Spruce grouse hunters in northern Minnesota’s boreal forests are being asked to voluntarily submit feather samples for a genetics research project being conducted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in partnership with the University of Minnesota.

The study will use grouse genetics to form a baseline of data to establish how spruce grouse currently use the landscape and to identify changes in habitat connectivity over time.

Spruce grouse are a climate-sensitive species that rely on boreal forest habitats containing black spruce, jack pine and tamarack – all of which are expected to shift northward on the landscape as temperatures increase.

Hunters who would like to assist with the project should collect three to five large wing or tail feathers along with the GPS coordinates of the harvest location.

The feathers, GPS coordinates and the hunter’s name and telephone number should be mailed to: Grouse Research, DNR regional headquarters, 1201 East Highway 2, Grand Rapids, MN 55744.

- Image courtesy of the Minnesota DNR Web site