Small

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 secret sex lives of sage-grouse: multiple paternity and intraspecific nest parasitism revealed through genetic analysisBird, Krista L.2013

The secret sex lives of sage-grouse: multiple paternity and intraspecific nest parasitism revealed through genetic analysis

Keywords

lek, multiple paternity, nest parasitism, paternity, polygyny, sage-grouse

Abstract

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 females mating with multiple individuals). We found that most clutches had a single father and mother, but there was evidence of multiple paternity and intraspecific nest parasitism. Annually, most males fathered only one brood, very few males fathered multiple broods, and the proportion of all sampled males in the population fathering offspring averaged 45.9%, suggesting that more males breed in Alberta than previously reported for the species. Twenty-six eggs (2.2%) could be traced to intraspecific nest parasitism and 15 of 191 clutches (7.9%) had multiple fathers. These new insights have important implications on what we know about sexual selection and the mating structure of lekking species.

Authors

Bird, Krista L.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Carpenter, Jennifer E.; Paszkowski, Cynthia A.; Boyce, Mark S.; Coltman, David W.

Year Published

2013

Publication

Behavioral Ecology

Locations
DOI

10.1093/beheco/ars132

Seasonal reproductive costs contribute to reduced survival of female greater sage-grouseBlomberg, Erik J.2013

Seasonal reproductive costs contribute to reduced survival of female greater sage-grouse

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

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 individual female greater sage-grouse captured between 2003 and 2011, and examined the effect of reproductive effort on survival and future reproduction. Monthly survival of females was variable within years, and this within-year variation was associated with distinct biological seasons. Monthly survival was greatest during the winter (NovemberMarch; phi W= 0.99 +/- 0.001 SE), and summer (JuneJuly; phi S= 0.98 +/- 0.01 SE), and lower during nesting (AprilMay; phi N= 0.93 +/- 0.02 SE) and fall (AugustOctober; phi F= 0.92 +/- 0.02 SE). Successful reproduction was associated with reduced monthly survival during summer and fall, and this effect was greatest during fall. Females that successfully fledged chicks had lower annual survival (0.47 +/- 0.05 SE) than females who were not successful (0.64 +/- 0.04 SE). Annual survival did not vary across years, consistent with a slow-paced life history strategy in greater sage-grouse. In contrast, reproductive success varied widely, and was positively correlated with annual rainfall. We found evidence for heterogeneity among females with respect to reproductive success; compared with unsuccessful females, females that raised a brood successfully in year t were more than twice as likely to be successful in year t+ 1. Female greater sage-grouse incur costs to survival associated with reproduction, however, variation in quality among females may override costs to subsequent reproductive output.

Authors

Blomberg, Erik J.; Sedinger, James S.; Nonne, Daniel V.; Atamian, Michael T.

Year Published

2013

Publication

Journal of Avian Biology

Locations
DOI

10.1111/j.1600-048X.2012.00013.x

Greater Sage-Grouse and Severe Winter Conditions: Identifying Habitat for ConservationDzialak, Matthew R.2013

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

Keywords

energy development, greater sage-grouse, landscape planning, resource selection, severe winter conditions, sustainability

Abstract

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 temperature averages, and that can establish an ecological bottleneck by which the landscape-level availability of critical resources becomes limited. We integrated methods to collect landscape-level animal occurrence data during severe winter conditions with estimation and validation of a resource selection function, with the larger goal of developing spatially explicit guidance for rangeland habitat conservation. The investigation involved greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) that occupy a landscape that is undergoing human modification for development of energy resources. We refined spatial predictions by exploring how reductions in the availability of sagebrush (as a consequence of increasing snow depth) may affect patterns of predicted occurrence. Occurrence of sage-grouse reflected landscape-level selection for big sagebrush, taller shrubs, and favorable thermal conditions and avoidance of bare ground and anthropogenic features. Refinement of spatial predictions showed that important severe winter habitat was distributed patchily and was constrained in spatial extent (7-18% of the landscape). The mapping tools we developed offer spatially explicit guidance for planning human activity in ways that are compatible with sustaining habitat that functions disproportionately in population persistence relative to its spatial extent or frequency of use. Increasingly, place-based, quantitative investigations that aim to develop solutions to landscape sustainability issues will be needed to keep pace with human-modification of rangeland and uncertainty associated with global climate change and its effects on animal populations.

