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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
Occurrence of Greater Sage-Grouse x Sharp-tailed Grouse hybrids in AlbertaAldridge, CL2001

Occurrence of Greater Sage-Grouse x Sharp-tailed Grouse hybrids in Alberta

Keywords

Alberta, DNA, Greater Sage-Grouse, hybrid, Sharp-tailed Grouse

Abstract

Two distinct grouse were regularly observed at two Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) 1eks in both 1999 and 2000 in southeastern Alberta. Physically and behaviorally, the birds exhibited characteristics of both Greater Sage-Grouse and Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchas phasianellus), suggesting they were hybrids. DNA analyses of blood and feather samples indicated that both birds were males with Greater Sage-Grouse mothers and thus, fathers that were likely Sharp-tailed Grouse.

Authors

Aldridge, CL; Oyler-McCance, SJ; Brigham, RM

Year Published

2001

Publication

The Condor: Ornithological Applications

Locations
DOI

10.1650/0010-5422(2001)103[0657:OOGSGS]2.0.CO;2

Predation on real and artificial nests in shrubsteppe landscapes fragmented by agricultureHaegen, WMV2002

Predation on real and artificial nests in shrubsteppe landscapes fragmented by agriculture

Keywords

artificial nests, cameras, grouse, nest predators, nest success, passerines, shrubsteppe

Abstract

Clearing of shrubsteppe communities for agriculture has created a highly fragmented landscape in eastern Washington, a condition that has been shown to adversely affect nesting success of birds in some forest and grassland communities. We used artificial nests monitored by cameras to examine relative effects of fragmentation, distance to edge, and vegetation cover on nest predation rates and to identify predators of shrubsteppenesting passerines and grouse. Predation rate for artificial nests was 26% (n = 118). Fragmentation had a strong influence on predation rates for artificial nests, with nests in fragmented landscapes about 9 times more likely to be depredated as those in continuous landscapes. Daily survival rate (+/- SE) for 207 real nests of 4 passerine species also was greater in continuous (0.978 +/- 0.004) than in fragmented (0.962 +/- 0.006) landscapes, although pattern of predation between real and artificial nests was not consistent among sites. Artificial nests were depredated by Common Ravens (Corvus corax), Black-billed Magpies (Pica hudsonia), Sage Thrashers (Oreoscoptes montanus), least chipmunks (Tamias minimus), and mice. Most nests in fragments were depredated by corvids (58%), whereas only Sage Thrashers and small mammals depredated nests in continuous landscapes. Increased predation by corvids and lower nest success in fragmented landscapes may have played a part in recent declines of some shrubsteppe birds. Future research should measure annual reproductive success of individual females and survival rates of juveniles and adults.

Authors

Haegen, WMV; Schroeder, MA; DeGraaf, RM

Year Published

2002

Publication

The Condor: Ornithological Applications

Locations
DOI

10.1650/0010-5422(2002)104%5B0496:PORAAN%5D2.0.CO;2

Spatial distribution of Greater Sage-Grouse nests in relatively contiguous sagebrush habitatsHolloran, MRJ2005

Spatial distribution of Greater Sage-Grouse nests in relatively contiguous sagebrush habitats

Keywords

Centrocercus urophasianus, fidelity, Greater Sage-Grouse, lek-to-nest distance, nest distribution, nest spacing, Wyoming

Abstract

Degradation of nesting habitat has been proposed as a factor contributing to Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) population declines throughout North America. Delineating suitable nesting habitat across landscapes with relatively contiguous sagebrush cover is difficult but important to identify areas for protection. We used radiotelemetry to locate Greater Sage-Grouse nests in relatively contiguous sagebrush habitats in Wyoming to investigate the spatial arrangement of nests relative to lek and other nest locations. Nest distributions were spatially related to lek location within 3 and 5 km of a lek, and a 5-km buffer included 64% of the nests. There was no relationship between lek size and lek-to-nest distance, suggesting that accurate population trend evaluation might require lek surveys in addition to lek counts. Closest known lek-to-nest distance was greater for successfully hatched compared to destroyed nests, and closely spaced nests tended to experience lower success and have higher probabilities of both nests experiencing the same fate compared to isolated nests, suggesting that a mechanism of enhanced prey detection occurred at higher nest densities. A low probability that a given individual's consecutive-year nest spacing occurred randomly suggested nesting site-area fidelity. Although a grouped pattern of nests occurred within 5 km of a lek, the proportion of nesting females located farther than 5 km could be important for population viability. Managers should limit strategies that negatively influence nesting habitat regardless of lek locations, and preserve adequate amounts of unaltered nesting habitat within treatment boundaries to maintain nest dispersion and provide sites for philopatric individuals.

