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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
The effect of vegetation structure on predation of artificial Greater Sage-Grouse nestsWatters, ME2002

The effect of vegetation structure on predation of artificial Greater Sage-Grouse nests

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

In Canada, Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are considered an endangered species by the Committee On the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC), due to declining population numbers and distribution. Encroachment of agriculture and subsequent destruction of suitable sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) habitat is thought to be responsible for historical population declines However, subtle changes in habitat quality may also result in reduced escape and nesting cover, which may lead to increased levels of predation. We examined the influence of vegetation cover and height on the fate of artificial Greater Sage-Grouse nests Because most natural sage-grouse nests are associated with sagebrush, we predicted that sagebrush height and cover would be crucial to the success of nests. Lateral cover is important in protecting nests from detection by predators, and thus we predicted that nests surrounded by shorter grass would suffer greater predation rates than nests with taller grass. To experimentally test this hypothesis, we trimmed grass surrounding some artificial nests Richardson's ground squirrels (Spermophilus richardsonii) were the primary predators of artificial nests, with some predation by corvids and badgers (Taxidea taxus). Successful nests tended to be surrounded by shorter sagebrush, taller grasses, and taller, denser forbs than predated nests. Trimming grass around nests did not affect nest fate However, ground squirrels typically attacked nests with less forb cover and fewer sagebrush, and avian predators tended to destroy nests at inactive leks with greater lateral cover. Thus, lateral cover provided by forbs and sagebrush appeared to be important for protecting nests from mammalian predators. These results suggest implementing management strategies that improve sagebrush habitat by providing tall, dense forbs and sagebrush, which could increase Greater Sage-Grouse nest success and recruitment.

Authors

Watters, ME; McLash, TL; Aldridge, CL; Brigham, RM

Year Published

2002

Publication

Ecoscience

Locations
Effect of method, site, and taxon on line-intercept estimates of sagebrush coverWambolt, CL2006

Effect of method, site, and taxon on line-intercept estimates of sagebrush cover

Keywords

Artemisia nova; A. tridentata vaseyana; A. t. wyomingensis; black sagebrush; Centrocercus spp.; cover; line intercept; mountain big sagebrush; sage-grouse; vegetation; Wyoming big sagebrush

Abstract

Sage-grouse (Centrocercus spp.) are arguably the best known of the many wildlife species that inhabit sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystems. Lack of standardization in the procedures used to assess sagebrush cover may contribute to inconsistencies in reported habitat requirements for sage-grouse and other wildlife. We compared 3 applications of the line-intercept method for 3 sagebrush taxa. We sampled 2 mountain big sagebrush (A. tridentata vaseyana) sites, 2 Wyoming big sagebrush (A. t. wyomingensis) sites, and 1 black sagebrush (A. nova) site to determine whether the results generated by the 3 methods differed. Percent cover as determined by agency methods was up to 2.6 times greater than that from research applications. Cover differences among techniques were influenced by taxa and site (P <= 0.001) because both affected shrub morphology. We believe it will be difficult to identify and achieve wildlife habitat guidelines for minimal sagebrush cover requirements if methodologies are not standardized.

Authors

Wambolt, CL; Frisina, MR; Knapp, SJ; Frisina, RM

Year Published

2006

Publication

Wildlife Society Bulletin

Locations
DOI

10.2193/0091-7648(2006)34[440:EOMSAT]2.0.CO;2

Evaluation of the lek-count index for greater sage-grouseWalsh, DP2004

Evaluation of the lek-count index for greater sage-grouse

Keywords

bounded count, Centrocercus urophasianus, detection probability, greater sage-grouse, index, lek-attendance rates, lek counts, mark–resight, prairie grouse

Abstract

Counts of birds attending leks traditionally have been used as an index to the population size of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and, more recently, as a means to estimate population size. The relationship between this index and the actual population has not been studied. We used intensive counts of individually marked and unmarked greater sage-grouse on leks to evaluate how sex and age of birds, time of day, and time of season impact lek-attendance patterns and lek counts. These within-season sources of variation need to be considered when estimating detection probability of birds on leks and ultimately adjusting the lek-count index to estimate true population parameters. On average, 42% of marked adult males, 4% of marked hens, and 19% of yearling males were observed on leks per sighting occasion with all 15 known leks being intensively counted. We discovered that lek counts as currently conducted may be useful as an index to greater sage-grouse populations, but standardization of protocols is needed to allow for better spatial and temporal comparisons of lek-count data. Also the probability of detecting birds on leks must be estimated in order to relate lek counts to population parameters. Lastly, we evaluated use of the bounded-count methodology for correcting lek-count data. We showed large biases associated with this technique and below-nominal coverage of confidence intervals even at large numbers of counts, demonstrating the unreliability of the bounded-count method to correct lek-count data.

