Date of Award:

1971

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Wildland Resources

Advisor/Chair:

Jessop B. Low

Abstract

A study of the spring and summer habitat preferences of blue grouse was conducted on the Bear River Range in northern Utah. The main objective was to determine the important factors associated with habitat selection by blue grouse during the breeding season.

One hundred and two sampling areas, delimited by similarities in vegetation and topography, were thoroughly searched with a dog for blue grouse. Fifty-four bio logical and physical variables were measured for each sampling area.

Chi-square tests performed on all variables showed 11 of the 54 variables to be significant at an alpha of 0.20. These 11 variables (li sted below) were considered to be the important factors influencing habitat selection by blue grouse.

(1) search area type

(2) area exposure

(3) elevation

(4) percent forested

(5) understory density

(6) primary cover species

(7) secondary cover species

(8) percent cover maples (Acer grandidentatum)

(9) percent cover mixed brush

(10) percent cover sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)

(11) total acres

The chi-square test only determined if a variable significantly effected habitat selection by blue grouse. To determine whether this effect was positive or negative, the percent occurrence of areas on which blue grouse were present, or absent, was determined. Results indicated that the most favorable blue grouse habitat was draws at 5,500 -6.499 feet elevation. This favorable habitat contained 1-10 percent cover by maples, or a higher percent of maple which provided a large amount of edge effect; the presence of mixed brush or sagebrush, a medium understory, and an area incline of 5-19 percent.

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