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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
Movements and survival of juvenile greater sage-grouse in southeastern IdahoBeck, Jeffrey L.2006

Movements and survival of juvenile greater sage-grouse in southeastern Idaho

Keywords

2002 Farm BillArtemisia spp.brood-rearingCentrocercus urophasianusDixie harrowgreater sage-grousehabitat managementLawson aeratorsagebrushTebuthiuronUtah

Abstract

Low recruitment has been suggested as a primary factor contributing to declines in greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) populations. We evaluated movements and survival of 58 radiomarked juvenile greater sage-grouse from 1 September(>= 10 weeks of age) to 29 March (>= 40 weeks of age) during 1997-1998 and 1998-1999 in lowland and mountain valley study areas in southeastern Idaho, USA. Juvenile sage-grouse captured in the mountain valley area moved an average of 2.2 km (20%) farther ((x) over bar = 13.0 km, SE = 1.2 km) from autumn to winter ranges than juvenile grouse captured in the lowland area ((x) over bar = 10.8 km, SE = 1.2 km). Ten of 11 deaths occurred from September to December. Fifty percent of deaths in the lowland population were attributable to human-related mortality including power-line collisions and legal harvest, while 33% and 17% of deaths were attributable to mammalian predators and unknown cause, respectively. All deaths in the mountain valley population were attributed to avian or mammalian predators. Survival was relatively high for birds from both populations, but was higher across years in the lowland ((S) over cap = 0.86, SE = 0.06, n = 43) than in the mountain valley population ((S) over cap = 0.64, SE = 0.13, n = 14). In our study-juvenile sage-grouse that moved farther distances to seasonal ranges experienced lower survival than juveniles from a more sedentary population. Moreover, high juvenile survival in our study suggests that if low recruitment occurs in sage-grouse populations it may be due to other factors, especially poor nesting success or low early chick survival.

Authors

Beck, Jeffrey L.; Reese, Kerry P.; Connelly, John W.; Lucia, Matthew B.

Year Published

2006

Publication

Wildlife Society Bulletin

Locations
DOI

10.2193/0091-7648(2006)34[1070:MASOJG]2.0.CO;2

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

Gunnison sage-grouse use of Conservation Reserve Program fields in Utah and response to emergency grazing: A preliminary evaluationLupis, Sarah G.2006

Gunnison sage-grouse use of Conservation Reserve Program fields in Utah and response to emergency grazing: A preliminary evaluation

Keywords

Centrocercus minimus; Conservation Reserve Program; emergency grazing; Gunnison sage-grouse; habitat use; Utah

Abstract

Little information is available on the use of areas enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) by Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) or the impacts of grazing on their habitat selection and movement patterns. Using radiotelemetry, we monitored 13 Gunnison sage-grouse in San Juan County, Utah, USA during 2001-2002 to determine their use of CRP. Additionally, in 2002 some of the CRP land used by the birds in 2001 was grazed under a drought emergency declaration. This afforded us an opportunity to monitor their response to livestock grazing. Although Gunnison sage-grouse used CRP for nesting, brood-rearing, and summer habitat, it was not selected in greater proportion than its availability (P <= 0.10) on the landscape. Bird-use sites in the CRP did not entirely meet habitat guidelines recommended by the Gunnison sage-grouse Rangewide Steering Committee (2005). Most of the sage-grouse we monitored avoided CRP fields when livestock were present. The one exception to this was a hen with a brood. We believe long-term maintenance of CRP in San Juan County will result in achieving habitat conditions that are more desirable for Gunnison sage-grouse. Future livestock management practices in areas used by Gunnison sage-grouse should incorporate short-term, high-intensity deferred-grazing rotations.

