Assessment of lesser prairie-chicken use of wildlife water guzzlers

Bulletin of the Texas Ornithological Society
By: , and 

Links

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 for the species.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Assessment of lesser prairie-chicken use of wildlife water guzzlers
Series title Bulletin of the Texas Ornithological Society
Volume 46
Issue 1-2
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Texas Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 9 p.
First page 10
Last page 18