Juvenile survival has been identified as the most critical demographic parameter influencing grouse populations. Little information currently exists on survival of juvenile lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus). We regularly flushed 51 individually identifiable lesser prairie-chicken broods over a 6-year period to estimate survival from hatch to 14 days post-hatch (early period) and from 15 to 60 days post-hatch (late period). Estimates of overall daily survival rates were 0.949 (95% CI = 0.932–0.966) for the early period and 0.978 (95% CI = 0.968–0.989) for the late period. Overall survival from hatch to 60 days posthatch was 0.177 (95% CI = 0.028–0.376). We used encounter histories of 31 transmitter-equipped juveniles to estimate survival from 1 August to 31 March (overwinter) using known-fate models. Juvenile overwinter survival was 0.70 (95% CI = 0.47–0.86), and chicks heavier than average for their age at 50–60 days posthatch were more likely to survive the 8-month overwinter period. Survival of juveniles from hatch to 31 March of the following year was 0.12 (95% CI = 0.01–0.32). We compared overwinter survival of juveniles and 93 transmitter-equipped full-grown lesser prairie-chickens using a second set of models. Overwinter survival rates for juveniles (0.64) and full-grown (0.63) birds were similar, but the timing of mortality events differed between age-classes. We recommend that managers in Kansas, USA, focus on improving early survival of juveniles by providing additional food resources to chicks. This can be accomplished by manipulating vegetation to increase forb cover, which will result in increased invertebrate biomass.
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