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1 July 2010 Evaluation of Brood Detection Techniques: Recommendations for Estimating GreaterSage-Grouse Productivity
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Obtaining timely and accurate assessment of sage-grouse (Centrocercus spp.) chick survival and recruitment is an important component of species management and conservation. We compared the effectiveness of walking, spotlight, and pointing-dog surveys to detect radio-marked and unmarked chicks within broods of radio-marked hens in Utah. Walking surveys detected 72% of marked chicks, while spotlight and pointing-dog surveys detected 100% and 96%, respectively. We found no difference between spotlight and pointing-dog counts in number of marked and unmarked chicks detected (P = 0.57). Spotlight counts were slightly more time efficient than pointing-dog surveys. However, spotlight surveys were nocturnal searches and perceived to be more technically arduous than diurnal pointing-dog surveys. Pointing-dog surveys may offer greater utility in terms of area searched per unit effort and an increased ability to detect unmarked hens and broods.

© 2010
David K. Dahlgren, Terry A. Messmer, Eric T. Thacker, and Michael R. Guttery "Evaluation of Brood Detection Techniques: Recommendations for Estimating GreaterSage-Grouse Productivity," Western North American Naturalist 70(2), 233-237, (1 July 2010).
Received: 5 June 2009; Accepted: 1 October 2009; Published: 1 July 2010

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