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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
Survival Rates of Female Greater Sage-Grouse in Autumn and Winter in Southeastern OregonAnthony, Robert G.2009

Survival Rates of Female Greater Sage-Grouse in Autumn and Winter in Southeastern Oregon

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianus; fall—winter survival rates; known-fate models; Oregon; sage-grouse; weather effects

Abstract

We estimated survival rates of 135 female greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) on 3 study areas in southeastern Oregon, USA during autumn and winter for 3 years. We used known-fate models in Program MARK to test for differences among study areas and years, investigate the potential influence of weather, and compute estimates of overwinter survival. We found no evidence for differences in survival rates among study areas, which was contrary to our original hypothesis. There also were no declines in survival rates during fall-winter, but survival rates varied among years and time within years. Average survival rate from October through February was 0.456 (SE = 0.062). The coefficient of variation for this estimate was 13.6% indicating good precision in our estimates of survival. We found strong evidence for an effect of weather (i.e., mean daily min. temp, extreme min. temp, snow depth) on bi-weekly survival rates of sage-grouse for 2 of the study areas in one year. Extremely low ( 1,500 m) elevations. In contrast, we found no evidence for an influence of weather on the low-elevation study area or during the winters of 1989-1990 and 1991-1992. Extreme weather during winter can cause lower survival of adult female sage-grouse, so managers should be aware of these potential effects and reduce harvest rates accordingly. (JOURNAL OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT 73(4): 538-545; 2009)

Authors

Anthony, Robert G.; Willis, Mitchell J.

Year Published

2009

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.2193/2008-177

Nest Site Selection by Greater Sage-Grouse in Mono County, CaliforniaKolada, Eric J.2009

Nest Site Selection by Greater Sage-Grouse in Mono County, California

Keywords

Artemisia tridentata; Centrocercus urophasianus; Great Basin; habitat selection; nesting; greater sage-grouse

Abstract

Loss of nesting habitat is believed to be a factor in the decline of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) throughout its range. Few data are available for sage-grouse in Mono County, California, USA, in the most southwestern portion of the species' range. We studied habitat selection of nesting sage-grouse in Mono County, California, from 2003 to 2005 by capturing and radiotracking females to identify nesting locations. We sampled vegetation at nest sites and randomly selected sites within 200 m of nests and within each of 5 subareas within Mono County. Nest sites were characterized by 42.4 +/- 1.3% ((x) over bar +/- SE) shrub canopy cover, 10.5 +/- 1.0 cm residual grass height, and 2.7 +/- 1.0% residual grass cover. Shrub cover was the only variable found to differentiate nest sites from randomly selected sites. Unlike some other studies, we did not find understory vegetation to be important for selecting nest sites. Mean shrub cover was 38.7 +/- 1.5% at random sites within 200 m of nests and 33.6 +/- 1.6% at random sites at the approximate scale of home ranges, indicating that nesting females selected nesting areas that contained denser shrubs than their home range, and nest sites that contained greater shrub cover than the vicinity immediately surrounding nests. Our results suggest that managers should consider managing for greater shrub cover in Mono County than what is currently called for in other parts of sage-grouse range and that management for sage-grouse habitat may need to be tied more closely to local conditions. (JOURNAL OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT 73(8): 1333-1340; 2009)

Authors

Kolada, Eric J.; Sedinger, James S.; Casazza, Michael L.

Year Published

2009

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.2193/2008-338

Ecological Factors Influencing Nest Survival of Greater Sage-Grouse in Mono County, CaliforniaKolada, Eric J.2009

Ecological Factors Influencing Nest Survival of Greater Sage-Grouse in Mono County, California

Keywords

Artemisia tridentata; Centrocercus urophasianus; Great Basin; Greater sage-grouse; nesting; nest survival; sage-grouse

