Lesser prairie-chickens (LEPC) breed in relatively open areas (e.g., low visual obstruction and low horizontal cover) of grasslands where males congregate to perform a courtship dance. This area is known as a lek. After mating, most females will nest within 3.2 km (2 miles) of the lek site. Due to this high lek affinity, managers monitor the abundance of this life cycle component for population trends.
A range-wide sampling framework and survey method is being developed to estimate total abundance of active leks for the population of LEPC. In addition, standard operating procedures are being developed for aerial surveys and ground truthing surveys. The methods are being developed with the assistance of core members of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Interstate Working Group (LPCIWG). It is anticipated that the plan will be implemented in a pilot study in the spring of 2012. This study plan and results of the pilot study will provide managers within the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) a more consistent approach for trend analyses of abundance of LEPC leks across the species’ range.
|LPC Population Survey Design, WEST 2011
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- Publication Date December 7, 2011
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