A Review of the State of Sharp-Tailed Grouse: With Management Considerations in Minnesota and North Dakota
Danzl, Matthew Richard
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The sharp-tailed grouse is a member of the family Phasianidae and comprises six subspecies. They are a medium sized bird which are pursued as game in most of its range. Sharp-tailed grouse are found in large areas of North America. They occupy vast grassland areas with various amounts of interspersed brushy components and few trees present. Mating and courtship occur on congregating areas called leks or “dancing grounds”. These areas are a focal element of their local population centers and occupy a portion of their relatively large individual home ranges. Due to their large home ranges, researchers have applied the term “indicator” or “umbrella” species to them because of their importance on the landscape to other species. Portions of their range are decreasing and becoming more fragmented. Principle causes are linked to agriculture development, ecological succession, conifer plantations, and energy development. Populations across their range have declined from historic levels.