Authors

Walsh, DP; White, GC; Remington, TE; Bowden, DC

Year Published

2004

Publication

Wildlife Society Bulletin

Locations
DOI

10.2193/0091-7648(2004)32[56:EOTLIF]2.0.CO;2

Population Estimation Techniques for Lekking SpeciesWalsh, Daniel P.2010

Population Estimation Techniques for Lekking Species

Keywords

Bowden's estimator, grouse, lekking species, mark–resight, mixed logit-normal mark–resight model, population estimation

Abstract

With the decline of many lekking species, the need to develop a rigorous population estimation technique is critical for successful conservation and management. We employed mark-resight methods to estimate population size for 2 lekking species: greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus). We evaluated 2 different estimators: Bowden's estimator and the mixed logit-normal mark-resight model. We captured and marked 75 greater sage-grouse. We counted marked and unmarked birds as they attended 15 known leks. We used 36 and 37 marked Gunnison sage-grouse to estimate population size in 2003 and 2004, respectively. We observed marked and unmarked Gunnison sage-grouse daily as they attended 6 leks in 2003 and 3 leks in 2004. Based on our examination of the assumptions of each mark-resight estimator, relative to behavior and biology of these species, we concluded the mixed logit-normal mark-resight model is preferred. We recommend wildlife managers employ mark-resight approaches when statistically rigorous population estimates are required for management and conservation of lekking species.

Authors

Walsh, Daniel P.; Stiver, Julie R.; White, Gary C.; Remington, Thomas E.; Apa, Anthony D.

Year Published

2010

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.2193/2009-353

Breeding Season Movements and Habitat Selection of Male Sage GrouseWALLESTAD, R1974

Breeding Season Movements and Habitat Selection of Male Sage Grouse

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

Movements and habitat requirements of sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) cocks were studied in central Montana during the breeding seasons of 1968 and 1972. Fifteen sage grouse cocks were captured and radio-equipped. Movements of up to 0.8 mile (1.3 km) from the strutting grounds were common, with 82 percent of the locations falling beyond 0.2 mile (0.3 km). Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) with a canopy coverage of 20-50 percent occurred at 80 percent of the 110 locations mea- sured. Average sagebrush canopy coverage at these sites was 32 percent. Strutting grounds are key ac- tivity areas within wintering-nesting complexes which can be readily identified and delimited, and should be given complete protection from sagebrush removal projects. Results of this and previous studies in this area indicate that this protection should extend to a radius of no less than 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from strutting grounds

Authors

WALLESTAD, R; SCHLADWEILER, P

Year Published

1974

Publication

The Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.2307/3800030

Male Sage Grouse Responses to Sagebrush TreatmentWALLESTAD, R1975

Male Sage Grouse Responses to Sagebrush Treatment

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

Male sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) populations on six central Montana strutting grounds were studied in relation to sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) treatment. Populations on 3 strutting grounds within 0.5 km of treated areas increased 28 percent, whereas 2 grounds farther than 4 km from treated areas increased 323 percent. Over a 2-year period, a 31 percent loss of suitable habi- tat within 0.5 km of another strutting ground resulted in a 63 percent decrease in numbers of strutting males

Authors

WALLESTAD, R

Year Published

1975

Publication

The Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.2307/3800387

Foods of Adult Sage Grouse in Central MontanaWALLESTAD, R1975

Foods of Adult Sage Grouse in Central Montana

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

No abstract available

Authors

WALLESTAD, R; PETERSON, JG; ENG, RL

Year Published

1975

Publication

The Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.2307/3800409

MOVEMENT AND NESTING OF SAGE GROUSE HENS IN CENTRAL MONTANAWALLESTAD, R1974

MOVEMENT AND NESTING OF SAGE GROUSE HENS IN CENTRAL MONTANA

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

Movements and nesting cover of sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) hens were studied in central Montana during the springs of 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972. Thirty-one sage grouse hens were radio-equipped resulting in 22 nests being located. Nineteen additional nests were located dur- ing nest searches and work incidental to telemetry. Adults laid larger clutches than yearling hens and also were more successful in bringing off a brood. Sixty-eight percent of the 22 nests of radio-equipped hens occurred within 1.5 miles (2.5 km) of the strutting ground where the hens were captured. Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) formed the nesting cover over all of the nests located. Successful nests were located in sagebrush stands with a higher average canopy coverage than those of unsuccessful nests, and had significantly greater sagebrush cover within 24 inches (60 cm) of nest and within a 100-square foot (9-m2) plot around nest. Consideration of the ecological requirements of animals affected by pub- licly funded programs is important. This is especially true of sage grouse since extensive areas of sage- brush have already been eliminated or modified by such programs with little apparent regard for the welfare of this unique game bird

