and a priority species under the GPLCC, in positive or negative ways. The objectives of this study were to conduct (1) a literature review of lesser prairie-chicken nesting phenology and ecology, (2) an analysis of thermal aspects of lesser prairie-chicken...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open-File Report
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Ethical treatment of research animals is required under the Animal Welfare Act. This includes trapping methodologies that reduce unnecessary pain and duress. Traps used in research should optimize animal welfare conditions within the context of the proposed research study. Several trapping techniques are used in the study of lesser prairie-chickens, despite lack of knowledge of trap injury caused by the various methods. From 2006 to 2012, we captured 217, 40, and 144 lesser prairie-chickens Tympanuchus pallidicinctus using walk-in funnel traps, rocket nets, and drop nets, respectively, in New Mexico and Texas, to assess the effects of capture technique on injury and survival of the species. We monitored radiotagged,...
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Habitat loss and degradation compound the effects of climate change on wildlife, yet responses to climate and land cover change are often quantified independently. The interaction between climate and land cover change could be intensified in the Great Plains region where grasslands are being converted to row-crop agriculture concurrent with increased frequency of extreme drought events. We quantified the combined effects of land cover and climate change on a species of conservation concern in the Great Plains, the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus ). We combined extreme drought events and land cover change with lek count surveys in a Bayesian hierarchical model to quantify changes in abundance...
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The mottled duck (Anas fulvigula) is a non-migratory waterfowl species dependent upon coastal marsh systems, including those on the Texas Chenier Plain National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex, and considered a regional indicator species of marsh habitat quality. Research from the early 1970s, 1990s, and early-2000s indicated that mottled ducks continued to exhibit elevated wing-bone lead (Pb) concentrations, decades after implementation of non-toxic shot regulations. However, wing-bone concentrations reflect lifetime accumulation of Pb, whereas blood Pb concentrations reflect more recent exposure. To identify current potentially relevant temporal windows of Pb exposure, we collected 260 blood samples from mottled...
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The range of Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) spans 4 unique ecoregions along 2 distinct environmental gradients. The Sand Shinnery Oak Prairie ecoregion of the Southern High Plains of New Mexico and Texas is environmentally isolated, warmer, and more arid than the Short-Grass, Sand Sagebrush, and Mixed-Grass Prairie ecoregions in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and the northeast panhandle of Texas. Weather is known to influence Lesser Prairie-Chicken nest survival in the Sand Shinnery Oak Prairie ecoregion; regional variation may also influence nest microclimate and, ultimately, survival during incubation. To address this question, we placed data loggers adjacent to nests during incubation to quantify...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: The Condor
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There are no known biological requirements for lead (Pb), and elevated Pb levels in birds can cause a variety of sub-lethal effects and mortality. Historic and current levels of Pb in mottled ducks (Anas fulvigula) suggest that environmental sources of Pb remain available on the upper Texas coast. Because of potential risks of Pb exposure among coexisting marsh birds, black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) blood Pb concentrations were measured during the breeding season. Almost 80 % (n = 120) of 152 sampled stilts exceeded the background threshold (>20 μg/dL) for Pb exposure. However, blood Pb concentrations did not vary by age or gender, and toxic or potentially lethal concentrations were rare (<5 %). Consistent,...
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Previous Mottled Duck (Anas fulvigula) studies suggested that high female breeding season survival may be caused by low nesting effort, but few breeding season estimates of survival associated with nesting effort exist on the western Gulf Coast. Here, breeding season survival (N = 40) and breeding incidence (N = 39) were estimated for female Mottled Ducks on the upper Texas coast, 2006–2008. Females were fitted with backpack radio transmitters and visually relocated every 3–4 days. Weekly survival was estimated using the Known Fate procedure of program MARK with breeding incidence estimated as the annual proportion of females observed nesting or with broods. The top-ranked survival model included a body mass covariate...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Waterbirds
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The lesser prairie‐chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a species of conservation concern with uncertain regulatory status, has experienced population declines over the past century. Most research on lesser prairie‐chickens has focused on the breeding season, with little research conducted during the nonbreeding season, a period that exerts a strong influence on demography in other upland game birds. We trapped lesser prairie‐chickens on leks and marked them with either global positioning system (GPS) satellite or very high frequency (VHF) transmitters to estimate survival and home‐range size during the nonbreeding season. We monitored 119 marked lesser prairie‐chickens in 3 study areas in Kansas, USA, from 16...
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No abstract available.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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The Southern High Plains is anticipated to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation due to climate change. These changes may influence the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) in positive or negative ways. We assessed the potential changes in clutch size, incubation start date, and nest survival for lesser prairie-chickens for the years 2050 and 2080 based on modeled predictions of climate change and reproductive data for lesser prairie-chickens from 2001-2011 on the Southern High Plains of Texas and New Mexico. We developed 9 a priori models to assess the relationship between reproductive parameters and biologically relevant weather conditions. We selected weather variable(s)...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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The Southern High Plains is anticipated to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation due to climate change. These changes may influence the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) in positive or negative ways. We assessed the potential changes in clutch size, incubation start date, and nest survival for lesser prairie-chickens for the years 2050 and 2080 based on modeled predictions of climate change and reproductive data for lesser prairie-chickens from 2001–2011 on the Southern High Plains of Texas and New Mexico. We developed 9 a priori models to assess the relationship between reproductive parameters and biologically relevant weather conditions. We selected weather variable(s)...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Integrating the analysis of natural and social systems to achieve sustainability has been an international scientific goal for years (1, 2). However, full integration has proven challenging, especially in regard to the role of culture (3), which is often missing from the complex sustainability equation. To enact policies and practices that can achieve sustainability, researchers and policymakers must do a better job of accounting for culture, difficult though this task may be.The concept of culture is complex, with hundreds of definitions that for years have generated disagreement among social scientists (4). Understood at the most basic level, culture constitutes shared values, beliefs, and norms through which...
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Sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii) prairies are increasingly disappearing and increasingly degraded in the Southern High Plains of Texas and New Mexico. Restoring and managing sand shinnery oak prairie can support biodiversity, specific species of conservation concern, and livestock production. We measured vegetation response to four treatment combinations of herbicide (tebuthiuron applied at 0.60 kg/ha) and moderate-intensity grazing (50% removal of annual herbaceous production) over a 10-year period in a sand shinnery oak prairie of eastern New Mexico. We compared the annual vegetation response to the historical climax plant community (HCPC) as outlined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Ecological Site Description....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Southwestern Naturalist


map background search result map search result map The predicted influence of climate change on lesser prairie-chicken reproductive parameters Lesser prairie-chicken nest site selection, microclimate, and nest survival in association with vegetation response to a grassland restoration program Lesser prairie-chicken nest site selection, microclimate, and nest survival in association with vegetation response to a grassland restoration program The predicted influence of climate change on lesser prairie-chicken reproductive parameters