Authors

Holloran, MRJ; Anderson, SH

Year Published

2005

Publication

The Condor: Ornithological Applications

Locations
DOI

10.1650/7749.1

A NEW SPECIES OF SAGE-GROUSE (PHASIANIDAE: CENTROCERCUS ) FROM SOUTHWESTERN COLORADO Young, JR2000

A NEW SPECIES OF SAGE-GROUSE (PHASIANIDAE: CENTROCERCUS ) FROM SOUTHWESTERN COLORADO

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

The Gunnison Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus minimus) is described as a new species from southwestern Colorado and contrasted with the Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) from northern Colorado and western North America. Gunnison Sage-Grouse differ from all other described sage-grouse (C. u. urophasianus. C. u. phaios) in morphological measurements, plumage, courtship display, and generics. The species currently is limited to 8 isolated populations in southwestern Colorado and adjacent San Juan County, Utah. Total estimated spring breeding population is fewer than 5000 individuals with the largest population (<3000) in the Gunnison Basin (Gunnison and Saguache counties), Colorado.

Authors

Young, JR; Braun, CE; Oyler-McCance, SJ; Hupp, JW; Quinn, TW

Year Published

2000

Publication

The Wilson Bulletin

Locations
DOI

10.1676/0043-5643(2000)112[0445:ANSOSG]2.0.CO;2

A COMPARATIVE BEHAVIORAL STUDY OF THREE GREATER SAGE-GROUSE POPULATIONSTaylor, SE2006

A COMPARATIVE BEHAVIORAL STUDY OF THREE GREATER SAGE-GROUSE POPULATIONS

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

We compared male strut behavior of the genetically distinct Lyon, Nevada/Mono, California Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) population with that of two proximal populations: Nye, Nevada, and Lassen, California. We measured strut rates and nine acoustic components of the strut display in all three populations. Male strut rates did not differ among populations. Acoustic components of the Lyon/Mono and Lassen populations were similar, whereas the Nye population was distinct. The genetically distinct Lyon/ Mono population was more similar behaviorally to the Nye population than the genetically similar Nye and Lassen populations were to each other. Overall, the Lyon/Mono population did not exhibit detectable differences in male strut behavior. Reproductive isolation through sexual selection does not appear to have occurred in the Lyon/Mono population.

Authors

Taylor, SE; Young, JR

Year Published

2006

Publication

The Wilson Journal of Ornithology

Locations
DOI

10.1676/1559-4491(2006)118[0036:ACBSOT]2.0.CO;2

The influence of gap size on sagebrush cover estimates with the use of line intercept techniqueBoyd, Chad S.2007

The influence of gap size on sagebrush cover estimates with the use of line intercept technique

Keywords

Vegetation inventory, wildlife habitat, sage-grouse, sagebrush obligate

Abstract

Sagebrush cover is often estimated with the use of the line intercept method. However, a lack of standardized protocols may lead to variable estimates of sagebrush canopy cover. Our objectives were to determine the influence of gap size on 1) sagebrush canopy cover estimates, 2) time needed to read a transect, and 3) among-observer variability in sagebrush canopy cover estimates. We utilized 5-, 10-, and 15-cm gaps, and defined a gap as a lack of continuous live or dead shrub canopy. In instances where a segment of dead cover was less than the gap size and adjoined live cover, the dead cover was measured as live. We evaluated canopy cover at 6 Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. Wyomingensis Beetle & A. Young) sites in southeast Oregon. At each site, four 2-person teams measured sagebrush canopy intercept along 50-m transects. Each transect was read by multiple teams to allow for assessment of among-observer variability. Intercept values were converted to percent canopy cover and we used analysis of variance to determine the influence of site and gap size on measurement time and cover estimates. Observer variability was highest at the intermediate gap size (i.e., 10 cm). Transect measurement time was longest with the use of a 5-cm gap (P < 0.001). Total cover estimates were not related to gap size (P = 0.270). Live canopy cover estimates increased (P < 0.001) from 12.1% to 14.5% with increasing gap size, and cover of dead material decreased (P = 0.015) from 4.4% to 3.2%. These differences are small in magnitude and would not likely change a gross assessment of vegetation status. However, use of a standardized gap size will enhance comparability of canopy cover estimates among studies and will decrease between-year sampling error for repeat monitoring.

