The Effects of Management Practices on Grassland Birds—Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus)

Professional Paper 1842-C
By: , and 



The keys to Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) management are maintaining expansive grasslands; preventing populations of Greater Prairie-Chickens from becoming small and isolated; managing grasslands to maintain proper grassland height, density, and vigor; and reducing woody plant invasion and excessive litter buildup. Within these grasslands, areas should contain short herbaceous cover for lek sites; tall residual grasses for nesting; and disturbed habitats for broods with adequate vegetation regrowth that provides insects for food and cover from predators and weather. This account does not address population or harvest management but rather focuses on habitat management. Greater Prairie-Chickens have been reported to use habitats with 5–113 centimeter (cm) average vegetation height, 5–40 cm visual obstruction reading, 18–95 percent grass cover, 1–35 percent forb cover, <45 percent litter cover, <5 percent shrub cover, 3–25 percent bare ground, and <12 cm litter depth.

Suggested Citation

Svedarsky, W.D., Toepfer, J.E., Westemeier, R.L., Robel, R.J., Igl, L.D., and Shaffer, J.A., 2022, The effects of management practices on grassland birds—Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus), chap. C of Johnson, D.H., Igl, L.D., Shaffer, J.A., and DeLong, J.P., eds., The effects of management practices on grassland birds: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1842, 53 p.,

ISSN: 2330-7102 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Capsule Statement
  • Breeding Range
  • Suitable Habitat
  • Area Requirements and Landscape Associations
  • Brood Parasitism by Cowbirds and Other Species
  • Breeding-Season Phenology and Site Fidelity
  • Species’ Response to Management
  • Management Recommendations from the Literature
  • References
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title The effects of management practices on grassland birds—Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus)
Series title Professional Paper
Series number 1842
Chapter C
DOI 10.3133/pp1842C
Year Published 2022
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description v, 53 p.
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details