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One of the largest bibliographies of sage grouse literature available online

Description

The greater sage-grouse, a candidate species for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 has experienced population declines across its range in the sagebrush steppe ecosystems of western North America. Sage-grouse now occupy only 56% of their pre-settlement range, though they still occur in 11 western states and 2 Canadian provinces.

latest article added on August 2013

ArticleFirst AuthorPublished
Long-Term Effects of Fire on Sage Grouse HabitatNelle, PJ2000

Long-Term Effects of Fire on Sage Grouse Habitat

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

This study documented the long-term (> 10 years) impact of fire on sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus Bonaparte) nesting and brood-rearing habitats on the Upper Snake River Plain in southeastern Idaho. The habitat of the study area is primarily mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata vaseyana Rydb.)-grassland. Twenty different-aged burns were sampled from 1996 to 1997, ranging from wildfires which burned during the 1960s to prescribed fires set during the 1990s, Canopy coverage and height of vegetation, and relative abundance of invertebrates, were estimated at burned and unburned sites within burns. Fourteen years after burning, sagebrush had not returned to preburn conditions, No difference was detected in forb abundance between different-aged burns. Relative abundance of ants and beetles was significantly greater in the 1-year old burn category but had returned to unburned levels by 3-5 years postburn. No benefits for sage grouse occurred as a result of burning sage grouse nesting and brood-rearing habitats. Burning created a long-term negative impact on nesting habitat because sagebrush required over 20 years of postburn growth for percent canopy cover to become sufficient for nesting.

Authors

Nelle, PJ; Reese, KP; Connelly, JW

Year Published

2000

Publication

Journal of Range Management

Locations
DOI

10.2307/4003151

Assessing chick survival of sage-grouse in Canada. Final project report for 2000.Aldridge, Cameron L.2000

Assessing chick survival of sage-grouse in Canada. Final project report for 2000.

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

The Alberta greater sage-grouse population has declined by 66-92% over the last thirty years. Previous research in Alberta suggested that the population has declined as a result of poor recruitment. Low levels of recruitment appear to be linked to poor chick survival as a result of limited mesic sites important for brood rearing habitat. Due to the inaccuracies of brood flushing counts, and the limits of technology to produce transmitters small enough for chicks, it has been difficult to accurately assess and understand chick survival. A population model developed from data gathered in 1998 and 1999 suggested that the population would decrease in 2000, resulting in a decrease in the number of males observed on leks from 140 to 132. I counted 140 males at leks in 2000, suggesting that the population remained relatively stable, at between 420 and 622 individuals. While sample sizes were small, measures of productivity in 2000 were quite low compared to previous years, suggesting a better understanding of the variability in the parameters in the model is needed. I also performed a 2-stage pilot experiment, focusing on attaching transmitters to sage-grouse chicks. I first practiced the technique by suturing transmitters to 10 chicken chicks, and then tested the technique on 4 sage-grouse chicks in the field. The transmitters did not appear to harm the chicks at all, and none of them showed signs of infection, bleeding, or scaring from the transmitter attachment. This technique appears to be a viable method for assessing chick survival.

Authors

Aldridge, Cameron L.

Year Published

2000

Publication

Alberta Species At Risk Report

Locations
Effects of predation and hunting on adult sage grouse Centrocercus urophasianus in IdahoConnelly, JW2000

Effects of predation and hunting on adult sage grouse Centrocercus urophasianus in Idaho

Keywords

hunting, mortality, predation, radio-telemetry, sage grouse

Abstract

Although sage grouse Centrocercus urophasianus have declined throughout their range in North America, little is known about annual mortality patterns of this species. Thus, we summarize a long-term data set on timing and causes of mortality of sage grouse. Predation was the most common cause of death for radio-marked sage grouse. For adult males, 83% of deaths were attributed to predation and 15% to hunting. However, for adult females, 52% of deaths were caused by predation while 42% were attributed to hunting. We rejected the hypothesis that type of mortality (predation vs hunting) was independent of gender of sage grouse. For males, 70% of deaths occurred during spring and summer (March-August) and 28% occurred in September-October. For females, 52% of mortalities occurred during spring and summer and 46% occurred in September-October. We rejected the hypothesis that time of death is independent of the gender of sage grouse. In six of 15 years (40%), harvest rates for adult females may have exceeded 10% while this rate was only exceeded in two of 15 years (13%) for adult males.