Authors

Lupis, Sarah G.; Messmer, Terry A.; Black, Todd

Year Published

2006

Publication

Wildlife Society Bulletin

Locations
DOI

10.2193/0091-7648(2006)34[957:GSUOCR]2.0.CO;2

Greater sage-grouse response to sagebrush management in UtahDahlgren, David K.2006

Greater sage-grouse response to sagebrush management in Utah

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianusgreater sage-grouseIdahojuvenile survivalpower-line collisionspredationseasonal movements

Abstract

Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) populations throughout much of their range have been declining. These declines have largely been attributed to the loss or deterioration of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) habitat. In response government agencies such as the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service are cost-sharing on management practices designed to improve habitat conditions for sage-grouse. Little is known regarding sage-grouse response to various sagebrush management techniques. We studied the effects of reducing sagebrush canopy cover using 2 mechanical (Dixie harrow and Lawson aerator) treatments and 1 chemical (Tebuthiuron) treatment on greater sage-grouse use of brood-rearing habitats on Parker Mountain, Utah, USA. To conduct this experiment, we identified 19 40.5-ha plots that exhibited > 40% mountain big sagebrush (A. tridentata vaseyana) canopy cover and randomly assigned 16 as treatment or controls (4 replicates each). Tebuthiuron and Dixie-harrow-treated plots had more forb cover than did control plots (P = 0.01 and 0.02, respectively) in post-treatment periods. Greater sage-grouse brood use was higher in Tebuthiuron than control plots (P = 0.01). We believe this was attributed to increased herbaceous cover, particularly forb cover. However, in all plots, sage-grouse use was greatest within 10 m of the edge of the treatments where adjacent sagebrush cover was still available. Although the treatments we studied resulted in the plots achieving sage-grouse brooding-rearing habitat guidelines, caution should be exercised in applying these observations at lower elevations, on sites with less annual precipitation, or on a different subspecies of big sagebrush. Prior to using these techniques to implement large-scale sagebrush treatments, the specific rationale for conducting them should be clearly identified. Large-scale projects using the techniques we studied would not be appropriate within sage-grouse wintering or nesting habitat.

Authors

Dahlgren, David K.; Chi, Renee; Messmer, Terry A.

Year Published

2006

Publication

Wildlife Society Bulletin

Locations
DOI

10.2193/0091-7648(2006)34[975:GSRTSM]2.0.CO;2

Factors affecting nest survival of greater sage-grouse in northcentral MontanaMoynahan, Brendan J.2007

Factors affecting nest survival of greater sage-grouse in northcentral Montana

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianus; greater sage-grouse; Montana; nesting success; nest survival; population dynamics; program MARK

Abstract

We studied greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in northcentral Montana, USA, to examine the relationship between nest success and habitat conditions, environmental variables, and female sage-grouse characteristics. During 2001-2003, we radiomarked 243 female greater sage-grouse, monitored 287 nests, and measured 426 vegetation plots at 4 sites in a 3,200-km(2) landscape. Nest survival varied with year, grass canopy cover, daily precipitation with a 1-day lag effect, and nesting attempt. In all years, daily survival rate increased on the day of a rain event and decreased the next day. There was temporal variation in nest success both within and among years: success of early (first 28 d of nesting season) nests ranged from 0.238 (SE = 0.080) in 2001 to 0.316 (SE = 0.055) in 2003, whereas survival of late (last 28 d of nesting season) nests ranged from 0.276 (SE = 0.090) in 2001 to 0.418 (SE = 0.055) in 2003. Renests experienced higher survival than first nests. Grass cover was the only important model term that could be managed, but direction and magnitude of the grass effect varied. Site, shrub and forb canopy cover, and Robel pole reading were less useful predictors of nest success; however, temporal and spatial variation in these habitat covariates was low during our study. We note a marked difference between both values and interpretations of apparent nest success, which have been used almost exclusively in the past, and maximum-likelihood estimates used in our study. Annual apparent nest success (0.46) was, on average, 53% higher than maximum-likelihood estimates that incorporate individual, environmental, and habitat covariates. The difference between estimates was variable (range +8% to +91%). Management of habitats for nesting sage-grouse should focus on increasing grass cover to increase survival of first nests and contribute to favorable conditions for renesting, which should be less likely if survival of first nests increases.

