Tracey Johnson Publishes on Brood Parasitism of Greater Sage-Grouse
January 08, 2021
A paper published by University of Idaho’s Tracey N. Johnson, director of research at the Rinker Rock Creek Ranch, describes for the first time how sage-grouse nests in southern Idaho may be parasitized by quail. Parasitism occurs when one species lays its eggs in the nest of another species with the goal of having the host rear the parasite’s chicks. The paper in Western North American Naturalist titled “Brood Parasitism of Greater Sage-Grouse by California Quail in Idaho” describes a case of brood parasitism of a greater sage-grouse nest by California quail in southwestern Idaho in 2019. This is the first case ever reported of parasitism of a sage-grouse nest by quail.
The greater sage-grouse, the largest grouse in North America, is considered a species at risk in Canada and, although not listed as endangered in the U.S., it is confined to remnant populations in the West, including in Idaho.
Johnson, an assistant professor in the College of Natural Resource’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, recommends additional monitoring of sage-grouse nests for parasitism by other gamebirds to better understand its prevalence and any reproductive consequences for sage-grouse.
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu