Greater prairie-chicken nest success and habitat selection in southeastern Nebraska

Ty W. Matthews, Andrew J. Tyre, J. Scott Taylor, Jeffrey J. Lusk, Larkin A. Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Greater prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) are reported to benefit from grasslands created through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Prairie-chicken population size increased noticeably in southeastern Nebraska after >15% of county-level landscapes were converted to CRP grasslands. But, the mechanisms behind the increase in population size are not well understood, and managers and policy makers could benefit from evidence of CRP's relative contribution to populations of prairie-chickens. Therefore, our objectives were to characterize the relations of vegetation structure and composition with prairie-chicken nest-site selection and nest survival rates at both the macrohabitat (within landscape of study site) and microhabitat (at the nest) level. We radio-marked female prairie-chickens at a study site with >15% of land enrolled in CRP in Johnson County in southeastern Nebraska. We monitored 90 nests during 2006-2007, 36 (40%) of which were successful. We compared nest sites' macro- and microhabitat characteristics with random points using discrete choice analyses, and we used logistic exposure analyses to assess the effect of habitat and other variables on nest survival. Prairie-chickens were 5.70 (95% CI: 2.60-12.48) times more likely to select cool-season CRP fields, and 5.05 (95% CI: 2.17-11.72) times more likely to select warm-season CRP fields for nesting relative to selecting rangeland. Prairie-chickens selected nest sites, relative to sites available in fields selected for nesting, with abundant grass cover and moderate levels of forb cover and standing litter. Females also selected sites at upper elevations. Nest survival was influenced by macrohabitat, microhabitat, and temporal variables; nest survival was greater in CRP fields and greatest for nests with abundant grass cover and forb cover and moderate levels of residual litter. Nest survival peaked, temporally, with nests initiated in late May. The size of the prairie-chicken population in southeastern Nebraska has increased since the landscape was modified under CRP, and the reproductive benefits that our study demonstrates could support such population-level responses. We would expect the population to continue to benefit from management that provides high quality, diverse grasslands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1202-1212
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Volume77
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013

Fingerprint

Conservation Reserve Program
habitat preferences
habitat selection
prairie
nest
nests
nest site
nesting sites
microhabitat
microhabitats
grasslands
grassland
population size
litter
grass
grasses
Tympanuchus cupido
warm season
vegetation structure
site selection

Keywords

  • Conservation Reserve Program
  • Tympanuchus cupido
  • grassland
  • greater prairie-chicken
  • nest survival
  • radio-telemetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Greater prairie-chicken nest success and habitat selection in southeastern Nebraska. / Matthews, Ty W.; Tyre, Andrew J.; Taylor, J. Scott; Lusk, Jeffrey J.; Powell, Larkin A.

In: Journal of Wildlife Management, Vol. 77, No. 6, 01.08.2013, p. 1202-1212.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Matthews, Ty W. ; Tyre, Andrew J. ; Taylor, J. Scott ; Lusk, Jeffrey J. ; Powell, Larkin A. / Greater prairie-chicken nest success and habitat selection in southeastern Nebraska. In: Journal of Wildlife Management. 2013 ; Vol. 77, No. 6. pp. 1202-1212.
@article{712ee00654cb41bcbfaa53dd7882418b,
title = "Greater prairie-chicken nest success and habitat selection in southeastern Nebraska",
abstract = "Greater prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) are reported to benefit from grasslands created through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Prairie-chicken population size increased noticeably in southeastern Nebraska after >15{\%} of county-level landscapes were converted to CRP grasslands. But, the mechanisms behind the increase in population size are not well understood, and managers and policy makers could benefit from evidence of CRP's relative contribution to populations of prairie-chickens. Therefore, our objectives were to characterize the relations of vegetation structure and composition with prairie-chicken nest-site selection and nest survival rates at both the macrohabitat (within landscape of study site) and microhabitat (at the nest) level. We radio-marked female prairie-chickens at a study site with >15{\%} of land enrolled in CRP in Johnson County in southeastern Nebraska. We monitored 90 nests during 2006-2007, 36 (40{\%}) of which were successful. We compared nest sites' macro- and microhabitat characteristics with random points using discrete choice analyses, and we used logistic exposure analyses to assess the effect of habitat and other variables on nest survival. Prairie-chickens were 5.70 (95{\%} CI: 2.60-12.48) times more likely to select cool-season CRP fields, and 5.05 (95{\%} CI: 2.17-11.72) times more likely to select warm-season CRP fields for nesting relative to selecting rangeland. Prairie-chickens selected nest sites, relative to sites available in fields selected for nesting, with abundant grass cover and moderate levels of forb cover and standing litter. Females also selected sites at upper elevations. Nest survival was influenced by macrohabitat, microhabitat, and temporal variables; nest survival was greater in CRP fields and greatest for nests with abundant grass cover and forb cover and moderate levels of residual litter. Nest survival peaked, temporally, with nests initiated in late May. The size of the prairie-chicken population in southeastern Nebraska has increased since the landscape was modified under CRP, and the reproductive benefits that our study demonstrates could support such population-level responses. We would expect the population to continue to benefit from management that provides high quality, diverse grasslands.",
keywords = "Conservation Reserve Program, Tympanuchus cupido, grassland, greater prairie-chicken, nest survival, radio-telemetry",
author = "Matthews, {Ty W.} and Tyre, {Andrew J.} and Taylor, {J. Scott} and Lusk, {Jeffrey J.} and Powell, {Larkin A.}",
year = "2013",
month = "8",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/jwmg.564",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "77",
pages = "1202--1212",
journal = "Journal of Wildlife Management",
issn = "0022-541X",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Greater prairie-chicken nest success and habitat selection in southeastern Nebraska

AU - Matthews, Ty W.