Authors

Connelly, JW; Apa, AD; Smith, RB; Reese, KP

Year Published

2000

Publication

Wildlife Biology

Locations
Distribution, movements and habitats of sage grouse Centrocercus urophasianus on the Upper Snake River Plain of Idaho: changes from the 1950s to the 1990sLeonard, KM2000

Distribution, movements and habitats of sage grouse Centrocercus urophasianus on the Upper Snake River Plain of Idaho: changes from the 1950s to the 1990s

Keywords

annual range, Centrocercus urophasianus, habitat loss, migration, movements, sagebrush, sage grouse, seasonal ranges

Abstract

The sage grouse Centrocercus urophasianus population level on the Upper Snake River Plain of Idaho has declined significantly over the past 40 years. We investigated migration patterns and seasonal ranges of these birds to compare to patterns from the 1950s and 1960s. Furthermore, we examined landscape changes that occurred between 1975 and 1992. Migration patterns have not changed since the 1950s. The grouse currently migrate up to 125 km and use an annual population range of at least 2,764 km(2). The major landscape change since 1975 that occurred in sage grouse habitat was a decline in the total amount of winter range. Between 1975 and 1992, 29,762 ha of sagebrush Artemisia spp. rangeland were converted to cropland, a 74% increase in cropland. Regression analysis suggested a relationship between sagebrush habitat loss and grouse population decline (R-2 = 0.59, P = 0.002). Approximately 1,244 km(2) of privately-owned sagebrush on the study area could potentially be converted to cropland, which we predict would have serious negative implications for the sage grouse population.

Authors

Leonard, KM; Reese, KP; Connelly, JW

Year Published

2000

Publication

Wildlife Biology

Locations
Response of a sage grouse breeding population to fire in southeastern IdahoConnelly, JW2000

Response of a sage grouse breeding population to fire in southeastern Idaho

Keywords

Artemisia, Centrocercus urophasianus, fire, habitat, lek, sagebrush, sage grouse

Abstract

Prescribed burning is a common method to eliminate sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) and has been suggested as a tool to enhance the habitat of sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Effects of this practice on sage grouse have not been evaluated rigorously. We studied effects of prescribed fire on lek (traditional breeding display areas) attendance by male sage grouse occupying low-precipitation ( P > 0.10). During the postburn period (1990-94), male attendance at treatment leks declined 90% and control leks declined 63%. Although declines were similar between treatment and control leks during the preburn period, postburn declines were greater for treatment than control leks (0.05 < P < 0.10). We rejected the null hypothesis that for the 2 largest leks in both the treatment and control areas, counts were independent of years for preburn (0.05 < P < 0.70) and postburn (P less than or similar to 0.05) periods and concluded that breeding population declines became more severe in years following fire. Prescribed burning negatively affected sage grouse in southeastern Idaho and should not be used in low-precipitation sagebrush habitats occupied by breeding sage grouse.

Authors

Connelly, JW; Reese, KP; Fischer, RA; Wakkinen, WL

Year Published

2000

Publication

Wildlife Society Bulletin

Locations
Suitability of shrub establishment on Wyoming mined lands reclaimed for wildlife habitatOlson, RA2000

Suitability of shrub establishment on Wyoming mined lands reclaimed for wildlife habitat