Authors

Moynahan, Brendan J.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Rotella, Jay J.; Thomas, Jack Ward

Year Published

2007

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.2193/2005-386

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

Survival, movements, and reproduction of translocated greater sage-grouse in Strawberry Valley, UtahBaxter, Rick J.2008

Survival, movements, and reproduction of translocated greater sage-grouse in Strawberry Valley, Utah

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianus; clutch size; dispersal; flocking; greater sage-grouse; nest success; reproductive output; survival; translocation

Abstract

Translocations of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) have been attempted in 7 states and one Canadian province with very little success. To recover a small remnant population and test the efficacy of sage-grouse translocations, we captured and transported 137 adult female sage-grouse from 2 source populations to a release site in Strawberry Valley, Utah, USA, during March-April 2003-2005. The resident population of sage-grouse in Strawberry Valey was approximately 150 breeding birds prior to the release. We radiomarked each female and documented survival, movements, reproductive effort, flocking with resident grouse, and lek attendance. We used Program MARK to calculate annual survival of translocated females in the first year after release, which averaged 0.60 (95% CI = 0.515-0.681). Movements of translocated females were within current and historic sage-grouse habitat in Strawberry Valley, and we detected no grouse outside of the study area. Nesting propensity for first (newly translocated) and second (surviving) year females was 39% and 73%, respectively. Observed nest success of all translocated females during the study was 67%. By the end of their first year in Strawberry Valley, 100% of the living translocated sage-grouse were in flocks with resident sage-grouse. The translocated grouse attended the same lek as the birds with which they were grouped. In 2006, the peak male count for the only remaining active lek in Strawberry Valley was almost 4 times (135 M) the 6-year pretranslocation (1998-2003) average peak attendance of 36 males (range 24-50 M). Translocations can be an effective management tool to increase small populations of greater sage-grouse when conducted during the breeding season and before target populations have been extirpated.

Authors

Baxter, Rick J.; Flinders, Jerran T.; Mitchell, Dean L.

Year Published

2008

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.2193/2006-402

Greater sage-grouse winter habitat selection and energy developmentDoherty, Kevin E.2008

Greater sage-grouse winter habitat selection and energy development

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianus, coal-bed natural gas, energy development, greater sage-grouse, habitat, land-use

Abstract

Recent energy development has resulted in rapid and large-scale changes to western shrub-steppe ecosystems without a complete understanding of its potential impacts on wildlife populations. We modeled winter habitat use by female greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Powder River Basin (PRB) of Wyoming and Montana, USA, to 1) identify landscape features that influenced sage-grouse habitat selection, 2) assess the scale at which selection occurred, 3) spatially depict winter habitat quality in a Geographic Information System, and 4) assess the effect of coal-bed natural gas (CBNG) development on winter habitat selection. We developed a model of winter habitat selection based on 435 aerial relocations of 200 radiomarked female sage-grouse obtained during the winters of 2005 and 2006. Percent sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) cover on the landscape was an important predictor of use by sage-grouse in winter. The strength of habitat selection between sage-grouse and sagebrush was strongest at a 4-km(2) scale. Sage-grouse avoided coniferous habitats at a 0.65-km(2) scale and riparian areas at a 4-km(2) scale. A toughness index showed that sage-grouse selected gentle topography in winter. After controlling for vegetation and topography, the addition of a variable that quantified the density of CBNG wells within 4 km(2) improved model fit by 6.66 Akaike's Information Criterion points (Akaike wt = 0.965). The odds ratio for each additional well in a 4-km(2) area (0.877; 95% CI = 0.834-0.923) indicated that sage-grouse avoid CBNG development in otherwise suitable winter habitat. Sage-grouse were 1.3 times more likely to occupy sagebrush habitats that lacked CBNG wells within a 4-km(2) area, compared to those that had the maximum density of 12.3 wells per 4 km(2) allowed on federal lands. We validated the model with 74 locations from 74 radiomarked individuals obtained during the winters of 2004 and 2007. This winter habitat model based on vegetation, topography, and CBNG avoidance was highly predictive (validation R-2 = 0.984). Our spatially explicit model can be used to identify areas that provide the best remaining habitat for wintering sage-grouse in the PRB to mitigate impacts of energy development.

Authors

Doherty, Kevin E.; Naugle, David E.; Walker, Brett L.; Graham, Jon M.

Year Published

2008

Publication

Journal of Wildlife Management

Locations
DOI

10.2193/2006-454

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

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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...

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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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