Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ruffed Grouse Transplants in Alaska

One rarely considers the relatively unspoiled wilds of Alaska when thinking about bird transplants, translocations, or introductions, but they have occurred, even in recent years. This report (.pdf, 27 K) discusses in detail a recent transplant of Ruffed Grouse, and mentions another in passing.

In an effort approved by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 232 Ruffed Grouse live-trapped north of the Alaska Range in central Alaska were translocated and released at 3 different sites on the northern Kenai Peninsula, 1995-1997. Mortality was high, with just 3 (10 percent) of 30 radiocollared birds surviving more than 1 year. The report concludes:
Despite the high mortality rate of the radiocollared ruffed grouse, birds are being observed at all 3 sites. Grouse have dispersed into available habitat, located suitable forage and successfully reproduced. Monitoring to determine the success of the Kenai Peninsula ruffed grouse introduction is ongoing.
Funding for this project was provided by the Anchorage and Kenai chapters of Safari Club International, the Alaska Waterfowl Association, and The Ruffed Grouse Society.

Also, in 1988, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game initiated a 3-year project to transplant Ruffed Grouse from the interior of Alaska to the Matanuska/Susitna Valleys with the result that “Ruffed Grouse are now using suitable habitat throughout” the latter region.

Steen, Nicholas C. No date. Kenai Peninsula Ruffed Grouse transplant 1995-1997. Final report. Alaska Waterfowl Association, The Ruffed Grouse Society, and Safari Club International. 8 pp.

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