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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
Effectiveness of avian predator perch deterrents on electric transmission linesLammers, Wendy M.2007

Effectiveness of avian predator perch deterrents on electric transmission lines

Keywords

avian predators, Centrocercus urophasianus, electric transmission line, Great Basin, greater sage-grouse, perch deterrents, raptors

Abstract

A new high-voltage transmission line in north-central Nevada, USA, was considered a potential threat to greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) because avian predators are attracted to and hunt from elevated perches. As a mitigation measure, perch deterrents were installed on the transmission line towers at the time of construction; in addition, 2 existing high-voltage transmission lines were retrofitted with deterrents. Previous published studies have investigated the efficacy of perch deterrents in preventing or reducing electrocution of avian predators and fecal contamination of insulators, but none have evaluated deterrents as a means of eradicating perching on towers. We conducted point transect surveys and perching-duration observations of corvids and raptors and determined that although perch deterrents did not prevent perching, the perching duration of raptors on the deterrents was reduced compared to other perching substrates. Perching of raptors indicated that some hunting most likely took place from the towers; therefore, the deterrents did not completely obviate the threat that avian predators posed to greater sage-grouse. Although the deterrents reduced the probability of avian predators perching on the towers, avian predators overcame the deterrents to take advantage of the height of the towers where no other perches of similar height existed. The perch deterrents as designed did not have the desired short-term effect on avian predators, but further monitoring may reveal longer-term effects and distinguish perching behaviors specific to different species of avian predators.

Authors

Lammers, Wendy M.; Collopy, Michael W.

Year Published

2007

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.2193/2005-752

Use of implanted radiotransmitters to estimate survival of greater sage-grouse chicksGregg, Michael A.2007

Use of implanted radiotransmitters to estimate survival of greater sage-grouse chicks

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianus; chick; hatchling; mortality; radiotransmitter; sage-grouse; subcutaneous implant; survival; telemetry

Abstract

Reduced chick survival has been implicated in declines of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) populations. Because monitoring survival of unmarked sage-grouse chicks is difficult, radiotelemetry may be an effective technique to estimate survival rates, identify causes of mortality, and collect ecological data. Previous studies have used subcutaneous implants to attach radiotransmitters to hatchlings of several species of birds with precocial young. Previous researchers who used subcutaneous implants in free-ranging populations removed chicks from the capture location and implanted transmitters at an alternate site. Because logistics precluded removing newly hatched greater sage-grouse chicks from the field, we evaluated a method for implanting transmitters at capture locations. We captured 288 chicks from 52 broods and monitored 296 radiomarked chicks daily for 28 days following capture during May and June 2001-2002. Two (<= 21 days posthatch and predation (82%, 174/212) was the primary cause of death. Necropsies of 22 radiomarked chicks did not indicate inflammation or infection from implants, and they were not implicated in the death of any chicks. Fate of 49 chicks was unknown because of transmitter loss (n = 16), radio failure (n = 29), and brood mixing (n = 3). Overall, the 28-day chick survival rate was 0.220 (SE = 0.028). We found that mortalities related to the implant procedure and transmitter loss were similar to rates reported by previous researchers who removed chicks from capture sites and implanted transmitters at an alternate location. Subcutaneous implants may be a useful method for attaching transmitters to newly hatched sage-grouse chicks to estimate survival rates, identify causes of mortality, and collect ecological data.

Authors

Gregg, Michael A.; Dunbar, Mike R.; Crawford, John A.

