Blomberg interviewed for BDN article on ruffed grouse study
The Bangor Daily News interviewed Erik Blomberg, an assistant professor of wildlife, fisheries and conservation biology at the University of Maine, for an article about a recent study of ruffed grouse. Blomberg was a collaborator on the study, along with biologists from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) and other UMaine researchers. The study, led by UMaine graduate student Samantha Davis, found that the MDIFW’s management plan for the birds was sustainable and did not result in excessive mortality of the birds in November and December, when the birds perch in trees to feed and are more vulnerable, according to the BDN. “There was a concern, at least among some hunters, that [grouse sitting in trees that have no leaves to hide them] could lead to overharvest during that later part of the season,” Blomberg said. Seventy percent of the birds die per year, but much of that is a result of predation rather than hunting, and the birds make up for the population loss. “Our overall harvest rate, when you look at all the birds we marked over the course of three years, at two study sites, was 16 percent,” said Blomberg. “On the reproductive side of the coin they can offset those losses by just being highly productive.” Phys.org and The Penobscot Times published a UMaine news release about the study, and the Associated Press reported on the study. U.S. News & World Report, WRAL (Channel 5 in Raleigh, North Carolina) and Outdoor News carried the AP report.