Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Iowa
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Kaczor, N.W., K. M. Herman Brunson, K. C. Jensen, M. A. Rumble, R. W. Klaver. 2011. Greater sage-grouse brood-rearing resource selection in the Dakotas. Studies in Avian Biology 39:169-177.


Understanding population dynamics and resource selection is crucial in developing wildlife resource management plans for sensitive species such as Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Little is known about sage grouse habitats on the eastern edge of their range. We investigated resource selection of Greater Sage-Grouse during brood- rearing in North and South Dakota during 2005–2007. Resource selection models suggested sage grouse females with broods selected sites with increased vegetative cover and grass height. Composition of forbs at brood- rearing sites has been identified as important elsewhere, but we found little support for a difference in forbs between brood and random sites. Despite being sagebrush obligates, sage grouse females with broods selected areas with low sagebrush cover. Brood habitats with increased invertebrate abundance and protective cover have been shown to increase sage grouse productivity. Land managers on the eastern edge of Greater Sage-Grouse range could focus on protecting critical brood- rearing areas by maintaining at least 67% herbaceous cover and 33 cm of grass height in association with sagebrush for sage-grouse broods.