Ruffed Grouse Winter Habitat Use in Mixed Softwood-Hardwood Forests, Québec, Canada

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2007
Authors:Blanchette, P, Bourgeois, J-C, St-Onge, S
Journal:The Journal of Wildlife Management
Date Published:2007
ISBN Number:0022541X
Keywords:Bonasa, Bonasa umbellus, Phasianidae, Philomachus, Philomachus pugnax, Scolopacidae
Abstract:Ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) is a popular small game species in northeastern North America. We assessed female ruffed grouse habitat characteristics during winter of 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 in a region dominated by mixed softwood-hardwood forests by comparing used and random locations. We followed 23 radiotagged adult females in 2 forest sites of the Réserve faunique de Portneuf, Québec, Canada, from late November to mid-April. We described grouse habitat using ground surveys and identified selected habitat characteristics using analysis of variance and logistic regression. Females preferred mixed softwood-hardwood stands >17 m tall and 61-120 years old. Compared with random locations, grouse locations had more well-developed total canopy cover (>4 m; 75%), canopy (>4 m; 35%), midstory (1-4 m tall; 35%), and lower-story (<1 m tall; 23%) coniferous cover, and higher coniferous stem density and tree basal area (dbh > 9 cm; 343 stems/ha and 9.0 m²/ha, respectively). Forest management should maintain mature mixed softwood-hardwood stands (50% coniferous), which are adequate winter habitat for ruffed grouse.
Short Title:The Journal of Wildlife Management
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith