BROOD TRANSLOCATION AS A POPULATION RESTORATION METHOD FOR GREATER SAGE-GROUSE.
Mary B. Meyerpeter; U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Unit; 800 Business Park Road, Dixon, CA, 95620; (530) 902-9542; mmeyerpeter@usgs.gov ; Peter S. Coates, Mark A. Ricca, Brian G. Prochazka, David J. Delehanty
Translocation often is used to restore populations of wildlife, including greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). However, translocated grouse typically exhibit high mortality rates, a propensity to disperse away from release sites, and low reproductive success, meaning that large numbers of individuals must be translocated to compensate for low reproduction at release sites. Minimizing the number of individuals removed from a source population while simultaneously increasing the probability of restoration at the release site is desirable. We used an Integrated Population Model (IPM) to identify the potential of brood translocation (relocating female grouse with their young chicks) as a technique to reduce impacts on the source population and increase colonization of the release site. We predicted that translocating sage-grouse with their broods would result in higher population growth per individual compared to translocating female sage-grouse pre-nesting and simultaneously reduce impacts on the source population. We are testing the effectiveness of brood translocation to restore an imperiled sub-population of sage-grouse in eastern California. We present a protocol for brood translocation, including a soft-release system to prevent brood abandonment. Preliminary observational results suggest that translocating females with broods reduces female dispersal from release site and promotes juvenile recruitment.
Poster Session   Student Paper