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Boal, C.W., P.K. Borsdorf, and T. Gicklhorn. 2013. Assessment of lesser prairie-chicken use of wildlife water guzzlers. Bulletin of the Texas Ornithological Society 46:10-18.

Abstract

ABSTRACT Man-made water sources have been used as a management tool for wildlife, especially in arid regions, but the value of these water sources for wildlife populations is not well understood. In particular, the value of water as a conservation tool for lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) is unknown. However, this is a relevant issue due to a heightened conservation concern for the species and its occupancy of an arid landscape anticipated to experience warmer, drier springs and winters. We assessed if Lesser Prairie-chickens would use commercially available wildlife water guzzlers and if there was any apparent selection between two design types. We confirmed that Lesser Prairie-chickens would use bird friendly designed wildlife water guzzlers. Use was primarily during the lekking-nesting period (March – May) and the brood rearing period (June – July) and primarily by males. Although both designs were used, we found significantly greater use of a design that had a wider water trough and ramp built into the tank cover compared to a design that had a longer, narrower trough extending from the tank. Although we were unable to assess the physiological need of surface water by Lesser Prairie-chickens, we were able to verify that they will use wildlife water guzzlers to access surface water. If it is found surface water is beneficial for Lesser Prairie-chickens, game bird friendly designed guzzlers may be a useful conservation tool the species.

 

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 5

Phd Students: 4

Post Docs: 0

University Staff: 2

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 43

Scientific Publications: 67

Presentations: 156

 

Status

Published
May 2014

Unit Authors

Texas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Texas Parks and Wildlife
  2. Texas Tech University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute