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K-State Today

October 20, 2016



Biologists win national publication award from The Wildlife Society

By Michael Tobler

A team of biologists from K-State were honored with a national publication award at the annual conference of The Wildlife Society, Oct. 15-19, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The research team from K-State included David Haukos, leader of the Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Brett Sandercock, professor of biology; Andrew Gregory, 2011 doctoral graduate and assistant professor at Bowling Green State University; Lance McNew, 2010 doctoral graduate and assistant professor at Montana State University; and Virginia Winder, 2013 postdoctoral fellow and assistant professor at Benedictine College. 

The team received the 2016 award for Best Article for a collaborative research article "Factors affecting female space use in ten populations of prairie chickens" that was published in the open-access journal Ecosphere in September 2015.

The research team investigated patterns of space use and habitat requirements in 10 populations of prairie chickens in five different states in the Great Plains. The movement data were based on systematic tracking of more than 350 individual birds that were marked with very high frequency radio-transmitters.

The central findings of the collaborative project indicated space requirements of prairie chickens are large, and breeding females prefer to use native prairie habitats near the booming grounds of displaying males. The field study has provided new insights into the movement ecology of prairie chickens that will be used to inform future management and conservation plans for sensitive species of grassland birds.

For more than 75 years, The Wildlife Society has made annual awards for excellence in four publication categories, including Article, Monograph, Edited Book and Book. One publication is recognized in each category and is selected from work published in the last two years.

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