Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 15

2018

Jacob Dingel

a tough year for

grouse
by lisa williams

By this time last year, it was becoming
obvious that unusually wet conditions
were setting the stage for an extremely
bad year for West Nile virus in Pennsylvania.
And as the summer progressed, all
signs indicated such an extremely bad
year indeed was taking place.
So it's not a shock the state's grouse
- which suffer high mortality from West
Nile virus - were hit particularly hard
in 2018.
Data provided by cooperating grouse
hunters - observations recorded over
1,125 individual hunts spanning 2,955
hours - show grouse flush rates dropped
by 22 percent statewide in 2018. In the
northern Wildlife Management Units
(WMUs 1B, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B and 3C)
that traditionally have provided better
grouse habitat and hunter success, flush
rates declined 18 percent. In the central
and southern WMUs, flush rates declined
28 percent.
West Nile virus seems certain to have
played a role in these declines. Additionally, the consistently wet weather
throughout the spring and summer of
2018 likely suppressed brood survival,

either through exposure to the elements
or reduced abundance and activity of
insects, which are important food sources
for young grouse chicks.
While these declines indicate grouse
were impacted severely, it's important to
note that past dramatic declines have been
followed by equally dramatic increases.
Grouse are a productive species, and when
they've gotten a break in weather that supports chick survival and decreases West
Nile virus prevalence, they've bounced
back.
To provide grouse some additional
protection in 2019, the Game Commission again will follow Responsive Harvest Management guidelines that call for
closing the after-Christmas segment of
the grouse season, which is the segment
most likely to reduce spring breeding
populations. At the same time, we will be
reviewing those guidelines and considering whether additional protections should
be built into them ahead of the 2020-21
hunting seasons.
And in the summer months about to
unfold, we all can keep our fingers crossed
that West Nile virus loses some of its
foothold in Pennsylvania in 2019.

west nile virus takes toll
JUNE 2019

15



Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 8
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Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 43
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Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 54
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Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 63
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Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - Cover4
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