Year Published

2007

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.2193/2006-353

Greater sage-grouse population response to energy development and habitat lossWalker, Brett L.2007

Greater sage-grouse population response to energy development and habitat loss

Keywords

agriculture, centrocercus urophasianus, coal-bed methane, coal-bed natural gas, energy development, greater sage-grouse, lek count, population, Powder River Basin, sagebrush

Abstract

Modification of landscapes due to energy development may alter both habitat use and vital rates of sensitive wildlife species. Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Powder River Basin (PRB) of Wyoming and Montana, USA, have experienced rapid, widespread changes to their habitat due to recent coal-bed natural gas (CBNG) development. We analyzed lek-count, habitat, and infrastructure data to assess how CBNG development and other landscape features influenced trends in the numbers of male sage-grouse observed and persistence of leks in the PRB. From 2001 to 2005, the number of males observed on leks in CBNG fields declined more rapidly than leks outside of CBNG. Of leks active in 1997 or later, only 38% of 26 leks in CBNG fields remained active by 2004-2005, compared to 84% of 250 leks outside CBNG fields. By 2005, leks in CBNG fields had 46% fewer males per active lek than leks outside of CBNG. Persistence of 110 leks was positively influenced by the proportion of sagebrush habitat within 6.4 km of the lek. After controlling for habitat, we found support for negative effects of CBNG development within 0.8 km and 3.2 km of the lek and for a time lag between CBNG development and lek disappearance. Current lease stipulations that prohibit development within 0.4 km of sage-grouse leks on federal lands are inadequate to ensure lek persistence and may result in impacts to breeding populations over larger areas. Seasonal restrictions on drilling and construction do not address impacts caused by loss of sagebrush and incursion of infrastructure that can affect populations over long periods of time. Regulatory agencies may need to increase spatial restrictions on development, industry may need to rapidly implement more effective mitigation measures, or both, to reduce impacts of CBNG development on sage-grouse populations in the PRB.

Authors

Walker, Brett L.; Naugle, David E.; Doherty, Kevin E.

Year Published

2007

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.2193/2006-529

Efficacy of CPTH-treated egg baits for removing ravensCoates, Peter S.2007

Efficacy of CPTH-treated egg baits for removing ravens

Keywords

avicide, chicken egg baits, common raven, CPTH, Corvus corax, DRC-1330, human-wildlife conflicts, Nevada, wildfire damage management

Abstract

Human-altered landscapes have provided resource subsidies for common ravens (Corvus corax) resulting in a substantial increase in raven abundance and distribution throughout the United States and Canada in the past 25 years. Ravens are effective predators of eggs and young of ground-nesting birds. During 2002-2005, we tested whether chicken egg baits treated with CPTH (3-chloro-p-toluidine hydrochloride) could be used to manage raven numbers in an area where raven depredation was impacting sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus) and greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) populations in Nevada. We performed multiple raven surveys at a treatment site and 3 control sites and used videography to identify predators and estimate egg bait consumption. We detected reductions in raven abundances over time at the treatment site during all years of this study and did not detect reductions in raven abundances at control sites. Videographic observations of egg consumption indicated that the standard 1:2 ratio (1 raven removed/2 eggs consumed) substantially overestimated raven take because nontarget species (rodents) consumed some egg baits. The technique described here likely will be effective at reducing raven densities where this is the intended management action.

Authors

Coates, Peter S.; Spencer, Jack O., Jr.; Delehanty, Did J.

Year Published

2007

Publication

Human-Wildlife Conflicts

Locations
An observation of Clostridium perfringens in Greater Sage-GrouseHagen, Christian A.2007

An observation of Clostridium perfringens in Greater Sage-Grouse

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianus Clostridium perfringens Greater Sage-Grouse necrotic enteritis Oregon

Abstract

Mortality due to infectious diseases is seldom reported in the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). A case of necrotic enteritis associated with Clostr'dinrn per frinaens type A is described in a free-ranging adult finale sage-grouse in eastern Oregon. Clostridial enteritis is known to cause outbreaks of mortality in various domestic and wild birds, and should be considered as a potential cause of mortaliy in sage-grouse populations.

Authors

Hagen, Christian A.; Bildfell, Robert J.

Year Published

2007

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Diseases

Locations
Interspace/Undercanopy Foraging Patterns of Beef Cattle in Sagebrush Habitats.France, Kevin A2008

Interspace/Undercanopy Foraging Patterns of Beef Cattle in Sagebrush Habitats.

