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Wildlife managers in northwestern Colorado have had difficulty accurately estimating numbers of subadult male elk (Cervus elaphus) by sampling winter population densities and sex ratios. We investigated emigration and survival of telemetered 2-year-old male elk in a trophy hunting area in a northwestern Colorado Game Management Unit (GMU) to evaluate management strategies. We hypothesized that skewed numbers of males resulted from high subadult mortality or dispersal of subadult males. We used telemetered elk and Kaplan-Meier staggered entry methods to estimate emigration probability of 0.56 and 0.33 in 1995 and 1996, respectively. Maximum distances moved by emigrants from their capture point averaged 87 km (median...
We surveyed a discrete population of Mountain Plovers (Charadrius montanus) in South Park, Park County, Colorado, to determine the size and relative contribution of this geographically isolated area to the global population of plovers. First, we mapped potential plover habitat within South Park based on landform and vegetation descriptors. Second, we identified occupied habitat using observations from a systematic inventory of potential habitat from 1995-1999 and from a study of breeding biology from 2000-2002. Third, we estimated breeding densities within a framework designed specifically for distance sampling. We mapped 82750 ha of potential habitat. We recorded 2516 plover locations from which we estimated 29...
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With the decline of many lekking species, the need to develop a rigorous population estimation technique is critical for successful conservation and management. We employed mark?resight methods to estimate population size for 2 lekking species: greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus). We evaluated 2 different estimators: Bowden's estimator and the mixed logit-normal mark?resight model. We captured and marked 75 greater sage-grouse. We counted marked and unmarked birds as they attended 15 known leks. We used 36 and 37 marked Gunnison sage-grouse to estimate population size in 2003 and 2004, respectively. We observed marked and unmarked Gunnison sage-grouse daily...
Determining population size and long-term trends in population size for species of high concern is a priority of international, national, and regional conservation plans. Long-billed curlews (Numenius americanus) are a species of special concern in North America due to apparent declines in their population. Because long-billed curlews are not adequately monitored by existing programs, we undertook a 2-year study with the goals of 1) determining present long-billed curlew distribution and breeding population size in the United States and 2) providing recommendations for a long-term long-billed curlew monitoring protocol. We selected a stratified random sample of survey routes in 16 western states for sampling in...


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