Authors

Boyd, Chad S.; Bates, Jon D.; Miller, Rick F.

Year Published

2007

Publication

Rangeland Ecology & Management

Locations
DOI

10.2111/05-226R2.1

Vegetation characteristics across part of the Wyoming big sagebrush allianceDavies, Kirk W.2006

Vegetation characteristics across part of the Wyoming big sagebrush alliance

Keywords

Artemisia tridentata spp. wyomingensis, cover potential, plant associations, vegetation cover, sage-grouse

Abstract

The Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis [Beetle & A. Young] S.L. Welsh) alliance is the most extensive of the big sagebrush complex in the Intermountain West. This alliance provides critical habitat for many sagebrush obligate and facultative wildlife species and serves as a forage base for livestock production. There is a lack of information that describes vegetation cover values, characteristics, diversity, and heterogeneity of the Wyoming big sagebrush alliance. This study describes vegetation cover values and defines distinct associations for intact, late-seral Wyoming big sagebrush plant communities across part of its northwestern range. We sampled 107 Wyoming big sagebrush plant communities. Total herbaceous cover values were variable among sites with differences between sites exceeding 700%. Mean sagebrush cover was 12.3% with 90% of the sites producing 6% to 20% cover. Tall forb (> 18 cm) cover averaged 1.9% and 90% of the sites varied between 0.2% and 5.6% cover. Five associations delineated by dominant perennial bunchgrass species were identified: ARTRW8 (Wyoming big sagebrush)[PSSP6 (Pseudoroegneria spicata [Pursh] A. Love, bluebunch wheatgrass), ARTRW8/ACTH7 (Achnatherum thurberianum [Piper] Barkworth, Thurber's needlegrass), ARTRW8/FEID (Festuca idahoensis Elmer, Idaho fescue), ARTRW8/HECO26 (Hesperostipa comata [Trin. & Rupr.] Barkworth, needle-and-thread), and ARTRW8/PSSP6ACTH7 (a codominance of bluebunch wheatgrass and Thurber's needlegrass). Our results suggest when the vegetation cover values proposed for sage-grouse are applied as requirements at or above the stand level, they exceed the ecological potential of many of the sites sampled.

Authors

Davies, Kirk W.; Bates, Jonatban D.; Miller, Ricbard E.

Year Published

2006

Publication

Rangeland Ecology & Management

Locations
DOI

10.2111/06-004R2.1

Temporal variation in diet and nutrition of preincubating greater sage-grouseGregg, Michael A.2008

Temporal variation in diet and nutrition of preincubating greater sage-grouse

Keywords

calcium, Centrocercus urophasianus, crude protein, forb, phosphorus, reproduction

