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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
COMMON RAVEN ACTIVITY IN RELATION TO LAND USE IN WESTERN WYOMING: IMPLICATIONS FOR GREATER SAGE-GROUSE REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESSBui, Thuy-Vy D.2010

COMMON RAVEN ACTIVITY IN RELATION TO LAND USE IN WESTERN WYOMING: IMPLICATIONS FOR GREATER SAGE-GROUSE REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS

Keywords

anthropogenic subsidies, Centrocercus urophasianus, Common Raven, Corvus corax, density and occupancy modeling, Greater Sage-Grouse, nest and brood predation.

Abstract

Anthropogenic changes in landscapes can favor generalist species adapted to human settlement, such as the Common Raven (Corvus corax), by providing new resources. Increased densities of predators can then negatively affect prey, especially rare or sensitive species. Jackson Hole and the upper Green River valley in western Wyoming are experiencing accelerated rates of human development due to tourism and natural gas development, respectively. Increased raven populations in these areas may negatively influence the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), a sensitive sagebrush specialist. We investigated landscape-level patterns in raven behavior and distribution and the correlation of the raven data with the grouse's reproductive success in western Wyoming. In our study areas towns provide ravens with supplemental food, water, and nest sites, leading to locally increased density but with apparently limited (< 3 km) movement by ravens from towns to adjacent areas of undeveloped sagebrush. Raven density and occupancy were greatest in land covers with frequent human activity. In sagebrush with little human activity, raven density near incubating and brooding sage-grouse was elevated slightly relative to that expected and observed in sagebrush not known to hold grouse. Raven occupancy near sage-grouse nests and broods was more highly correlated with sage-grouse success than were raven density and behavior, suggesting that the majority of nest predation by ravens is most likely carried out by resident territorial individuals. Integrated region-wide improvement of sagebrush habitat, removal of anthropogenic subsidies, and perhaps removal or aversive conditioning of offending ravens might benefit sage-grouse populations in our study area.

Authors

Bui, Thuy-Vy D.; Marzluff, John M.; Bedrosian, Bryan

Year Published

2010

Publication

The Condor: Ornithological Applications

Locations
DOI

10.1525/cond.2010.090132

GREATER SAGE-GROUSE SELECT NEST SITES TO AVOID VISUAL PREDATORS BUT NOT OLFACTORY PREDATORSConover, Michael R.2010

GREATER SAGE-GROUSE SELECT NEST SITES TO AVOID VISUAL PREDATORS BUT NOT OLFACTORY PREDATORS

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianus, nest depredation, nest-site characteristics, olfactory predators, sage-grouse, visual predators.

Abstract

Birds can hide from visual predators by locating nests where there is cover and from olfactory predators where habitat features create updrafts, high winds, and atmospheric turbulence, but sites optimal for hiding from visual and olfactory predators often differ. We examined how Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) balance the dual needs of hiding from both visual and olfactory predators on Parker Mountain, Utah, where the Common Raven (Corvus corax) is the main visual predator and the striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) and American badger (Taxidea taxus) are the main olfactory predators. By comparing nest sites to random sites during 2005 and 2006, we found that sage-grouse nest at sites where their nests were obscured from visual predators but were exposed to olfactory predators. To validate these findings, we replicated the study in southwest Wyoming during 2008. Again, we found that visual obscurity at nest sites was greater than at control sites but olfactory obscurity was less. Our results indicate that Greater Sage-Grouse select nest sites where they will be concealed from visual predators but at the cost of locating nests where they are exposed to olfactory predators. In southwest Wyoming, we found that olfactory predators (mammals) and visual predators (birds) depredated an equal number of nests. By selecting nest sites with visual obscurity, Greater Sage-Grouse have reduced the threat from visual predators to where it was similar to the threat posed by olfactory predators.

Authors

Conover, Michael R.; Borgo, Jennifer S.; Dritz, Rebekah E.; Dinkins, Jonathan B.; Dahlgren, David K.

