Ecology, Conservation, and Management of Grouse.
|Author:||Braun, Clait E.|
|Publication:||Name: The Wilson Journal of Ornithology Publisher: Wilson Ornithological Society Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Biological sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 Wilson Ornithological Society ISSN: 1559-4491|
|Issue:||Date: March, 2012 Source Volume: 124 Source Issue: 1|
|Topic:||Event Code: 200 Management dynamics Computer Subject: Publishing industry; Company business management|
|Product:||Product Code: 2700020 Publishing; 2700000 Printing & Publishing NAICS Code: 511 Publishing Industries SIC Code: 2711 Newspapers; 2721 Periodicals; 2731 Book publishing; 2741 Miscellaneous publishing|
|Organization:||Company Name: University of California Press|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: United States|
ECOLOGY, CONSERVATION, AND MANAGEMENT OF GROUSE. Edited by Brett K.
Sandercock, Kathy Martin, and Gemot Segelbacher. Studies in Avian
Biology Number 39. University of California Press, Berkeley, USA, 2011:
xvi and 358 pages. ISBN 978-0-520-27006-0. $70.00 (cloth).--This
attractive Volume resulted from the 11th International Grouse Symposium
held in 2008 in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Forty-three manuscripts were
submitted of which 25 survived peer review (61 reviewers are
identified). The material is presented in 25 chapters (76 different
authors) separated into four sections (Spatial Ecology, Habitat
Relationships, Population Biology, and Conservation and Management).
Eight species of grouse (Tetraoninae) are included: four species of
prairie grouse, three ptarmigan, and one forest grouse. Only two
chapters originate outside of North America (France) and the Volume is
not overly representative of grouse species throughout their Holarctic
distribution. Compounding the limited view of the distribution of grouse
to North America, five papers originate from work in Kansas, three each
from Idaho and Nebraska, two each from California and the Dakotas, and
one each from Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia/Manitoba, Colorado,
Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and one is an overview of habitat models for
prairie grouse. This is mostly a synopsis of grouse research in western
North America. Despite the focus on prairie grouse (19 of 25 chapters)
in North America, the subject material is quite broad and the papers use
a wide range of modern methodology.
Modeling was explicitly used in 18 chapters as was radiotelemetry while implants of testosterone (# 14), molecular genetics (# 21), stable isotopes (# 21), and transplants (# 22) were used in one chapter each. Response to hunting is reported in three chapters (#s 23, 24, and 25) and Adaptive Harvest Management was examined in one (# 25). Effects of anthropogenic disturbances, not including hunting, are mentioned in three chapters (#s 5, 19, and 20). Thus, there is ample reference to well-tested techniques and exploration of evolving approaches.
The Volume is heavily slanted toward research on Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido) and Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), each with eight separate chapters. This probably reflects recent and current research. Distant second place with two chapters each are Lesser Prairie-Chicken (T. pallidicinctus) and Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta). Only Greater Sage-Grouse and Lesser Prairie-Chicken are of major immediate conservation concern as both are Candidates for T or E listing in the United States while the former has been listed as Endangered in Canada. However, grouse as a group with several exceptions have been generally negatively impacted by habitat fragmentation and loss across their collective distribution.
The information in Studies in Avian Biology Number 39 has general application for a variety of species dependent upon native prairies and sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) steppe. The importance of landscape scale is emphasized in the section on Spatial Ecology while how habitat affects nest success and brood survival is explored in the section on Habitat Relationships. These are important issues for maintenance of grouse populations.
It is difficult to focus on all chapters in this Volume but the chapter by Kaler and Sandercock on success of a transplant of Evermann's Rock Ptarmigan (L. m. evermanni) to an isolated island in the Aleutian Archipelago where the species had been extirpated should be of interest to population biologists. The behavior (and nest success and production of young) of newly translocated hens was similar to that of established hens resulting from transplants in prior years. This work suggests that translocations of non-migratory land birds to former habitats on isolated islands, once causes of local extirpation have been resolved, can be successful and have great potential using wild-trapped stock. Many populations of grouse are non-migratory and, because of habitat loss and fragmentation, may have been extirpated from former habitats. Provided suitable habitat can be secured and managed, it is possible that populations can be re-established.
The reality of grouse biology is that habitat (mentioned in at least 18 of 25 chapters) is most important followed by nest success and survival of chicks to recruitment into the subsequent breeding population. These factors are nicely covered and new data are presented. I was also impressed with the discussion of hunting although the data from California and Nevada do not nicely mesh. Hunting can be additive mortality or the effects can be compensatory or not be adequately measured. Clearly, hunting in October can affect and depress grouse populations. Use of Adaptive Harvest Management (AHM) has been used for waterfowl under that specific name and for changes in hunting regulations for grouse without being labeled as AHM. Trial and error comes to mind.
The chapter by Oyler-McCance et al. on global climate change using White-tailed Ptarmigan (L. leucura) as a vehicle is novel and explores new approaches. The data are presently unclear and it is not known which of several variables are involved with the apparent changes over a 70+ year period. It is of interest that population size in the area studied over this period has not changed drastically.
I was unable to attend the 11th International Grouse Symposium and now wonder what I missed in the presentations (papers) that did not make it into Studies in Avian Biology Number 39. Research on species of grouse has contributed to science on many fronts. As this volume demonstrates, grouse remain ideal research subjects to explore a wide variety of topics important to ornithologists. I recommend this Volume to everyone interested in grouse or emerging techniques for examining processes that affect population biology. It is remarkably well organized and free of obvious errors.--CLAIT E. BRAUN, Grouse Inc., 5572 North Ventana Vista Road, Tucson, AZ 85750 USA; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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