Abstract

We studied nest survival of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in 5 subareas of Mono County, California, USA, from 2003 to 2005 to 1) evaluate the importance of key vegetation variables for nest success, and 2) to compare nest success in this population with other greater sage-grouse populations. We captured and radiotracked females (n = 72) to identify nest sites and monitor nest survival. We measured vegetation at nest sites and within a 10-m radius around each nest to evaluate possible vegetation factors influencing nest survival. We estimated daily nest survival and the effect of explanatory variables on daily nest survival using nest-survival models in Program MARK. We assessed effects on daily nest survival of total, sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), and nonsagebrush live shrub-cover, Robel visual obstruction, the mean of grass residual height and grass residual cover measurements within 10 m of the nest shrub, and area of the shrub, shrub height, and shrub type at the nest site itself. Assuming a 38-day exposure period, we estimated nest survival at 43.4%, with percent cover of shrubs other than sagebrush as the variable most related to nest survival. Nest survival increased with increasing cover of shrubs other than sagebrush. Also, daily nest survival decreased with nest age, and there was considerable variation in nest survival among the 5 subareas. Our results indicate that greater shrub cover and a diversity of shrub species within sagebrush habitats may be more important to sage- grouse nest success in Mono County than has been reported elsewhere. (JOURNAL OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT 73(8): 1341-1347; 2009)

Authors

Kolada, Eric J.; Casazza, Michael L.; Sedinger, James S.

Year Published

2009

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.2193/2008-339

Greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus use of threetip sagebrush relative to big sagebrush in south-central IdahoLowe, Brad S.2009

Greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus use of threetip sagebrush relative to big sagebrush in south-central Idaho

Keywords

Artemisia, big sagebrush, Centrocercus urophasianus, habitat, nest, sage-grouse, threetip sagebrush

Abstract

Disturbances that change sagebrush Artemisia spp.-steppe communities may have an impact oil greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus populations. Fire call rapidly alter sagebrush-steppe communities and may result in an increase in threetip sagebrush A. tripartita because this Shrub is one of the few species of sagebrush that will sprout following fire. We examined the use of threetip sagebrush by sage-grouse as nest cover and corn pared nest success of grouse using threetip sagebrush to that of grouse using big sagebrush A. tridentata. Sage-grouse used threetip sagebrush as nest cover less than expected based oil the abundance of this shrub. The only other species of sagebrush used as nest cover was big sagebrush, and sage-grouse used big sagebrush more than expected based on big sagebrush abundance. However, nest site selection was confounded by age of sage-grouse females. Sage-grouse that used big sagebrush as nest cover had greater nest success than grouse using threetip sagebrush. Our findings demonstrate another negative, but subtle, effect of fire oil sage-grouse Populations and further underscore the need for fire suppression and carefully implemented habitat rehabilitation projects.

Authors

Lowe, Brad S.; Delehanty, David J.; Connelly, John W.

Year Published

2009

Publication

Wildlife Biology

Locations
DOI

10.2981/07-068

Nesting ecology of greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus at the eastern edge of their historic distributionHerman-Brunson, Katie M.2009

Nesting ecology of greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus at the eastern edge of their historic distribution

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianus, eastern range, edge of distribution, habitat, nesting, sage-grouse

Abstract

Greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus Populations in North Dakota declined approximately 67% between 1965 and 2003, and the species is listed as a Priority Level 1 Species of Special Concern by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. The habitat and ecology of the species at the eastern edge of its historical range is largely unknown. We investigated nest site selection by greater sage-grouse and nest survival in North Dakota during 2005 - 2006. Sage-grouse selected nest sites in sagebrush Artemisia spp. with more total vegetative cover, greater sagebrush density, and greater 1-m visual obstruction from the nest than at random sites. Height of grass and shrub (sagebrush) at nest sites were shorter than at random sites, because areas where sagebrush vas common were sites in low seral condition or dense clay or clay-pan soils with low productivity. Constant survival estimates of incubated nests were 33% in 2005 and 30% in 2006. Variables that described the resource selection function for nests were not those that modeled nest survival. Nest survival was positively influenced by percentage of shrub (sagebrush) cover and grass height. Daily nest survival decreased substantially when percentage of shrub cover declined below about 9% and when grass heights were less than about 16 cm. Daily nest survival rates decreased with increased daily precipitation.

Authors

Herman-Brunson, Katie M.; Jensen, Kent C.; Kaczor, Nicholas W.; Swanson, Christopher C.; Rumble, Mark A.; Klaver, Robert W.

