We measured productivity of the Spruce Grouse (Dendragapusc anadensicsa nadensis) in patchy black spruce (Picea mariana) habitat along the southeastern limit of its range in mid-coastal Maine. We captured grouse and attached necklace-mounted radio transmitters to hens prior to nesting. Of 19 females monitored, only 26% raised chicks to the late brood-rearing period. Predation was high on hens (37%) and five were killed before hatching eggs. Six (55%) entire broods were lost and only 30% of chicks survived to late summer. Production ( No. of chicks/female), an index of productivity, was < 1 and lower in Maine and Minnesota study areas in black spruce than areas dominated by jack pine (Pinus banksiana) or a mixture of jack pine and spruce with dense undergrowth. Where Spruce Grouse breed in patchy black spruce communities, immigration from neighboring populations or inter-patch movement by local individuals may be required to maintain viable populations.
Additional publication details
Productivity of the spruce grouse in fragmented habitat at the edge of its range