Estimating Sage Grouse Population Demographics for Population Monitoring, Modeling, and Recovery
Project Status: Ongoing
The purpose of this study is to gather detailed information about sage grouse habitat use, breeding success, mortality, and inter-species interactions to aid the recovery of this species within Grand Teton National Park. The overall objectives of this project are to characterize the demographics of the sage grouse population in Jackson Hole and surrounding areas and describe their seasonal use of habitat.
Specifically, the following are activities and goals of the sage grouse project designed to meet the project objectives:
- Mark and radio-track sage grouse to determine habitat use and survival.
- Identify sage grouse nest locations.
- Document nesting habitat, nest production, and causes of nest failure.
- Monitor potential nest and adult sage grouse predators through telemetry, observation of sign, and point sampling of scavengers/predators in the area of sage grouse use.
- Develop a population model of sage grouse population dynamics from the survival and production data obtained.
- Develop a characterization of habitat and critical habitat in the Jackson Hole area and compare to research results in other areas of Wyoming, particularly in the Pinedale area.
- Determine the extent of genetic isolation of grouse populations in northwest Wyoming and surrounding areas.
The majority of the work being conducted is on data already gathered from previous years. Current related graduate student investigations are centered on two projects: 1. the genetic isolation and composition of sage-grouse from Jackson Hole and modeling of the detailed movements and home ranges of sage-grouse previously outfitted with GPS transmitters, and 2. modeling habitat and other covariates with movement parameters from the grouse, involving ground trothing vegetation cover models but no additional grouse captures.