We evaluated the effect of habitat use and other sources of variation on survival of lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) and greater prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus cupido) nests and broods. Daily nest and brood-survival probabilities were a function of a quadratic time trend, and both declined as the season progressed. Daily nest survival was negatively associated with nest age, and daily brood survival was positively associated with brood age. Lastly, broods tended by adult females had higher daily survival rates than broods reared by subadult females. The probability of a nest surviving from 10 May to 1 June was 0.72 (SE = 0.06). The probability of a brood surviving from 1 June to 30 July (hatch to 60 days posthatch) was 0.49 (SE = 0.19) and 0.05 (SE = 0.03) for broods reared by adults and subadults, respectively. Although nesting females and females with broods were using Conservation Reserve Program grasslands, there appeared to be no benefit to nest and brood survival during our study. Instead, age of the nest and brood, timing during the season, age of the brooding female, and precipitation during brooding were more important predictors of survival. Further experimentation is needed to determine the mechanisms responsible for decreased nest and brood survival throughout the season. Results from such research could be used to formulate management strategies to improve nest and brood survival.
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Vol. 70 • No. 4