Authors

Dzialak, Matthew R.; Webb, Stephen L.; Harju, Seth M.; Olson, Chad V.; Winstead, Jeffrey B.; Hayden-Wing, Larry D.

Year Published

2013

Publication

Rangeland Ecology & Management

Locations
DOI

10.2111/REM-D-11-00223.1

Using spatial statistics and point-pattern simulations to assess the spatial dependency between greater sage-grouse and anthropogenic featuresGillan, Jeffrey K.2013

Using spatial statistics and point-pattern simulations to assess the spatial dependency between greater sage-grouse and anthropogenic features

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianus, Monte Carlo, pair correlation function, point pattern, Ripley’s K, sage-grouse, spatial statistics

Abstract

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 infrastructure. Our objective was to use a spatial-statistical approach to assess the effect of roads, power transmission lines, and rural buildings on sage-grouse habitat use. We used the pair correlation function (PCF) spatial statistic to compare sage-grouse radiotelemetry locations in west-central Idaho, USA, to the locations of anthropogenic features to determine whether sage-grouse avoided these features, thus reducing available habitat. To determine significance, we compared empirical PCFs with Monte Carlo simulations that replicated the spatial autocorrelation of the sampled sage-grouse locations. We demonstrate the implications of selecting an appropriate null model for the spatial statistical analysis by comparing results using a spatially random and a clustered null model. Results indicated that sage-grouse avoided buildings by 150 m and power transmission lines by 600 m, because their PCFs were outside the bounds of a 95% significance envelope constructed from 1,000 iterations of a null model. Sage-grouse exhibited no detectable avoidance of major and minor roads. The methods used here are broadly applicable in conservation biology and wildlife management to evaluate spatial relationships between species occurrence and landscape features. Our results can directly inform planning of infrastructure and other development projects in or near sage-grouse habitat.

Authors

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

Year Published

2013

Publication

Wildlife Society Bulletin

Locations
DOI

10.1002/wsb.272

Saving sage-grouse from the trees: A proactive solution to reducing a key threat to a candidate speciesBaruch-Mordo, Sharon2013

Saving sage-grouse from the trees: A proactive solution to reducing a key threat to a candidate species

Keywords

Conifer encroachment; Ecological economics; Juniperus occidentalis; Proactive management; Random forest models; Sage-Grouse Initiative; Spatial wavelet analysis

Abstract

Conservation investment in management of at-risk species can be less costly than a delay-and-repair approach implemented after species receive legal protection. The United States Endangered Species Act candidate species designation represents an opportunity to implement proactive management to avoid future listing. Such efforts require substantial investments, and the challenge becomes one of optimization of limited conservation funds to maximize return. Focusing on conifer encroachment threats to greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), we demonstrated an approach that links species demographics with attributes of conservation threats to inform targeting of investments. We mapped conifer stand characteristics using spatial wavelet analysis, and modeled lek activity as a function of conifer-related and additional lek site covariates using random forests. We applied modeling results to identify leks of high management potential and to estimate management costs. Results suggest sage-grouse incur population-level impacts at very low levels of encroachment, and leks were less likely to be active where smaller trees were dispersed. We estimated costs of prevention (treating active leks in jeopardy) and restoration (treating inactive leks with recolonization potential) management across the study area (2.5 million ha) at a total of US$17.5 million, which is within the scope of landscape-level conservation already implemented. An annual investment of US$8.75 million can potentially address encroachment issues near all known Oregon leks within the next decade. Investments in proactive conservation with public and private landowners can increase ecosystem health to benefit species conservation and sustainable land uses, replace top-down regulatory approaches, and prevent conservation reliance of at-risk species.

Authors

Reese, Kerry P., Naugle, David E., Evans, Jeffrey S., Hagen, Christian A., Baruch-Mordo, Sharon, Severson, John P., Maestas, Jeremy D., Kiesecker, Joseph M. and Falkowski, Michael J.

