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Proceedings of the Prairie Grouse Symposium


Prairie chickens and sharptailed grouse evolved and have survived in the grasslands of the central portions of the North American continent . The vegetation, fire, drought, extremes in temperature, native grazing species, and the prairie grouse coexisted in a dynamic system that was only minimally influenced by humans. The prairie grouse in general may have benefited by early agricultural activities of the more permanent settlers in the late 1800's and early 1900's. However, the grouse of today are providing a record of the changes in land use that affect not only the grouse but a flora and fauna that biologists refer to as the grassland ecosystem. This symposium focuses on only a few species of prairie birds with the purpose of providing a written record of the current status of these indicators of the grassland ecosystem. The 1st 5 papers in these proceedings were invited. The remaining papers were volunteered by biologists working with research and management of the prairie grouse. The planning for the symposium began with the impetus of the Oklahoma Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit and the "blessing" of the Prairie Grouse Technical Council meeting in Pierre, South Dakota in Sept. 1977. Notices of the symposium were provided to all known prairie grouse biologists and other interested persons. All authors provided "camera ready" copy to reduce publication costs. Not all current or immediate past research on prairie grouse is represented in this proceedings. It is hoped that studies and information not represented here will be published soon in other literature available to those interested in prairie grouse and the grassland ecosystem. We desire that the information contained on these pages will reach those decision makers , including landowners and or land operators, who can favorably influence the future of the prairie grouse and their grasslands support base.