Understanding sharp-tailed grouse habitat selection and lek persistence to inform industrial siting and mitigation strategies

The sharp-tailed grouse is the provincial bird of Saskatchewan and a favourite upland game-bird for hunters. Sharp-tailed grouse are considered an indicator of grassland ecosystem health, and there is growing concern that populations are declining in Saskatchewan and elsewhere. Habitat loss, as a result of conversion of grassland habitat for agriculture and energy production, appears to be one of the major factors influencing grouse populations in Canada. To maintain healthy populations of sharp-tailed grouse, while balancing economically important energy production, it is imperative to develop an understanding of sharp-tailed grouse habitat selection and their response to construction of energy infrastructure. In particular, the selection of lek sites, seasonal dancing grounds that form the basis for grouse mating and nesting, is poorly understood. TO BE CONT'D

Intern: 
Brandon Burda
Faculty Supervisor: 
Christopher Somers
Province: 
Saskatchewan
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