Year Published

2013

Publication

Biological Conservation

Locations
DOI

10.1016/j.biocon.2013.08.017

Forb Nutrient Density for Sage Grouse Broods in Mountain Big Sagebrush Communities, MontanaWhitehurst, William2013

Forb Nutrient Density for Sage Grouse Broods in Mountain Big Sagebrush Communities, Montana

Keywords

mountain big sagebrush, forbs, sage grouse, sage grouse brood survival, forb nutrient density, sagebrush canopy cover, sagebrush composition by weight, total digestible nutrients, crude protein, calcium, phosphorus

Abstract

Sage grouse and grazing livestock numbers have both decreased dramatically over the last half of the 20th century. Forb density is critical for preincubating sage grouse hens and survival of young broods. Although sagebrush is needed for sage grouse cover and winter feed, recommended canopy cover levels may be too high to create a forb-rich herbaceous understory. Higher forb nutrient density for breeding hens and young broods could be achieved with targeted cattle grazing and selective thinning of mature mountain big sagebrush stands.

Authors

Whitehurst, William and Marlow, Clayton

Year Published

2013

Publication

Rangelands

Locations
DOI

10.2111/RANGELANDS-D-13-00002.1

Grazing for Fuels Management and Sage Grouse Habitat Maintenance and Recovery A Case Study From Squaw Valley RanchFreese, Erica2013

Grazing for Fuels Management and Sage Grouse Habitat Maintenance and Recovery A Case Study From Squaw Valley Ranch

Keywords

wildfire, livestock, federal land, private land

Abstract

Properly applied grazing management may reduce fire frequency in annual grass–invaded sagebrush communities. Grazing can be a cost-effective tool for reducing fire potential and protecting sage grouse habitat from burning. Squaw Valley Ranch has been able to reduce fire frequency through preventive practices, which include intensive, appropriate livestock management on private lands. Publicly managed lands associated with the ranch have experienced large and frequent fires, a hindrance to improving or maintaining sage grouse habitat.

Authors

Freese, Erica, Stringham, Tamzen, Simonds, G and Sant, Eric

Year Published

2013

Publication

Rangelands

Locations
DOI

10.2111/RANGELANDS-D-13-00008.1

Additional Information:

http://srmjournals.org/doi/full/10.2111/RANGELANDS-D-13-00008.1

Crucial nesting habitat for gunnison sage-grouse: A spatially explicit hierarchical approachAldridge, Cameron L.2012

Crucial nesting habitat for gunnison sage-grouse: A spatially explicit hierarchical approach

Keywords

Centrocercus minimus; Colorado; extrapolation; Gunnison sage-grouse; habitat; hierarchical model; nesting; resource selection; sagebrush

Abstract

Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) is a species of special concern and is currently considered a candidate species under Endangered Species Act. Careful management is therefore required to ensure that suitable habitat is maintained, particularly because much of the species' current distribution is faced with exurban development pressures. We assessed hierarchical nest site selection patterns of Gunnison sage-grouse inhabiting the western portion of the Gunnison Basin, Colorado, USA, at multiple spatial scales, using logistic regression-based resource selection functions. Models were selected using Akaike Information Criterion corrected for small sample sizes (AICc) and predictive surfaces were generated using model averaged relative probabilities. Landscape-scale factors that had the most influence on nest site selection included the proportion of sagebrush cover >5%, mean productivity, and density of 2 wheel-drive roads. The landscape-scale predictive surface captured 97% of known Gunnison sage-grouse nests within the top 5 of 10 prediction bins, implicating 57% of the basin as crucial nesting habitat. Crucial habitat identified by the landscape model was used to define the extent for patch-scale modeling efforts. Patch-scale variables that had the greatest influence on nest site selection were the proportion of big sagebrush cover >10%, distance to residential development, distance to high volume paved roads, and mean productivity. This model accurately predicted independent nest locations. The unique hierarchical structure of our models more accurately captures the nested nature of habitat selection, and allowed for increased discrimination within larger landscapes of suitable habitat. We extrapolated the landscape-scale model to the entire Gunnison Basin because of conservation concerns for this species. We believe this predictive surface is a valuable tool which can be incorporated into land use and conservation planning as well the assessment of future land-use scenarios. (C) 2011 The Wildlife Society.

Authors

Aldridge, Cameron L.; Saher, D. Joanne; Childers, Theresa M.; Stahlnecker, Kenneth E.; Bowen, Zachary H.