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

Restoring coal mined land to pie-mining shrub cover, density height, community composition, and diversity to renew wildlife habitat quality is a priority for reclamation specialists. Long-term shrub reestablishment success on reclaimed mined land in Wyoming and suitability of these lands for wildlife habitat are unknown. Fourteen reclaimed study sites, 10 yr old or older, were selected on 8 mines in Wyoming to evaluate shrub reestablishment and wildlife habitat value for antelope (Antilocapra americana) and sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Five sites were categorized as fourwing saltbush (Airplex canescens) sites and 9 as fourwing saltbush/big sagebrush (A. canescens/Artemisia tridentata spp. wyomingensis) sites. Published data describing antelope and sage grouse-preferred habitat requirements in sage-brush-grassland ecosystems were used to evaluate shrub community value of sampled sites for wildlife habitat. Mean shrub canopy cover, density, and. height for fourwing saltbush sites were 5.8%, 0.23 m(-2), and 41.6 cm, respectively compared to 5.6%. 0.61 m(-2), and 31.1 cm for fourwing saltbush/big sagebrush sites. Two fourwing saltbush and 4 fourwing saltbush/big sagebrush sites provided sufficient cover for antelope, while 2 fourwing saltbush and a fourwing saltbush/big sagebrush sites were adequate for sage grouse. Only 1 fourwing saltbush/big sagebrush site provided high enough shrub densities for sage grouse. One fourwing saltbush and 7 fourwing saltbush/big sagebrush sites provided ample shrub heights For antelope, while 1 fourwing saltbush and 8 fourwing saltbush/big sagebrush sites were sufficient for sage grouse, One fourwing saltbush and 1 fourwing saltbush/big sagebrush site provided enough grass, forb,, and shrub composition for antelope, while no site in either reclamation type was satisfactory for sage grouse. Shrub diversity was 3 times higher for fourwing saltbush/big sagebrush sites (0.984) than for fourwing saltbush sites (0.328). Individually, sites seeded with multiple shrub species had higher canopy cover, density, and diversity compared with single-species shrub seedings. Achieving pre mining shrub cover, density, height, community composition, and diversity within existing bond-release time frames is unrealistic, considering that some native shrublands require 30-60 yr to reach maturity.

Authors

Olson, RA; Gores, JK; Booth, DT; Schuman, GE

Year Published

2000

Publication

Western North American Naturalist

Locations
Microsatellite analysis of female mating behaviour in lek-breeding sage grouseSemple, K2001

Microsatellite analysis of female mating behaviour in lek-breeding sage grouse

Keywords

lek mating; microsatellite DNA; paternity; sexual selection; sage grouse

Abstract

We used microsatellite DNA markers to genotype chicks in 10 broods of lek-breeding sage grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus, whose mothers' behaviour was studied by radiotracking and observing leks. Previous behavioural studies suggested that almost all matings are performed by territorial males on leks and that multiple mating is rare. Two broods (20%) were sired by more than one male. Genetic analyses of the broods of eight females that visited an intensively studied lek were consistent with behavioural observations. Four females observed mating produced singly sired broods and males other than the individual observed copulating were excluded as sires for most or all of their chicks. Territorial males at the study lek were excluded as sires of broods of four other females that visited the lek but were not observed mating there. Radio-tracking suggested that two of these females mated at other leks. Our results confirm the reliability of mating observations at leks, but do not rule out a possible unseen component of the mating system.

Authors

Semple, K; Wayne, RK; Gibson, RM

Year Published

2001

Publication

Molecular Ecology

Locations
DOI

10.1046/j.0962-1083.2001.01348.x

Nesting and reproductive activities of Greater Sage-Grouse in a declining northern fringe populationAldridge, CL2001

Nesting and reproductive activities of Greater Sage-Grouse in a declining northern fringe population

Keywords

Canada, Centrocercus urophasianus, Greater Sage-Grouse, nesting, reproductive effort, reproductive success

Abstract

In Canada, Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are at the northern edge of their range, occurring only in southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan. The population in Canada has declined by 66% to 92% over the last 30 years. We used radio-telemetry to follow 20 female Greater Sage-Grouse and monitor productivity in southeastern Alberta, and to assess habitat use at nesting and brood-rearing locations, All females attempted to nest. Mean clutch size (7.8 eggs per nest) was at the high end of the normal range for sage-grouse (typically 6.6-8.2). Nest success (46%) and breeding success (55%) were within the range found for more southerly populations (15% to 86% and 15% to 70%, respectively). Thirty-six percent of unsuccessful females attempted to renest. Fledging success was slightly lower than reported in other studies. Thus, reproductive effort does not appear to be related to the population decline. However, chick survival to greater than or equal to 50 days of age (mean = 18%) was only about half of that estimated (35%) for a stable or slightly declining population, suggesting that chick survival may be the most important factor reducing overall reproductive success and contributing to the decline of Greater Sa.-e-Grouse in Canada.

Authors

Aldridge, CL; Brigham, RM

Year Published

2001

Publication

The Condor: Ornithological Applications

Locations
DOI

10.1650/0010-5422(2001)103[0537:NARAOG]2.0.CO;2

Occurrence of Greater Sage-Grouse x Sharp-tailed Grouse hybrids in AlbertaAldridge, CL2001

Occurrence of Greater Sage-Grouse x Sharp-tailed Grouse hybrids in Alberta

Keywords

Alberta, DNA, Greater Sage-Grouse, hybrid, Sharp-tailed Grouse

Abstract

Two distinct grouse were regularly observed at two Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) 1eks in both 1999 and 2000 in southeastern Alberta. Physically and behaviorally, the birds exhibited characteristics of both Greater Sage-Grouse and Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchas phasianellus), suggesting they were hybrids. DNA analyses of blood and feather samples indicated that both birds were males with Greater Sage-Grouse mothers and thus, fathers that were likely Sharp-tailed Grouse.

