Sharp-tailed Grouse Lek Surveys,
Northwest Region, 2005  


Robb B. Stavne


In 2005, ACA completed sharp‐tailed grouse lek surveys as part of an initiative
launched from 1996 to 2000 and resumed in 2004. The program was designed to
monitor leks throughout the Peace River region and to obtain current information on
sharp‐tailed grouse attendance at leks. Lek sites were surveyed to assess their status
(active or non‐active) and define habitat characteristics at 0.64 km2 scales immediately
surrounding them. Of the 48 sites that were surveyed in 2005, 31 were designated as
non‐active in 2004. Three of the sites designated as non‐active in 2004 had between
seven and 12 sharp‐tailed grouse in attendance in 2005; although, two of these leks
appear to have shifted to new locations. Six of 17 additional sites last active in 2000
were active in 2005. Relative to non‐active leks, most active leks were surrounded by
landscapes that had a lower proportion of cultivated land and a higher proportions of
perennial cover (i.e., native grass, tame hay, pasture, forest). I recommend that lek site
monitoring continue on a regular basis (i.e., semi‐annual) to maintain up‐to‐date
information on lek activity and to detect locational shifts of sharp‐tailed grouse in
response to changes in land use. Similar to past studies, I further recommend the
adoption of land use practices that increase the amount of perennial cover surrounding
historic lek sites.

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