Year Published

2012

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.1002/jwmg.268

Using gas chromatography to determine winter diets of greater sage-grouse in UtahThacker, Eric T.2012

Using gas chromatography to determine winter diets of greater sage-grouse in Utah

Keywords

Artemisia; black sagebrush; Centrocercus urophasianus; gas chromatography; Utah; winter diet; Wyoming sagebrush

Abstract

Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) constitutes the majority (>99%) of sage-grouse (Centrocercus spp.) winter diets. Thus, identification and protection of important winter habitats is a conservation priority. However, not all sagebrush may be alike. More information is needed regarding sage-grouse sagebrush winter dietary preferences for application to management. The objective of our research was to determine if chemical analysis of fecal pellets could be used to characterize winter sage-grouse diets as a substitute for more invasive methods. We collected and analyzed fecal pellets and sagebrush samples from 29 different sage-grouse flock locations in northwestern and southcentral Utah. Using gas chromatography, we were able to identify crude terpene profiles that were unique to Wyoming sagebrush (A. tridentata wyomingensis) and black sagebrush (A. nova). We subsequently used the profiles to determine sagebrush composition of sage-grouse fecal pellets, thus reflecting sage-grouse winter diets. This technique provides managers with a tool to determine which species or subspecies of sagebrush may be important in the winter diets of sage-grouse populations. (c) 2011 The Wildlife Society.

Authors

Thacker, Eric T.; Gardner, Dale R.; Messmer, Terry A.; Guttery, Michael R.; Dahlgren, Dave K.

Year Published

2012

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.1002/jwmg.273

Interseasonal Movements of Greater Sage-Grouse, Migratory Behavior, and an Assessment of the Core Regions Concept in WyomingFedy, Bradley C.2012

Interseasonal Movements of Greater Sage-Grouse, Migratory Behavior, and an Assessment of the Core Regions Concept in Wyoming

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianuscore regionsgreater sage-grousemigrationmigratoryradio-telemetryseasonal movementsWyoming

Abstract

Animals can require different habitat types throughout their annual cycles. When considering habitat prioritization, we need to explicitly consider habitat requirements throughout the annual cycle, particularly for species of conservation concern. Understanding annual habitat requirements begins with quantifying how far individuals move across landscapes between key life stages to access required habitats. We quantified individual interseasonal movements for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereafter sage-grouse) using radio-telemetry spanning the majority of the species distribution in Wyoming. Sage-grouse are currently a candidate for listing under the United States Endangered Species Act and Wyoming is predicted to remain a stronghold for the species. Sage-grouse use distinct seasonal habitats throughout their annual cycle for breeding, brood rearing, and wintering. Average movement distances in Wyoming from nest sites to summer-late brood-rearing locations were 8.1 km (SE = 0.3 km; n = 828 individuals) and the average subsequent distances moved from summer sites to winter locations were 17.3 km (SE = 0.5 km; n = 607 individuals). Average nest-to-winter movements were 14.4 km (SE = 0.6 km; n = 434 individuals). We documented remarkable variation in the extent of movement distances both within and among sites across Wyoming, with some individuals remaining year-round in the same vicinity and others moving over 50 km between life stages. Our results suggest defining any of our populations as migratory or non-migratory is innappropriate as individual strategies vary widely. We compared movement distances of birds marked using Global Positioning System (GPS) and very high frequency (VHF) radio marking techniques and found no evidence that the heavier GPS radios limited movement. Furthermore, we examined the capacity of the sage-grouse core regions concept to capture seasonal locations. As expected, we found the core regions approach, which was developed based on lek data, was generally better at capturing the nesting locations than summer or winter locations. However, across Wyoming the sage-grouse breeding core regions still contained a relatively high percentage of summer and winter locations and seem to be a reasonable surrogate for non-breeding habitat when no other information exists. We suggest that conservation efforts for greater sage-grouse implicitly incorporate seasonal habitat needs because of high variation in the amount of overlap among breeding core regions and non-breeding habitat. (C) 2012 The Wildlife Society.

Authors

Fedy, Bradley C.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Doherty, Kevin E.; O'Donnell, Micheal; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Bedrosian, Bryan; Holloran, Matthew J.; Johnson, Gregory D.; Kaczor, Nicholas W.; Kirol, Christopher P.; Mandich, Cheryl A.; Marshall, David; McKee, Gwyn; Olson, Chad; Swanson, Christopher C.; Walker, Brett L.

Year Published

2012

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.1002/jwmg.337

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