Authors

WALLESTAD, R; PYRAH, D

Year Published

1974

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.2307/3800029

SUMMER MOVEMENTS AND HABITAT USE BY SAGE GROUSE BROODS IN CENTRAL MONTANAWALLESTA.RO1971

SUMMER MOVEMENTS AND HABITAT USE BY SAGE GROUSE BROODS IN CENTRAL MONTANA

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

The habitat use and movements of sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) broods were studied with the aid of radiotelemetry in central Montana during the summers of 1968 and 19619. Five hundred and eleven locations were obtained on 13 radio-marked sage grouse broods. In both sum- mers big sagebrush (Artemsa trixlentrata) in scattered (1-10 percent) and common (10-25 percent) densities received the greatest utilization by broods. Sagebrush heights at brood sites ranged mainly between 6 and 18 inches. For the 2 years combined, sagebrush canopy coverage averaged 14 percent for June, 12 percent for July, 10 percent for August, and 21 percent for September. Broods utilized sagebrush-grassland benches early in the summer (June and July) and shifted to greasewood (Sarcobatus vermicalatus) bottoms and/or alfalfa (Medicago sativa) fields as the forbs on the higher elevations became desiccated. Broods remained in these bottom types until late August and early September and then shifted back into sagebrush. Sizes of areas used by broods averaged 213 acres in sagebrush in early summer (June and July), 144 acres in alfalfa fields (July and August), 91 acres in greasewood bottoms (July and August), and 128 acres in sagebrush in late summer (August and September). Availability of food appeared to be the factor that determined the vegetational types utilized by broods during different periods of the summer

Authors

WALLESTA.RO

Year Published

1971

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.2307/3799881

West Nile Virus and Greater Sage-Grouse: Estimating Infection Rate in a Wild Bird PopulationWalker, Brett L.2007

West Nile Virus and Greater Sage-Grouse: Estimating Infection Rate in a Wild Bird Population

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianus, coal-bed natural gas, energy development, flavivirus, greater sage-grouse, infection rate, sagebrush-steppe, West Nile virus

Abstract

Understanding impacts of disease on wild bird populations requires knowing not only mortality rate following infection, but also the proportion of the population that is infected. Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in western North America are known to have a high mortality rate following infection with West Nile virus (WNv), but actual infection rates in wild populations remain unknown. We used rates of WNv-related mortality and seroprevalence from radiomarked females to estimate infection rates in a wild greater sage-grouse population in the Powder River basin (PRB) of Montana and Wyoming from 2003 to 2005. Minimum WNv-related mortality rates ranged from 2.4% to 13.3% among years and maximum possible rates ranged from 8.2% to 28.9%. All live-captured birds in 2003 and 2004 tested seronegative. In spring 2005 and spring 2006, 10.3% and 1.8% respectively, of newly captured females tested seropositive for neutralizing antibodies to WNv. These are the first documented cases of sage-grouse surviving infection with WNv. Low to moderate WNv-related mortality in summer followed by low seroprevalence the following spring in all years indicates that annual infection rates were between 4% and 29%. This suggests that most sage-grouse in the PRB have not yet been exposed and remain susceptible. Impacts of WNv in the PRB in the near future will likely depend more on annual variation in temperature and changes in vector distribution than on the spread of resistance. Until the epizootiology of WNv in sagebrush-steppe ecosystems is better understood, we suggest that management to reduce impacts of WNv focus on eliminating man-made water sources that support breeding mosquitoes known to vector the virus. Our findings also underscore problems with using seroprevalence as a surrogate for infection rate and for identifying competent hosts in highly susceptible species.

Authors

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

Year Published

2007

Publication

Avian Diseases

Locations
DOI

10.1637/0005-2086(2007)51[691:WNVAGS]2.0.CO;2

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