An investigation on fire effects within xeric sage grouse brood habitat
We investigated the short-term influence of fire on xeric sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) brood habitat in southeastern Idaho from 1990-92. A prescribed fire in 1989 removed Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata wyomingensis Nutt.)/threetip sagebrush (A. tripartita Rydb.) canopy cover from approximately 57% of a 5,800-ha area, potentially influencing brood-rearing habitat. Although the fire created a mosaic of sagebrush areas interspersed with open areas having abundant grasses and forbs, the relative abundance of males, females, and broods on survey routes in burned and unburned habitat were similar, Cover of forbs important in sage grouse summer diets was similar in burned and unburned habitat, However, the abundance of Hymenoptera, an insect Order important in sage grouse diets, was significantly lower in burned habitat the second and third years postburn. Our research did not support the contention that fire may enhance sage grouse brood-rearing habitat.