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1 September 2010 Population Estimation Techniques for Lekking Species
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Abstract

With the decline of many lekking species, the need to develop a rigorous population estimation technique is critical for successful conservation and management. We employed mark–resight methods to estimate population size for 2 lekking species: greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus). We evaluated 2 different estimators: Bowden's estimator and the mixed logit-normal mark–resight model. We captured and marked 75 greater sage-grouse. We counted marked and unmarked birds as they attended 15 known leks. We used 36 and 37 marked Gunnison sage-grouse to estimate population size in 2003 and 2004, respectively. We observed marked and unmarked Gunnison sage-grouse daily as they attended 6 leks in 2003 and 3 leks in 2004. Based on our examination of the assumptions of each mark–resight estimator, relative to behavior and biology of these species, we concluded the mixed logit-normal mark–resight model is preferred. We recommend wildlife managers employ mark–resight approaches when statistically rigorous population estimates are required for management and conservation of lekking species.

Daniel P. Walsh, Julie R. Stiver, Gary C. White, Thomas E. Remington, and Anthony D. Apa "Population Estimation Techniques for Lekking Species," Journal of Wildlife Management 74(7), 1607-1613, (1 September 2010). https://doi.org/10.2193/2009-353
Published: 1 September 2010
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