Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Greater Prairie Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido)Image via Wikipedia Annual event to feature experts from throughout prairie grouse range
HAYS — On Oct. 4-6, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) will host the 29th meeting of the Prairie Grouse Technical Council (PGTC) at Fort Hays State University in Hays. Prairie grouse conservationists from across the country — both professional and amateur — will gather to share knowledge, data, and appreciation of prairie grouse populations throughout their range.

The prairie grouse family includes sage grouse, lesser and greater prairie chicken, Attwater’s prairie chicken, and sharp-tailed grouse. The meeting location is near an expanding population of lesser and greater prairie chickens — the only place in the world where these two species overlap in range — and hybridization has been documented in this area.

Participants will have the opportunity to see the impact of Farm Bill programs, such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), on prairie grouse populations in western Kansas.

For professional biologists attending, abstracts for the meeting are now being accepted. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is Aug. 15. Authors will be notified by Sept. 1 if their submissions have been accept or not. Presentation of abstracts should be limited to 15 minutes. Speakers will be notified of the day, time, and location of their presentations. Email abstracts to Jim Pitman ( in Microsoft Word or plain text format. Those who do not have email may fax abstracts to 620-342-6248 or mail them to Jim Pitman, c/o KDWP, 1830 Merchant, Emporia, KS 66801.

State biologists attending are asked to submit reports on the status of prairie grouse in their states. Reports will include information on hunting and harvest of prairie grouse species by state (if applicable), population trends, conservation programs, and recent or ongoing research activities.

The meeting will include presentation of the Hamerstrom Award for the 29th PGTC Conference, and nominations for this award are now being accepted. This award was established in honor of Fred and Fran Hamerstrom, pioneers of prairie grouse research and management. The award recognizes “individuals and organization who have made significant contributions in prairie grouse research, management or other support programs that have enhanced the welfare of one or more species of prairie grouse in a particular state or region.” The deadline for nominations is Sept. 4.

In addition to the various prairie grouse reports, the event will feature presentations by experts in the field, field trips, educational meetings, and a banquet and auction.

For more information or to register, phone David Dahlgren at 785-628-8614 or email, or phone Pitman at 620-342-0658 or email him at Questions regarding the technical program should go to Pitman; all other logistical questions for the meeting should go to Dahlgren.
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