Year Published

2010

Publication

The Condor: Ornithological Applications

Locations
DOI

10.1525/cond.2010.090172

MICROHABITAT SELECTION FOR NESTING AND BROOD-REARING BY THE GREATER SAGE-GROUSE IN XERIC BIG SAGEBRUSHKirol, Christopher P.2012

MICROHABITAT SELECTION FOR NESTING AND BROOD-REARING BY THE GREATER SAGE-GROUSE IN XERIC BIG SAGEBRUSH

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianus, brood-rearing, grass cover, biological soil crust, Greater Sage-Grouse, microhabitat selection, nest occurrence, Wyoming

Abstract

Understanding selection of breeding habitat is critical to conserving and restoring habitats for the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), particularly in xeric landscapes (<= 25 cm annual precipitation). We monitored radio-marked female sage-grouse in south-central Wyoming in 2008 and 2009 to assess microhabitat use during nesting and brood rearing. For each model we grouped variables into three hypothesis sets on the basis of the weight of support from previous research (a priori information). We used binary logistic regression to compare habitat used by grouse to that at random locations and used an information-theoretic approach to identify the best-supported models. Selection of microhabitat for nests was more positively correlated with mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata vaseyana) than with Wyoming big sagebrush (A. t. wyomingensis) and negatively correlated with cheatgrass. Nesting hens also selected microhabitats with greater litter cover. Microhabitat for brood-rearing had more perennial grass and sagebrush cover than did random locations. Microhabitat variables most supported in the literature, such as forb cover and perennial grass cover, accounted for only 8% and 16% of the pure variation in our models for early and late brood rearing, respectively. Our findings suggest sage-grouse inhabiting xeric sagebrush habitats rely on sagebrush cover and grass structure for nesting as well as brood-rearing and that at the microhabitat scale these structural characteristics may be more important than forb availability. Therefore, in xeric sagebrush, practices designed to increase forb production by markedly reducing sagebrush cover, as a means to increase sage-grouse productivity, may not be justified.

Authors

Kirol, Christopher P.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Dinkins, Jonathan B.; Conover, Michael R.

Year Published

2012

Publication

The Condor: Ornithological Applications

Locations
DOI

10.1525/cond.2012.110024

Chapter 3: Potential acoustic masking of Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) display components by chronic industrial noiseBlickley, J.L.2012

Chapter 3: Potential acoustic masking of Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) display components by chronic industrial noise

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

Anthropogenic noise can limit the ability of birds to communicate by masking their acoustic signals. Masking, which reduces the distance over which the signal can be perceived by a receiver, is frequency dependent, so the different notes of a single song may be masked to different degrees. We analyzed the individual notes of mating vocalizations produced by Greater Sage-Grouse ( Centrocercus urophasianus ) and noise from natural gas infrastructure to quantify the potential for such noise to mask Greater Sage-Grouse vocalizations over both long and short distances. We found that noise produced by natural gas infrastructure was dominated by low frequencies, with substantial overlap in frequency with Greater Sage-Grouse acoustic displays. Such overlap predicted substantial masking, reducing the active space of detection and discrimination of all vocalization components, and particularly affecting low-frequency and low-amplitude notes. Such masking could increase the difficulty of mate assessment for lekking Greater Sage-Grouse. We discuss these results in relation to current stipulations that limit the proximity of natural gas infrastructure to leks of this species on some federal lands in the United States. Significant impacts to Greater Sage-Grouse populations have been measured at noise levels that predict little or no masking. Thus, masking is not likely to be the only mechanism of noise impact on this species, and masking analyses should therefore be used in combination with other methods to evaluate stipulations and predict the effects of noise exposure.

Authors

Blickley, J.L. & Patricelli, G.L.

Year Published

2012

Publication

Ornithological Monographs

Locations
DOI

10.1525/om.2012.74.1.23

Temporal and hierarchical spatial components of animal occurrence: conserving seasonal habitat for greater sage-grouseDzialak, M.R.2012

Temporal and hierarchical spatial components of animal occurrence: conserving seasonal habitat for greater sage-grouse

Keywords

diel cycle; energy development; GPS; greater sage-grouse, hierarchical process, individual variation;random effects; resource selection function; spatial modeling; sustainable landscape management; winter.

