Monday, September 19, 2016

Lesser Prairie Chicken management

Grazing for Lesser Prairie-Chicken Habitat Outline: Principles of Range Management and Their Application for Lesser Prairie-Chicken Habitat A. Ecological Site Descriptions, Soil Surveys, State and Transition Models, Plant succession B. Plant Physiology a. Functional groups, their responses to grazing i. Grasses ii. Forbs iii. Shrubs b. Cool season versus warm season c. Plant strategies to deal with grazing C. Monitoring a. Cover i. Relative versus absolute ii. Basal cover versus canopy cover iii. Percent shrub and forb cover at different scales b. Frequency c. Density d. Biomass – stocking rate calculations, exclusion cages e. Height / Shrub crown dimensions (grass height- where and when to measure) f. Which measurements are important for Lesser Prairie Chicken habitat monitoring D. Stocking rates a. Importance of and literature synthesis discussion b. Energy flow budget/trophic level c. Forage determination d. Terms (intensity, density, animal units) e. Calculations (1000lb versus 1300lb cow) f. Stocking rates and Lesser Prairie-Chicken habitat requirements E. Grazing Distribution a. Historical range management i. Even utilization ii. Collateral damage (wolfy plants, ice cream plants, sacrifice areas) b. New paradigm i. Uneven utilization and diversity – Implications for Lesser Prairie-Chickens ii. Manipulating distribution F. Timing of Use a. Residual biomass – Lesser Prairie-Chicken nesting, brood-rearing, and fall/winter habitat b. Nest loss due to trampling G. Grazing systems a. Terminology: deferred, rested, rotation, duration, etc. b. Basic types (HILF, mob, etc.) i. What they can do (timing of grazing, change selectivity, change distribution) ii. What they don’t do (hoof action – water infiltration, double stocking rates) c. Which types work for Lesser Prairie-Chickens H. Animal species selection, diet selection and nutrition a. Ruminant versus hindgut fermenter b. Concentrate selectors versus roughage eaters/ grazers c. Can we change selectivity? i. Grazing systems and burning d. Nutrition i. Total Digestible Nutrients, Crude Protein (National Research Council requirements for beef cattle) ii. Contrast cow/calf (throughout year) versus yearling stockers I. Vegetation management methods a. Mechanical b. Chemical c. Biological d. Prescribed Fire e. Integrated Location: USDA Agriculture Research Service, Cooper Wildlife Management Area (Woodward OK), or Beaver River Wildlife Management Area (Beaver, OK) Schedule: Early October 2016 Day 1 1pm– 5pm Classroom - Instruction on A, B, C, and D from outline above Day 2 8am – 12pm Classroom – E, F, G, H, and I from outline above 1pm – 5pm Field – Ecological Site Descriptions, Succession, and Vegetation Measurements Day 3 8am – 9am Classroom – Calculate stocking rates based on clipped vegetation 9am – 12pm Field – Vegetation management techniques • Herbicide - Sand sage or sand shinnery oak • Prescribed fire/wildfire effects Materials: 1. Manual (Power point notes and additional reading material for each section) 2. CD (PDFs of all materials) Budget: If you are alright with opening the training up to managers outside of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative then we can cover it with some grant funds. Agency personnel would need to cover their own travel and hotel. Maximum number of attendees: 15 - 20

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