Population ecology of grouse in Maine

Maine’s forest wildlife are an important resource that contribute to the state’s economy through wildlife-centric recreation, and have intrinsic value as native species to the state. The forest habitat on which these species depend also provides an important economic and cultural resource to Maine citizens through the harvest of forest products. Ruffed grouse are a native Maine bird that benefit from many forms of forest harvest, and are widely used as a game species by Maine residents and non-resident visitors to the state. This prosed project seeks to better understand the role that forest management practices and sport hunting play in affecting ruffed grouse population dynamics, using a large-scale field study of marked grouse living in variable forest conditions. The project will quantify seasonal and annual variation in ruffed grouse survival, estimate annual harvest rates, and correlate ruffed grouse reproductive parameters such as nest success and chick survival to forest composition and management. This information will close a
large gap in the current understanding of ruffed grouse ecology in the region, and will contribute to future management of this popular Maine gamebird. The study design of this project has been developed in consultation with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and all data and results from the research will be shared with the Department to facilitate future management actions.

Investigator: Blomberg, E.

Unit: Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology

Termination Date: 30-Sep-20