The Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus;Â hereafter LPC) is a grouse species endemic to the grasslands of the southern Great Plains. In March, 2014, cumulative habitat degradation and subsequent population decline led to the listing of this species as â€œThreatenedâ€ under the Endangered Species Act. The vast majority of the species range is on private grazed lands. Thus, the response of LPC populations to livestock grazing strategies need to be investigated and quantified for conservation planning. We investigated the effects of various grazing pressures on reproductive success and habitat use within Kansas grazed lands. During the springs of 2013 and 2014, individuals were captured on breeding/display grounds (leks) and fitted with either a 17-g VHF bib-style transmitter or a 22-g model 100 GPS Platform Transmitting Terminals (PTT). Locations of tagged birds, nest sites, and broods were recorded. Grazing data were collected via producer correspondence and vegetation surveys. Initial results indicate that functional grasslands are an important resource for LPC populations during all seasons. Furthermore, measures of LPC habitat use and reproductive success were positively related with lower values of grazing intensity (AUM and percent forage utilization rates). Analyses indicated loamy upland, limy upland, red clay prairie and saline subirrigated ecological sites were used more than other available range sites. Understanding and creating meaningful relationships between livestock production and LPC population demography will provide additional information for conservation and management. Â
Oral presentation and poster titles, abstracts, and authors from the Society for Range Management (SRM) Annual Meetings and Tradeshows, from 2013 forward.