Abstract

This study examined winter habitat use and nesting ecology of greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Strawberry Valley (SV), Utah located in the north-central part of the state. We monitored sage grouse with the aid of radio telemetry throughout the year, but specifically used information from the winter and nesting periods for this study. Our study provided evidence that sage grouse show fidelity to nesting areas in subsequent years regardless of nest success. We found only 57% of our nests located within the 3 km distance from an active lek typically used to delineate critical nesting habitat. We suggest a more conservative distance of 10 km for our study area. Whenever possible, we urge consideration of nest-area fidelity in conservation planning across the range of greater sage grouse. We also evaluated winter-habitat selection at multiple spatial scales. Sage grouse in our study area selected gradual slopes with high amounts of sagebrush exposed above the snow. We produced a map that identified suitable winter habitat for sage grouse in our study area. This map highlighted core areas that should be conserved and will provide a basis for management decisions affecting Strawberry Valley, Utah.

Degree

MS

College and Department

Life Sciences; Plant and Wildlife Sciences

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2011-12-09

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd4890

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianus, lek, nest success, fidelity, lek-to-nest distance, nest spacing habitat map, sagebrush, scale, winter, Random Forests

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