Keywords

bunchgrass ; forage selection ; grazing behavior ; ground nesting birds ; sage-grouse

Abstract

Forage selection patterns of cattle in sagebrush (Artemisia L.) communities are influenced by a variety of environmental and plant-associated factors. The relative preference of cattle for interspace versus under-sagebrush canopy bunchgrasses has not been documented. Potential preferences may indirectly affect habitat for sage-grouse and other ground-nesting birds. Our objectives were to investigate grazing patterns of cattle with respect to undercanopy (shrub) and interspace tussocks, determine the influence of cattle grazing on screening cover, and relate shrub morphology to undercanopy grazing occurrence. Eighteen-day replicated trials were conducted in the summers of 2003 and 2004. Findings suggest cattle initially concentrate grazing on tussocks between shrubs, and begin foraging on tussocks beneath shrubs as interspace plants are depleted. Grazing of undercanopy grass tussocks was negligible at light-to-moderate utilization levels ( < 40% by weight). Grass tussocks under spreading, umbrella-shaped shrub canopies were less likely (P < 0.001) to be grazed than those beneath erect, narrow canopies. Horizontal screening cover decreased (P < 0.001) with pasture utilization. At the trial's end, removal of 75% of the herbaceous standing crop induced about a 5% decrease in screening cover in all strata from ground level to 1 m with no differences among strata (P = 0.531). This implied that shrubs constituted the majority of screening vegetation. Our data suggest that conservative forage use, approaching 40% by weight, will affect a majority (about 70%) of interspace tussocks and a lesser proportion (about 15%) of potential nest-screening tussocks beneath sagebrush. Probability of grazing of tussocks beneath shrubs, however, is also affected by shrub morphology. These findings will help managers design grazing programs in locales where habitat for ground nesting birds is a concern.

Authors

Kevin A France, Dave Ganskopp, Chad S Boyd

Year Published

2008

Publication

Rangeland Ecology & Management

Locations
DOI

10.2111/06-072.1

Using human-imprinted chicks to evaluate the importance of forbs to sage-grouseHuwer, Sherri L.2008

Using human-imprinted chicks to evaluate the importance of forbs to sage-grouse

Keywords

brood habitat; Centrocercus urophasianus; Colorado; forb; growth; habitat; imprinting; sage-grouse

Abstract

Although several studies have indicated the importance of forbs in brood habitats, no studies have quantified direct effects of the amount of forb cover on sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) chicks. In 2002 and 2003, we conducted field experiments in Middle Park and Moffat County, Colorado, USA, respectively. Our objective was to quantify effects of 3 levels of forb cover in brood habitat on mass gain and feather growth of human-imprinted sage-grouse chicks. The results indicate that increasing forb cover in brood areas with <20% forb cover may lead to increased chick survival and grouse productivity.

Authors

Huwer, Sherri L.; Anderson, David R.; Remington, Thomas E.; White, Gary C.

Year Published

2008

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.2193/2004-340

Testing sagebrush allometric relationships across three fire chronosequences in Wyoming, USACleary, M. B.2008

Testing sagebrush allometric relationships across three fire chronosequences in Wyoming, USA

Keywords

aboveground biomass; Artemisia tridentate; plant allometry; root biomass; universal scaling

Abstract

Aboveground and coarse root allometric relationships were tested across three mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata var. vaseyana (Rydb.) chronosequences at three stages of recovery from fire (establishment, expansion, and mature) in Wyoming, USA. Big sagebrush shrubs dominate North American rangelands and are critical components of habitat for threatened species such as sage grouse. There were no differences in regression relationships estimating biomass over space and time, which reduces the need to destructively sample sagebrush for local studies and supports regional carbon modeling and biomass estimates. Crown volume (CV) explained the most variability (R-2 > 0.75) in aboveground biomass, and crown area (CA) explained the most variability for coarse roots (R-2 >0.87). Analyses supported both the 2/3 power universal scaling rules between leaf and stem biomass, but did not support global models of seed plant and reproductive part biomass. This study provides compelling evidence that simple field measurements may be used to estimate biomass over large regions and that universal scaling rules are valid for semiarid shrubs. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Authors

Cleary, M. B.; Pendall, E.; Ewers, B. E.

