Male greater sage-grouse movements among leks

Aleshia L. Fremgen, Christopher T. Rota, Christopher P. Hansen, Mark A. Rumble, R. Scott Gamo, Joshua J. Millspaugh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Movements among leks by breeding birds (i.e., interlek movements) could affect the population's genetic flow, complicate use of lek counts as a population index, and indicate a change in breeding behavior following a disturbance. We used a Bayesian multi-state mark-recapture model to assess the daily probability of male greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) interlek movements and estimate factors influencing movements among leks. We fitted 145 males with solar Argos global positioning systems platform transmitter terminals over 4 years (2011–2014) in Carbon County, Wyoming, USA. The daily probability of a male sage-grouse moving among leks ranged 0.003 (95% CI = 0.000–0.010) in 2011 to 0.010 (95% CI = 0.001–0.021) in 2013, indicating high daily lek fidelity throughout the season, although there was a 5–42% chance annually a male would move at least once to another lek throughout the season x days analyzed/M = 55 ± 3.3 days [SE]). Interlek movement probabilities were strongly affected by day of year, peaking early in the lek season. Interlek movements were positively associated with elevation. Seasonal interlek movements occurred more frequently than previously reported, and can bias lek counts in early spring as males move from low to high elevation leks, which reinforces interlek movements as a critical component of lek ecology.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)498-508
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
    Volume81
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

    Keywords

    • availability bias
    • Centrocercus urophasianus
    • greater sage–grouse
    • interlek movements
    • lek fidelity
    • multi-state mark-recapture
    • Wyoming

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