Year Published

2009

Publication

Wildlife Biology

Locations
DOI

10.2981/09-005

Effect of Imazapic on Cheatgrass and Native Plants in Wyoming Big Sagebrush Restoration for Gunnison Sage-grouseBaker, William L.2009

Effect of Imazapic on Cheatgrass and Native Plants in Wyoming Big Sagebrush Restoration for Gunnison Sage-grouse

Keywords

forbs, Gunnison sage-grouse, native plants, restoration

Abstract

Imazapic has shown potential to control invasive weeds, such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), during ecological restoration, but effects on non-target native plants are poorly known. In a replicated field experiment, as part of restoration for Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) in Colorado, imazapic was applied in the fall at a high rate (175 g/ha) to control cheatgrass in mowed Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. wyomingensis Beetle & Young). Cheatgrass was reduced, but only by 67%. and non-native forbs were reduced by 80% by the following summer. However, native forbs also declined (by 84%). Two native grasses declined, but others were not affected. Damage to native forbs would likely be detrimental to sage-grouse and other wildlife if it occurred over large areas. Perhaps application of imazapic just to cheatgrass plants or patches and application earlier in restoration would allow control with less adverse effects on native forbs.

Authors

Baker, William L.; Garner, Jim; Lyon, Peggy

Year Published

2009

Publication

Natural Areas Journal

Locations
DOI

10.3375/043.029.0301

EFFICACY OF TWO VARIATIONS ON AN AERIAL LEK-COUNT METHOD FOR GREATER SAGE-GROUSEBooth, D. T.2009

EFFICACY OF TWO VARIATIONS ON AN AERIAL LEK-COUNT METHOD FOR GREATER SAGE-GROUSE

Keywords

aerial approach, aerial photography, behavior, Centrocercus urophasianus, crouching, flushing, overflight, Greater Sage-Grouse

Abstract

Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a species of concern, and accurate population data are needed to monitor conservation management efforts. Conventional, ground-based lek counts are labor-intensive, expensive, and have several sources of potential error and bias, including the practical limits on number and distribution of leks counted. We tested aerial methods for photographing Multiple leks during a single morning. We completed 14 aerial approaches to 6 leks in 2 different years using 2 different airplanes and altitudes. Grouse flushed from leks on 12 approaches when the airplane was within 200-300 m of the lek. In 2 instances, strutting grouse crouched and stayed on the lek. Our highest-resolution images increased our confidence in grouse identification but also decreased field-of-view coverage to the detriment of count accuracy The methods we tested do not allow sage-grouse to be accurately Counted, but the results provide information about sage-grouse responses to low-altitude airplane approaches and about useful image resolutions and fields of view

Authors

Booth, D. T.; Cox, S. E.; Simonds, G. E.; Elmore, B.

Year Published

2009

Publication

Western North American Naturalist

Locations
DOI

10.3398/064.069.0319

Nest site characteristics and factors affecting nest success of greater sage-grouse.Rebholz, James L.2009

Nest site characteristics and factors affecting nest success of greater sage-grouse.

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianus, greater sage-grouse, nesting habitat, nest success, Nevada, radiotelemetry

Abstract

Nesting success of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) influences annual reproductive success and population dynamics. To describe nesting habitat and measure the effects of vegetation characteristics on nesting outcomes, we sampled 87 sage-grouse nests during 2004 and 2005 in the Montana Mountains of northwestern Nevada. Within a 78.5-m2 circular plot surrounding each nest, we quantified sagebrush canopy cover and grass cover. We used Akaike's Information Criterion to rank competing models describing potential relationships between vegetation characteristics at and surrounding sage-grouse nests and to determine those characteristics associated with nest success. Nest initiation rate was high (90.0%) and apparent nest success was 40.2%. We used a Mayfield estimation to determine a probability of nest success (hatch >=1 chick) of 36%. Grass cover within a 3-m2 area centered on the nest had a positive effect on nest success (odds ratio: 1.03, 95% CI: 1.005 [long dash] 1.059). We also found weak support for a positive effect on nest success of sagebrush cover at the nest (odds ratio: 1.02, 95% CI: 0.993 [long dash] 1.043). Our results are similar to previous findings and confirm the importance of sagebrush cover and herbaceous understory for nesting. To manage sagebrush communities for successful nesting by greater sage-grouse, we recommend providing sufficient grass and sagebrush cover.

