Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Lester D. Flake


A radio telemetry study of sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) summering at the Test Reactor Area (TRA) on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) in southeastern Idaho was initiated in July 1980. Objectives included determination of habitat use, home range, brood breakup, fall movements, and harvest of sage grouse using the TRA. Supplemental habitat data and fall movement data were collected from sage grouse summering at the Central Facilities Area (CFA) on the INEL in 1982. Seasonal precipitation appeared to influence the period of use of the TRA by sage grouse. Grouse arrived later and left earlier in the wet year of 1980 than in the drier year of 1981. Grouse did not use the TRA in 1982. Sage grouse fed at the TRA primarily in the early morning and late afternoon and evening periods. Home range estimates averaged 109 ha for adults using the TRA in 1981 compared to 74 ha for juveniles. No differences in shrub cover and shrub height between adult and juvenile loafing sites were found. Shrub coverage at all loafing sites averaged 22.8%. The timing of brood breakup and individual dispersal movements was determined for members of 2 broods. Brood breakup and dispersal were two distinct occurrences. Radio-marked brood members did not exhibit synchronized dispersal and did not associate during dispersal. Movements from TRA averaged 10.7 km for juveniles and 9.4 km for adults. Movements of radio-marked grouse from CFA in 1982 averaged 5.7, 4.0, and 3.7 km for juveniles, adult females, and adult males, respectively. During the 3 hunting seasons that occurred during this study, only 1 radio-marked grouse was beyond INEL boundaries immediately following a summer spent at the TRA.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Birds --Idaho -- Geographical distribution
Sage grouse
Idaho National Engineering Laboratory
Sage grouse--Habitat--Idaho


Includes bibliographical references (pages 34-36)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only