Abstract

Developing strategies for sustainable management of landscapes requires research that bridges regionally important ecological and socioeconomic issues, and that aims to provide solutions to sustainability problems.We integrated Global Positioning Systems (GPS) telemetry and statistical modeling to quantify hierarchical spatial and temporal components of occurrence among greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; n ΒΌ 87), a species of conservation concern, with the larger goal of developing spatially-explicit guidance for conservation of important winter habitat in a Wyoming, USA landscape undergoing development for energy resources. The pattern of occurrence at the landscape level (secondorder) and within seasonal use areas (third-order) included selection for shrub vegetation with a prominent sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) component, and avoidance of rough terrain, mesic areas, and human activity. A change in resource selection behavior across the diel cycle was not an apparent component of the higherorder selection process; however, at the finer scale of investigation sage-grouse shifted behavior across the diel cycle in ways likely related to risk aversion or maintaining a favorable thermal environment (i.e., daytime- only avoidance of natural gas wells and night-time-only selection for taller shrubs). At both spatial scales there was considerably more variation among individuals in the sign of their association with anthropogenic features than with vegetation and terrain. The final spatially-explicit model, which depicted lower-order selection (local, patch-level, and seasonal use area) across the diel cycle constrained by selection processes at a higher order (second-order), validated well, offering specific guidance for managing human activity and sage-grouse conservation in the study area, and general guidance in developing sustainable landscape management strategies when animal occurrence reflects multiple spatial and temporal processes.

Authors

Dzialak, M. R., C. V. Olson, S. M. Harju, S. L. Webb, and J. B. Winstead

Year Published

2012

Publication

Ecosphere

Locations
DOI

10.1890/ES11-00315.1

This article contributed by:

Ecological Society of America

ACCOUNTING FOR FITNESS: COMBINING SURVIVAL AND SELECTION WHEN ASSESSING WILDLIFE-HABITAT RELATIONSHIPSAldridge, Cameron L.2008

ACCOUNTING FOR FITNESS: COMBINING SURVIVAL AND SELECTION WHEN ASSESSING WILDLIFE-HABITAT RELATIONSHIPS

Keywords

fitness, greater sage-grouse, habitat, occurrence, persistence, sagebrush,selection, survival

Abstract

Assessing the viability of a Population requires understanding of the resources used by animals to determine how those resources affect long-term population persistence. To understand the true importance of resources, one must consider both selection (where a Species Occurs) and fitness (reproduction and survival) associated with the use of those resources. Failure to do so may result in incorrect assessments of habitat quality and inappropriate management activities. We illustrate the importance of considering both Occurrence and fitness metrics when assessing habitat requirements for the endangered greater sage-rouse in Alberta, Canada. This population is experiencing low recruitment, so we assess resource use during the brood-rearing period to identify management priorities. First, we develop logistic regression occurrence models fitted with habitat covariates. Second, we use proportional hazard survival analysis to assess chick survival (fitness component) associated with habitat and climatic covariates. Sage-grouse show strong selection for sagebrush cover at both patch (smaller) and area (larger) spatial scales, and weak selection for forbs at the patch scale only. Drought conditions based on an index combining growing degree days and spring precipitation strongly reduced chick survival. While hens selected for taller grass and more sagebrush cover, only taller grass cover also enhanced chick Survival. We show that sage-grouse may not recognize all ecological cues that enhance chick survival. Management activities targeted at providing habitats that sage-grouse are likely to use in addition to those that enhance survival are most likely to ensure the long-term viability of this population. Our techniques account for both occurrence and fitness in habitat quality assessments and, in general, the approach should be applicable to other species or ecosystems.

Authors

Aldridge, Cameron L.; Boyce, Mark S.