AU - Tyre, Andrew J.

AU - Taylor, J. Scott

AU - Lusk, Jeffrey J.

AU - Powell, Larkin A.

PY - 2013/8/1

Y1 - 2013/8/1

N2 - Greater prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) are reported to benefit from grasslands created through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Prairie-chicken population size increased noticeably in southeastern Nebraska after >15% of county-level landscapes were converted to CRP grasslands. But, the mechanisms behind the increase in population size are not well understood, and managers and policy makers could benefit from evidence of CRP's relative contribution to populations of prairie-chickens. Therefore, our objectives were to characterize the relations of vegetation structure and composition with prairie-chicken nest-site selection and nest survival rates at both the macrohabitat (within landscape of study site) and microhabitat (at the nest) level. We radio-marked female prairie-chickens at a study site with >15% of land enrolled in CRP in Johnson County in southeastern Nebraska. We monitored 90 nests during 2006-2007, 36 (40%) of which were successful. We compared nest sites' macro- and microhabitat characteristics with random points using discrete choice analyses, and we used logistic exposure analyses to assess the effect of habitat and other variables on nest survival. Prairie-chickens were 5.70 (95% CI: 2.60-12.48) times more likely to select cool-season CRP fields, and 5.05 (95% CI: 2.17-11.72) times more likely to select warm-season CRP fields for nesting relative to selecting rangeland. Prairie-chickens selected nest sites, relative to sites available in fields selected for nesting, with abundant grass cover and moderate levels of forb cover and standing litter. Females also selected sites at upper elevations. Nest survival was influenced by macrohabitat, microhabitat, and temporal variables; nest survival was greater in CRP fields and greatest for nests with abundant grass cover and forb cover and moderate levels of residual litter. Nest survival peaked, temporally, with nests initiated in late May. The size of the prairie-chicken population in southeastern Nebraska has increased since the landscape was modified under CRP, and the reproductive benefits that our study demonstrates could support such population-level responses. We would expect the population to continue to benefit from management that provides high quality, diverse grasslands.

AB - Greater prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) are reported to benefit from grasslands created through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Prairie-chicken population size increased noticeably in southeastern Nebraska after >15% of county-level landscapes were converted to CRP grasslands. But, the mechanisms behind the increase in population size are not well understood, and managers and policy makers could benefit from evidence of CRP's relative contribution to populations of prairie-chickens. Therefore, our objectives were to characterize the relations of vegetation structure and composition with prairie-chicken nest-site selection and nest survival rates at both the macrohabitat (within landscape of study site) and microhabitat (at the nest) level. We radio-marked female prairie-chickens at a study site with >15% of land enrolled in CRP in Johnson County in southeastern Nebraska. We monitored 90 nests during 2006-2007, 36 (40%) of which were successful. We compared nest sites' macro- and microhabitat characteristics with random points using discrete choice analyses, and we used logistic exposure analyses to assess the effect of habitat and other variables on nest survival. Prairie-chickens were 5.70 (95% CI: 2.60-12.48) times more likely to select cool-season CRP fields, and 5.05 (95% CI: 2.17-11.72) times more likely to select warm-season CRP fields for nesting relative to selecting rangeland. Prairie-chickens selected nest sites, relative to sites available in fields selected for nesting, with abundant grass cover and moderate levels of forb cover and standing litter. Females also selected sites at upper elevations. Nest survival was influenced by macrohabitat, microhabitat, and temporal variables; nest survival was greater in CRP fields and greatest for nests with abundant grass cover and forb cover and moderate levels of residual litter. Nest survival peaked, temporally, with nests initiated in late May. The size of the prairie-chicken population in southeastern Nebraska has increased since the landscape was modified under CRP, and the reproductive benefits that our study demonstrates could support such population-level responses. We would expect the population to continue to benefit from management that provides high quality, diverse grasslands.

KW - Conservation Reserve Program

KW - Tympanuchus cupido

KW - grassland

KW - greater prairie-chicken

KW - nest survival

KW - radio-telemetry

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84880785076&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84880785076&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/jwmg.564

DO - 10.1002/jwmg.564

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84880785076

VL - 77

SP - 1202

EP - 1212

JO - Journal of Wildlife Management

JF - Journal of Wildlife Management

SN - 0022-541X

IS - 6

ER -