Canada = Hudson Bay.
Genetic differentiation among all three species of Tympanuchus is very weak, suggesting either that they evolved in isolation during Pleistocene but subsequent secondary contact and hybridization have obscured molecular differences, or that the ancestral species subdivided much more recently, e.g. during the Wisconsin glaciation, such that ancestral genetic polymorphisms remain identifiable#R. Present species formerly placed in a monotypic genus Pedioecetes. Hybridizes extensively with T. cupido where ranges overlap, with both hybrids and back-crosses apparently fertile; hybrids can constitute 0·3–1·2% of combined population in Nebraska, and 5–25% on Manitoulin I, Ontario, where contact between these species is recent. Known to have hybridized occasionally with Centrocercus urophasianus (suspected or proven hybrids in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming#R). Geographical variation involves basic ground colour, depending to some extent on coloration of soil and amount of rainfall#R. One genetic study of subspecies found evidence for restricted gene flow between E and W parts of the species’ range, corresponding with boundaries of columbianus and jamesi#R. Six extant subspecies currently recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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