Rock ptarmigan. Photo: Degitu Borecha


Dispersal of individuals generates new local populations. Presence of dispersal may be detected through new grouse leks or bird colony formation. Dispersal is a key phenomenon in population dynamics and demography of a particular species. It determines survival probability of a species under climate change as well as human development. Thus, information on individuals’ dispersal rate and consequences are very important in conservation biology. This is because conservation biology greatly depends on these factors in order to determine sound and long-term management of a particular species.

In many grouse (Tetraonidae) species, females are more dispersive than males, and juveniles travel more and farther than adults. Although the majority of grouse species share this behaviour, a few studies also documented that male biased dispersal is not uncommon. Review of some species dispersal indicated that sex biased dispersal is not necessarily species-specific but rather population specific, which makes it problematic to generalize unless we have good documentation. Here in Scandinavia, we have little knowledge about the consequences of our activities on the population dynamics of the majority of grouse species. Therefore, studying the species’ and populations’ dispersal degree, timing, pattern, roles, and consequences help us to gain knowledge about our impact on grouse populations.

In this project we are planning to investigate dispersal and site tenacity of black grouse, rock ptarmigan, and willow grouse. The majority of the data have already been collected from Sweden and Iceland through a combination of radiotelemetery, capture-recapture, capture hunt-recovery, and lek observation.

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