Wildlife Research Projects

Sharp-tailed grouse survival, home range, and habitat use on the Grand River National Grasslands in northwest South Dakota

United States Forest Service, 2009-present, $135,000
(B.A. Geaumont, C.S. Schauer, and K.K. Sedivec)

The goal of this project is to provide the United States Forest Service (USFS) with more information concerning the use of the Grand River National Grasslands by sharp-tailed grouse, a management indicator species. The USFS uses the sharp-tailed grouse as a management indicator species to help guide management decisions on the grasslands and to assure management objectives are being achieved. To date, this study has focused on nest site selection and survival with the aim of gaining a better understanding of what sharp-tailed grouse in the area are using as nesting habitat. Data from this research will help the USFS better manage the grasslands and aid in future management decisions.

Evaluation of winter survival, home range, and habitat use by ring-necked pheasant on a post-Conservation Reserve Program landscape in southwest North Dakota

 United States Department of Agriculture – Five State Ruminant Consortium, 2010-present
(B.A. Geaumont)

Agro tourism is a big business in North Dakota and sportspeople come from all around to hunt ring-necked pheasant in the state.  No place in North Dakota is this more prevalent then in the southwest.  Along with their benefits to the agro tourism industry, numerous landowners strive to keep wild pheasants on their lands.  Winter can be a particularly challenging time for pheasants and therefore more information regarding their habitat selection and survival was warranted especially in a landscape that continues to experience a reduction in Conservation Reserve Program grassland acres.  The primary objectives of this study are to: 1) Determine preferred pheasant winter cover habitat in southwestern North Dakota.  2) Develop management recommendations to increase pheasant abundance on privately owned lands. 3) Identify habitat use, survival, and dispersion differences between male and female pheasants in southwestern North Dakota.