Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 4

The troubling part was that no population
boom followed.
Looking at the data, it was clear
the hunters I heard from were not isolated observers. The loss of grouse they
reported was echoed by the experiences
of hundreds of grouse hunters across the
Commonwealth.
Population trends within the state's
six regions showed the same pattern. The
decline grouse hunters observed was real
and had occurred statewide.
It was time to look for explanations.

DISEASE DRIVEN?

Author Lisa Williams, above, and
agency biologist Tom Keller, upper
right, visit a Somerset County grouse
nest as part of the effort to better
understand the effects of West
Nile virus on grouse. The nest was
found by agency Food & Cover Corps
4
foreman Bob Turner.

I drew up a list of plausible explanations for the grouse decline to see if they
fit the facts, or could be eliminated.
A number of factors can work against
grouse: the maturing of forests; increasing
predator numbers; severe weather events.
Most factors, like habitat loss and
predator pressure, tend to occur over a
long time. Others, like severe weather,
have fairly localized impacts.
Whatever caused the abrupt grouse
loss from 2000 to 2004 was dramatic,
fast-acting, and occurred statewide.
A rapid decline such as this has all the
hallmarks of disease.
Ongoing disease impacts also might
explain why grouse numbers had not
rebounded much since 2004.
West Nile virus (WNV) first occurred
in Pennsylvania in 2000, and by 2002, it
was found in every county.
Carried by mosquitoes, the virus can
be fatal to humans, and it caused largescale mortality in crows and blue jays in
the early 2000s. In western states, WNV
has caused extremely high mortality in
sage grouse.
But no studies had been published on
WNV and ruffed grouse. We would have
to get our own answers.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - Cover4
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