Year Published

2008

Publication

Israel Journal of Ecology & Evolution

Locations
DOI

10.1560/IJEE.54.3-4.389

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

Normal hematologic and biochemical values for prelaying greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and their influence on chick survivalDunbar, MR2005

Normal hematologic and biochemical values for prelaying greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and their influence on chick survival

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianus, hematology, nutrition, sage grouse, serum

Abstract

Declines in greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) productivity and population numbers throughout their range demand a better understanding of how nutrition influences sage grouse populations. During March and April 1999-2001, blood samples were collected from 158 female (73 adult, 85 yearling), free-ranging, prelaying, greater sage grouse from an area in northwestern Nevada, USA, and southeastern Oregon, USA. These blood samples were evaluated to establish normal blood values for sage grouse and ascertain if certain blood parameters, as indices of nutrition, are useful for predicting if sage grouse hens would raise at least one chick to 1 August. Results of logistic regression indicated that three of six blood parameters analyzed-glucose, total plasma protein, and calcium phosphorus ratio-affected the probability of a female sage grouse raising at least one chick to late summer. Ranking of the standardized estimates revealed that glucose and total plasma protein had the greatest impact on the likelihood of a female successfully raising chicks. Odds ratios indicated that a 1-unit increase in glucose (1 mg/dl) and plasma protein (0.1 g/dl) would result in a 4% and 113% positive increase, respectively, in the predicted odds of at least one chick surviving until 1 August. Odds ratios for calcium : phosphorus ratio revealed a 70% decline in the predicted odds of at least one chick surviving until 1 August if the level of this parameter increased one unit (e.g., 3:1 to 4:1). Based on these analyses, values of some blood parameters used as indices of nutrition, especially glucose, total plasma protein, and calcium : phosphorus ratio, can be successfully used to predict reproductive success of sage grouse. These parameters are not only indicative of the nutritional status of prelaying hens but may be associated with nutritional quality of the habitat and therefore have important management significance.

Authors

Dunbar, MR; Gregg, MA; Crawford, JA; Giordano, MR; Tornquist, SJ

Year Published

2005

Publication

Journal of Zoo And Wildlife Medicine

Locations
DOI

10.1638/04-065.1

FITNESS AND NUTRITIONAL ASSESSMENT OF GREATER SAGE GROUSE (CENTROCERCUS UROPHASIANUS) USING HEMATOLOGIC AND SERUM CHEMISTRY PARAMETERS THROUGH A CYCLE OF SEASONAL HABITATS IN NORTHERN NEVADADyer, Kathryn J.2009

FITNESS AND NUTRITIONAL ASSESSMENT OF GREATER SAGE GROUSE (CENTROCERCUS UROPHASIANUS) USING HEMATOLOGIC AND SERUM CHEMISTRY PARAMETERS THROUGH A CYCLE OF SEASONAL HABITATS IN NORTHERN NEVADA

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianus, hematology, nutrition, sage grouse, seasonal habitats

Abstract

Bird health can significantly affect spring reproductive fitness. A better understanding of how female sage grouse health varies with seasonal nutrition changes provides insight for determining if specific nutritional habitats are limiting bird productivity. In 2004, greater sage grouse adult and yearling liens were captured, and blood samples collected, during breeding (MARCH: March 15 to April 11: n = 22). early brood rearing (MAY: May 20 to June 22; n = 21), and on summer range (JULY: July 7 to August 17; n = 19) ill two distinct but similar northern Nevada population management units (Tuscarora [TU] and Lone Willow [LW]). In TU, yearlings weighed less (P < 0.043) than adults at all sampling periods. No age-related differences were observed for LW birds. Serum blood chemistry values were influenced by site. bird age. and season. Adults had more plasma protein and albumin than yearlings during MARCH (P < 0.005) followed by a decrease by MAY (P < 0.0001), and no site differences were detected for MAY or JULY. Tuscarora yearlings had lower serum calcium levels than adults during MARCH (P < 0.0001): I-W yearlings had lower levels than adults during MAY (P = 0.030). Both TU yearlings (MARCH P < 0.0001) and adults (MARCH P < 0.0001: MAY P = 0.040) had lower Values than LW counterparts. Tuscarora adults and LW yearlings and adults showed decreases between MARCH and MAY (P < 0.0001). The combination of lower yearling weight, plasma protein, and serum calcium and phosphorus ill the TU birds indicates a lower nesting and re-nesting potential. Leading to the Conclusion that TU yearlings contributed less to the population production than LW yearlings for that particular year.

Authors

Dyer, Kathryn J.; Perryman, Barry L.; Holcombe, Dale W.

Year Published

2009

Publication

Journal of Zoo And Wildlife Medicine

Locations
DOI

10.1638/2007-0073.1

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

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