Authors

Rebholz, James L.; Robinson, W. Douglas; Pope, Michael D.

Year Published

2009

Publication

Open Ornithology Journal

Locations
Yearling Greater Sage-Grouse Response to Energy Development in Wyoming.HOLLORAN, MATTHEW J.2010

Yearling Greater Sage-Grouse Response to Energy Development in Wyoming.

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianus;energy development;greater sage-grouse;sage-grouse;Wyoming;yearling

Abstract

Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.)-dominated habitats in the western United States have experienced extensive, rapid changes due to development of natural-gas fields, resulting in localized declines of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) populations. It is unclear whether population declines in natural-gas fields are caused by avoidance or demographic impacts, or the age classes that are most affected. Land and wildlife management agencies need information on how energy developments affect sage-grouse populations to ensure informed land-use decisions are made, effective mitigation measures are identified, and appropriate monitoring programs are implemented (Sawyer et al. 2006). We used information from radio-equipped greater sage-grouse and lek counts to investigate natural-gas development influences on 1) the distribution of, and 2) the probability of recruiting yearling males and females into breeding populations in the Upper Green River Basin of southwestern Wyoming, USA. Yearling males avoided leks near the infrastructure of natural-gas fields when establishing breeding territories; yearling females avoided nesting within 950 m of the infrastructure of natural-gas fields. Additionally, both yearling males and yearling females reared in areas where infrastructure was present had lower annual survival, and yearling males established breeding territories less often, compared to yearlings reared in areas with no infrastructure. Our results supply mechanisms for population-level declines of sage-grouse documented in natural-gas fields, and suggest to land managers that current stipulations on development may not provide management solutions. Managing landscapes so that suitably sized and located regions remain undeveloped may be an effective strategy to sustain greater sage-grouse populations affected by energy developments.

Authors

HOLLORAN, MATTHEW J., RUSTY C. KAISER and WAYNE A. HUBERT.

Year Published

2010

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.2193/2008-291

Nest Predation of Greater Sage-Grouse in Relation to Microhabitat Factors and Predators.COATES, PETER S.2010

Nest Predation of Greater Sage-Grouse in Relation to Microhabitat Factors and Predators.

Keywords

American badger;Centrocercus urophasianus;common raven;greater sage-grouse;nest predation;video monitoring

Abstract

Nest predation is a natural component of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) reproduction, but changes in nesting habitat and predator communities may adversely affect grouse populations. We used a 2-part approach to investigate sage-grouse nest predation. First, we used information criteria to compare nest survival models that included indices of common raven (Corvus corax) abundance with other survival models that consisted of day of incubation, grouse age, and nest microhabitat covariates using measurements from 77 of 87 sage-grouse nests. Second, we used video monitoring at a subsample of 55 of 87 nests to identify predators of depredated nests (n = 16) and evaluated the influence of microhabitat factors on the probability of predation by each predator species. The most parsimonious model for nest survival consisted of an interaction between day of incubation and abundance of common ravens (wraven×incubation day = 0.67). An estimated increase in one raven per 10-km transect survey was associated with a 7.4% increase in the odds of nest failure. Nest survival was relatively lower in early stages of incubation, and this effect was strengthened with increased raven numbers. Using video monitoring, we found the probability of raven predation increased with reduced shrub canopy cover. Also, we found differences in shrub canopy cover and understory visual obstruction between nests depredated by ravens and nests depredated by American badgers (Taxidea taxus). Increased raven numbers have negative effects on sage-grouse nest survival, especially in areas with relatively low shrub canopy cover. We encourage wildlife managers to reduce interactions between ravens and nesting sage-grouse by managing raven populations and restoring and maintaining shrub canopy cover in sage-grouse nesting areas.

Authors

COATES, PETER S. and DAVID J. DELEHANTY.

Year Published

2010

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.2193/2009-047

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