Year Published

2008

Publication

Journal of Arid Environments

Locations
DOI

10.1016/j.jaridenv.2007.07.013

Polygyny and female breeding failure reduce effective population size in the lekking Gunnison sage-grouseStiver, Julie R.2008

Polygyny and female breeding failure reduce effective population size in the lekking Gunnison sage-grouse

Keywords

Lek; Reproductive success; Variance; Mating system; Centrocercus

Abstract

Populations with small effective sizes are at risk for inbreeding depression and loss of adaptive potential. Variance in reproductive success is one of several factors reducing effective population size (N-e) below the actual population size (N). Here, we investigate the effects of polygynous (skewed) mating and variation in female breeding success on the effective size of a small population of the Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus), a ground nesting bird with a lek mating system. During a two-year field study, we recorded attendance of marked birds at leks, male mating success, the reproductive success of radio-tagged females, and annual survival. We developed simulations to estimate the distribution of male reproductive success. Using these data, we estimated population size ((N) over cap) and effective population size N-e for the study population. We also simulated the effects of population size, skewed vs. random mating, and female breeding failure on N-e. In our study population, the standardized variance in seasonal reproductive success was almost as high in females as in males, primarily due to a high rate of nest failure (73%). Estimated N-e (42) was 19% of (N) over cap in our population, below the level at which inbreeding depression is observed in captive breeding studies. A high hatching failure rate (28%) was also consistent with ongoing inbreeding depression. In the simulations, N-e was reduced by skewed male mating success, especially at larger population sizes, and by female breeding failure. Extrapolation of our results suggests that six of the seven extant populations of this species may have effective sizes low enough to induce inbreeding depression and hence that translocations may be needed to supplement genetic diversity. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Authors

Stiver, Julie R.; Apa, Anthony D.; Remington, Thomas E.; Gibson, Robert M.

Year Published

2008

Publication

Biological Conservation

Locations
DOI

10.1016/j.biocon.2007.10.018

Predictive modeling and mapping sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) nesting habitat using Maximum Entropy and a long-term dataset from Southern OregonYost, Andrew C.2008

Predictive modeling and mapping sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) nesting habitat using Maximum Entropy and a long-term dataset from Southern Oregon

Keywords

Sage grouse; Predictive modeling and mapping; Maximum Entropy; Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge

Abstract

Predictive modeling and mapping based on the quantitative relationships between a species and the biophysical features (predictor variables) of the ecosystem in which it occurs can provide fundamental information for developing sustainable resource management policies for species and ecosystems. To create management strategies with the goal of sustaining a species such as sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), whose distribution throughout North America has declined by approximately 50%, land management agencies need to know what attributes of the range they now inhabit will keep populations sustainable and which attributes attract disproportionate levels of use within a home range. The objectives of this study were to 1) quantify the relationships between sage grouse nest-site locations and a set of associated biophysical attributes using Maximum Entropy, 2) find the best subset of predictor variables that explain the data adequately, 3) create quantitative sage grouse distribution maps representing the relative likelihood of nest-site habitat based on those relationships, and 3) evaluate the implications of the results for future management of sage grouse. Nest-site location data from 1995 to 2003 were collected as part of a long-term research program on sage grouse reproductive ecology at Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge. Two types of models were created: 1) with a set of predictor variables derived from digital elevation models, a field-validated vegetation classification, and UTM coordinates and 2) with the same predictors and UTM coordinates excluded. East UTM emerged as the most important predictor variable in the first type of model followed by the vegetation classification which was the most important predictor in the second type of model. The average training gain from ten modeling runs using all presence records and randomized background points was used to select the best subset of predictors. A predictive map of sage grouse nest-site habitat created from the application of the model to the study area showed strong overlap between model predictions and nest-site locations. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Authors

Yost, Andrew C.; Petersen, Steven L.; Gregg, Michael; Miller, Richard

Year Published

2008

Publication

Ecological Informatics

Locations
DOI

10.1016/j.ecoinf.2008.08.004

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...

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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...

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