Kansas State University
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Manhattan, KS 66506-3501
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Outcome based evaluations to determine the benefits of conifer removal and fence marking for Lesser Prairie-chicken populations

Investigator:
Joseph Lautenbach

Project Supervisor:
Dr. David Haukos

Funding:
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Cooperators:
USDA Natural Resources
Conservation Services
Oregon State University

Location:
Throughout Kansas

Completion:
December 2017

Status: Initiation Fall 2012


Lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus)

Objectives:
Using a BACI experimental design, examine space use and demographic rates of lesser prairie-chickens pre- and post-removal of eastern red cedar and other woody species

Using predictive models to quantify thresholds of woody species cover that are detrimental to space use and demographic rates of lesser prairie-chickens

These predictive models will be translated into planning tools for range and wildlife managers to more effectively plan and implement cedar removal projects that will have the greatest benefit to lesser prairie-chickens

Using a BACI experimental design, quantify fence strikes of unmarked by lesser prairie-chickens across a gradient of different fence densities, and the effectiveness of marking those fences by quantifying strikes post marking

Using strike information, develop spatially explicit predictive models that identify physiographic features and fence features that create the conditions for high likelihood for collision

These predictive models will be translated into planning tools for grassland and wildlife managers to more effectively plan and implement fence marking projects that will have the greatest benefit to lesser prairie-chickens

Progress and Results:
The goal of this project is to help NRCS, and other relevant management organizations, maximize biological and economic effectness of management practices related to enhancement and restoration of lesser prairie-chicken habitats. The focus of this research will be related to brush management to remove invasive eastern red cedar (Juniper virginianus) and other woody invasive species, and evaluate the impacts of fences to prairie-chicken populations. To this end, we will use novel field methodologies to identify habitat use, demographic rates, and movements of lesser prairie-chickens related to these NRCS conservation practices. The woody species removal project will be a 4-5 field study and the fence marking project will be a 2-3 year project.

Products:
Lautenbach, J., R. Plumb, D. Haukos, and J. Pitman. 2013. Regional variation in nest success of lesser prairie-chickens in Kansas and Colorado. Biennial meeting of the Prairie Grouse Technical Council, Crookston, MN.

Lautenbach, J., R. Plumb, D. Haukos, and J. Pitman. 2013. Factors affecting brood and chick survival of lesser prairie-chickens in Kansas and Colorado. Biennial meeting of the Prairie Grouse Technical Council, Crookston, MN.