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The effects of management practices on grassland birds—Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus)

January 21, 2022

The keys to Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) management are maintaining expansive grasslands; preventing populations of Greater Prairie-Chickens from becoming small and isolated; managing grasslands to maintain proper grassland height, density, and vigor; and reducing woody plant invasion and excessive litter buildup. Within these grasslands, areas should contain short herbaceous cover for lek sites; tall residual grasses for nesting; and disturbed habitats for broods with adequate vegetation regrowth that provides insects for food and cover from predators and weather. This account does not address population or harvest management but rather focuses on habitat management. Greater Prairie-Chickens have been reported to use habitats with 5–113 centimeter (cm) average vegetation height, 5–40 cm visual obstruction reading, 18–95 percent grass cover, 1–35 percent forb cover, <45 percent litter cover, <5 percent shrub cover, 3–25 percent bare ground, and <12 cm litter depth.