Authors

Aldridge, CL; Oyler-McCance, SJ; Brigham, RM

Year Published

2001

Publication

The Condor: Ornithological Applications

Locations
DOI

10.1650/0010-5422(2001)103[0657:OOGSGS]2.0.CO;2

Influence of Changes in Sagebrush on Gunnison Sage Grouse in Southwestern ColoradoOyler-McCance, SJ2001

Influence of Changes in Sagebrush on Gunnison Sage Grouse in Southwestern Colorado

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

The decline in abundance of the newly recognized Gunnison sage grouse (Centrocercus minimus) in southwestern Colorado is thought to be linked to loss and fragmentation of its habitat, sagebrush (Artemisia) vegetation. We documented changes in sagebrush-dominated areas between the 1950s and 1990s by comparing low level aerial photographs taken in these time periods. We documented a loss of 20% or 155,673 ha of sage brush-dominated areas in southwestern Colorado between 1958 and 1993. The amount of sagebrush-dominated area was much higher and loss rates were much lower in the Gunnison Basin. We also found that 37% of plots sampled underwent substantial fragmentation of sagebrush vegetation. If current trends of habitat loss and fragmentation continue, Gunnison sage grouse (and perhaps other sagebrush-steppe obligates) may become extinct. Protecting the remaining habitat from further loss and fragmentation is paramount to the survival of this species.

Authors

Oyler-McCance, SJ; Burnham, KP; Braun, CE

Year Published

2001

Publication

The Southwestern Naturalist

Locations
DOI

10.2307/3672428

Recent Articles

The Secret Sex Lives of Sage-Grouse: Multiple Paternity and Intraspecific Nest Parasitism Revealed Through Genetic Analysis

by Bird, Krista, Aldridge, Cameron, Carpenter, Jennifer, Paszkowski, Cynthia, Boyce, Mark and Coltman, David

In lek-based mating systems only a few males are expected to obtain the majority of matings in a single breeding season and multiple mating is believed to be rare. We used 13 microsatellites to genotype greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) samples from 604 adults and 1206 offspring from 191 clutches (1999-2006) from Alberta, Canada, to determine paternity and polygamy (males and fema...

published 2013 in Behavioral Ecology

Seasonal Reproductive Costs Contribute to Reduced Survival of Female Greater Sage-grouse

by Blomberg, Erik, Sedinger, James, Nonne, Daniel and Atamian, Michael

Tradeoffs among demographic traits are a central component of life history theory. We investigated tradeoffs between reproductive effort and survival in female greater sage-grouse breeding in the American Great Basin, while also considering reproductive heterogeneity by examining covariance among current and future reproductive success. We analyzed survival and reproductive histories from 328 i...

published 2013 in Journal of Avian Biology


Greater Sage-Grouse and Severe Winter Conditions: Identifying Habitat for Conservation

by Dzialak, Matthew, Webb, Stephen, Harju, Seth, Olson, Chad, Winstead, Jeffrey and Hayden Wing, Larry

d Developing sustainable rangeland management strategies requires solution-driven research that addresses ecological issues within the context of regionally important socioeconomic concerns. A key sustainability issue in many regions of the world is conserving habitat that buffers animal populations from climatic variability, including seasonal deviation from long-term precipitation or temperat...

published 2013 in Rangeland Ecology & Management

Using Spatial Statistics and Point-Pattern Simulations to Assess the Spatial Dependency Between Greater Sage-Grouse and Anthropogenic Features

by Gillan, Jeffrey K., Strand, Eva K., Karl, Jason W., Reese, Kerry P. and Laninga, Tamara

The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereafter, sage-grouse), a candidate species for listing under the Endangered Species Act, has experienced population declines across its range in the sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) steppe ecosystems of western North America. One factor contributing to the loss of habitat is the expanding human population with associated development and infrast...

published 2013 in Wildlife Society Bulletin