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    Author(s): Christopher Paul Hansen
    Date: 2009
    Source: Columbia: University of Missouri. 134 p. Thesis.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.1 MB)


    Ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) are important game birds and the management indicator species for quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) in the Black Hills National Forest (BHNF). As a result, a robust monitoring protocol which reflects the status, trends, and habitat associations of ruffed grouse in the BHNF is necessary. To evaluate these processes, we used ruffed grouse drumming counts combined with occupancy modeling. Ruffed grouse occupancy in the BHNF was 0.13 (SE = 0.029) in 2007 and 0.11 (SE = 0.022) in 2008, and was positively influenced by the amount of aspen. Detection probability was 0.29 (SE = 0.052) in 2007 and 0.27 (SE = 0.063) in 2008, and was primarily influenced by date and wind speed. Using these estimates, we evaluated multiple occupancy sampling designs to determine which design required the least amount of effort to achieve occupancy estimates with a desired level of precision. The most appropriate sampling design was the standard multi-season design with 3 repeat surveys at each site, each season (i.e., year). Using this design, we estimated the necessary number of sites and repeat surveys at each site to achieve occupancy estimates which met precision requirements.

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    Hansen, Christopher Paul. 2009. Occupancy modeling of ruffed grouse in the Black Hills National Forest. Columbia: University of Missouri. 134 p. Thesis.


    ruffed grouse, Bonasa umbellus, quaking aspen, Populus tremuloides, Black Hills National Forest (BHNF)

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