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1 June 2009 Nesting Ecology and Reproductive Success of Lesser Prairie-Chickens in Shinnery Oak-Dominated Rangelands
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Abstract

I evaluated the effects of habitat composition on Lesser-Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) breeding season habitat use in shinnery oak (Quercus havardii)-dominated rangelands. Female Lesser Prairie-Chickens selected nest sites with greater visual obstruction, shrub height, shrub cover, and litter compared to adjacent rangeland sites with most (n = 21) selecting nest sites within 1 km of the leks on which they were captured. Successful nests were in areas with greater visual obstruction and were characterized by greater canopy cover of shrubs than at unsuccessful nests. Nesting habitat did not appear to be limited on the study area and use of shinnery oak-dominated rangelands did not reflect poor or scarce nesting habitat. Management that protects both the shrub and herbaceous component of the shinnery oak community is essential for maintaining nesting habitat for Lesser Prairie-Chickens in east-central New Mexico.

Dawn M. Davis "Nesting Ecology and Reproductive Success of Lesser Prairie-Chickens in Shinnery Oak-Dominated Rangelands," The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 121(2), 322-327, (1 June 2009). https://doi.org/10.1676/08-090.1
Received: 14 July 2008; Accepted: 1 November 2008; Published: 1 June 2009
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