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Sharp-tailed grouse wing samples needed

Sharp-tailed grouse hunters in Minnesota and North Dakota are being asked to send in wing samples from harvested birds. The samples will go through DNA analysis and be used to evaluate the genetic health of the populations.

The project is a collaboration between the Minnesota Sharp-tailed Grouse Society, the Wisconsin Sharp-tailed Grouse Society, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The genetic analysis will be used to evaluate the genetic status of Minnesota and North Dakota birds, and also to examine the possibility of a translocation of birds from Minnesota and/or North Dakota to improve the genetic health of sharp-tails in Wisconsin.

The study requires a minimum of 50 to 80 samples from each area of Minnesota (northwest and east-central) and North Dakota. Dr. Brad Swanson of Central Michigan University will conduct the analysis.

For details on sample collection, preservation and shipping instructions, visit or contact Eric Nelson, Minnesota DNR assistant area wildlife supervisor at (218) 681-0946 or via e-mail at