We examined radio-marked Chukar (Alectoris chukar) habitat use and selection in west central Idaho during spring and summer of 1995 and 1996. Use of habitats also was compared with abundance and distribution of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis), an exotic species that is increasingly abundant in Chukar habitats. During summer Chukars used areas of southeast aspect 12% less (P = 0.002) and areas of northwest aspect 11% more (P = 0.008) than in spring. Chukars also used areas that averaged 9% steeper slopes (P < 0.001) and 83 m lower elevations (P = 0.054) in summer than in spring. Shrub cover types were used 22% more (P < 0.001) in summer than in spring, whereas rock cover types were used 12% less (P < 0.009). Chukars used both rock and shrub cover types more than expected in spring (26% and 11% more, respectively) and summer (14% and 33%; P < 0.05). Grass use and forb use by Chukars were high in both seasons, ranking 1st in spring (42% of locations) and 2nd in summer (35%); however, observed use was less than expected use (76%) during both seasons (P < 0.05). Areas with greater ground cover of yellow starthistle also were used 33% less (P < 0.05) than expected, implicating the detrimental effects of this exotic plant on habitat use of Chukars.
Lindbloom, Andrew J.; Reese, Kerry P.; and Zager, Peter
"Seasonal habitat use and selection of Chukars in west central Idaho,"
Western North American Naturalist: Vol. 64
, Article 7.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/wnan/vol64/iss3/7