Assessment of lesser prairie-chicken lek density relative to landscape characteristics in Texas

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My 2.5-yr Master'™s project accomplished the objectives of estimating lesser prairie-chicken (LPC) lek density and abundance in the Texas occupied range and modeling anthropogenic and landscape features associated with lek density by flying helicopter lek surveys for 2 field seasons and employing a line-transect distance sampling method. This project was important for several reasons. Firstly, wildlife managers and biologists have traditionally monitored LPC populations with road-based surveys that may result in biased estimates and do not provide access to privately-owned or remote property. From my aerial surveys and distance sampling, I was able to provide accurate density and abundance estimates, ... continued below

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Timmer, Jennifer; Butler, Matthew; Ballard, Warren; Boal, Clint & Whitlaw, Heather August 31, 2012.

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Description

My 2.5-yr Master'™s project accomplished the objectives of estimating lesser prairie-chicken (LPC) lek density and abundance in the Texas occupied range and modeling anthropogenic and landscape features associated with lek density by flying helicopter lek surveys for 2 field seasons and employing a line-transect distance sampling method. This project was important for several reasons. Firstly, wildlife managers and biologists have traditionally monitored LPC populations with road-based surveys that may result in biased estimates and do not provide access to privately-owned or remote property. From my aerial surveys and distance sampling, I was able to provide accurate density and abundance estimates, as well as new leks and I detected LPCs outside the occupied range. Secondly, recent research has indicated that energy development has the potential to impact LPCs through avoidance of tall structures, increased mortality from raptors perching on transmission lines, disturbance to nesting hens, and habitat loss/fragmentation. Given the potential wind energy development in the Texas Panhandle, spatial models of current anthropogenic and vegetative features (such as transmission lines, roads, and percent native grassland) influencing lek density were needed. This information provided wildlife managers and wind energy developers in Texas with guidelines for how change in landscape features could impact LPCs. Lastly, LPC populations have faced range-wide declines over the last century and they are currently listed as a candidate species under the Endangered Species Act. I was able to provide timely information on LPC populations in Texas that will be used during the listing process.

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653.06 KB

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  • Report No.: 0000530
  • Grant Number: EE0000530
  • DOI: 10.2172/1049690 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1049690
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc839887

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • August 31, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • Nov. 22, 2016, 8:01 p.m.

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Timmer, Jennifer; Butler, Matthew; Ballard, Warren; Boal, Clint & Whitlaw, Heather. Assessment of lesser prairie-chicken lek density relative to landscape characteristics in Texas, report, August 31, 2012; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc839887/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.