Jonathan Reitz, David Klute, and Reesa Conrey, in collaboration with Dr. David Haukos, USGS Cooperative Research Unit, Kansas State University.
Cheyenne, Kiowa, Prowers and Baca Counties
- To measure the impacts of many different factors on lesser prairie-chicken demography and habitat use.
- To evaluate the effectiveness of habitat treatments on lesser prairie-chicken survival, recruitment, and habitat use.
- To compare lesser prairie-chicken survival and habitat use in rangeland versus Conservation Reserve Program lands.
Lesser prairie-chicken (LEPC) populations are small, fragmented, and most are declining, prompting the species to be listed as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act in March 2014. CPW is collaborating with researchers from Kansas State University to measure the impacts of many different factors, such as energy development, fire suppression, drought, invasive species, and more, on the demography and habitat use of LEPC. Drought, habitat loss, and habitat fragmentation are thought to be major threats to LEPC in Colorado.
This is the first large-scale project to use GPS transmitters on LEPC. The transmitters will allow researchers to estimate the survival, recruitment and seasonal resource selection for LEPC in Kansas and Colorado. In Colorado specifically, CPW researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of habitat treatments that attempt to enhance Conservation Reserve Program fields for LEPC.
The results from this study will guide land managers toward the most effective strategies that will improve the viability of LEPC populations.