Abstract

Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) habitat management involves vegetation manipulations to increase or decrease specific habitat components. For sage-grouse habitat management to be most effective, all understanding of the functional response of sage-grouse to changes in resource availability is critical. We investigated temporal variation in diet composition and nutrient content (crude protein, calcium, and phosphorus) of foods consumed by preincubating female sage-grouse relative to food supply and age of hen. We collected 86 preincubating female greater sage-grouse at foraging areas during early (18-31 March) and late (1-12 April) preincubation periods during 2002-2003. Females consumed 22 food types including low sagebrush (Artemisia arbuscula Nutt.), big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.), 15 forb species, 2 insect taxa, sagebrush galls, moss, and a trace amount of unidentified grasses. Low sagebrush was the most common food item, but forbs were found in 89% of the crops and composed 30.1% aggregate dry mass (ADM) of the diet. ADM and species composition of female diets were highly variable between collection periods and years, and coincided with temporal variation in forb availability. Adult females consumed more forbs and less low sagebrush compared to yearling females. Because of higher levels of crude protein, calcium, and phosphorus, forbs were important diet components in comparison with low sagebrush, which had the lowest nutrient content of all foods consumed. Our results indicate that increased forb abundance in areas used by female sage-grouse prior to nesting would increase their forb consumption and nutritional status for reproduction. We recommend that managers should emphasize delineation of habitats used by preincubating sage-grouse and evaluate the need for enhancing forb abundance and diversity.

Authors

Gregg, Michael A.; Barnett, Jenny K.; Crawford, John A.

Year Published

2008

Publication

Rangeland Ecology & Management

Locations
DOI

10.2111/08-037.1

Vegetation Characteristics of Mountain and Wyoming Big Sagebrush Plant Communities in the Northern Great BasinDavies, Kirk W.2010

Vegetation Characteristics of Mountain and Wyoming Big Sagebrush Plant Communities in the Northern Great Basin

Keywords

Artemisia tridentata, diversity, habitat, herbaceous cover, sage-grouse

Abstract

Dominant plant species are often used as indicators of site potential in forest and rangelands. However, subspecies of dominant vegetation often indicate different site characteristics and, therefore, may be more useful indicators of plant community potential and provide more precise information for management. Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) occurs across large expanses of the western United States. Common subspecies of big sagebrush have considerable variation in the types of sites they occupy, but information that quantifies differences in their vegetation characteristics is lacking. Consequently, wildlife and land management guidelines frequently do not differentiate between subspecies of big sagebrush. To quantify vegetation characteristics between two common subspecies of big sagebrush, we sampled 106 intact big sagebrush plant communities. Half of the sampled plant communities were Wyoming big sagebrush (A. tridentata subsp. wyomingensis [Beetle & A. Young] S. L. Welsh) plant communities, and the other half were mountain big sagebrush (A. tridentata subsp. vaseyana [Rydb.] Beetle) plant communities. In general, mountain big sagebrush plant communities were more diverse and had greater vegetation cover, density, and biomass production than Wyoming big sagebrush plant communities. Sagebrush cover was, on average, 2.4-fold higher in mountain big sagebrush plant communities. Perennial forb density and cover were 3.8- and 5.6-fold greater in mountain compared to Wyoming big sagebrush plant communities. Total herbaceous biomass production was approximately twofold greater in mountain than Wyoming big sagebrush plant communities. The results of this study suggest that management guidelines for grazing, wildlife habitat, and other uses should recognize widespread subspecies as indicators of differences in site potentials.

Authors

Davies, Kirk W.; Bates, Jon D.

Year Published

2010

Publication

Rangeland Ecology & Management

Locations
DOI

10.2111/REM-D-09-00055.1

Comparison of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Platforms for Assessing Vegetation Cover in Sagebrush Steppe EcosystemsBreckenridge, Robert P.2011

Comparison of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Platforms for Assessing Vegetation Cover in Sagebrush Steppe Ecosystems

Keywords

bare ground, fixed-wing, helicopter, landscape, monitoring, remote sensing

Abstract

In this study, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as a quick and safe method for monitoring biotic resources was evaluated. Vegetation cover and the amount of bare ground are important factors in understanding the sustainability of many ecosystems. Methods that improve speed and cost efficiency could greatly improve how biotic resources are monitored on western lands. Sagebrush steppe ecosystems provide important habitat for a variety of species including sage grouse and pygmy rabbit. Improved methods of monitoring these habitats are needed because not enough resource specialists or funds are available for comprehensive on-the-ground evaluations. In this project, two UAV platforms, fixed-wing and helicopter, were used to collect still-frame imagery to assess vegetation cover in sagebrush steppe ecosystems. This paper discusses the process for collecting and analyzing imagery from the UAVs to 1) estimate percentage of cover for six different vegetation types (shrub, dead shrub, grass, forb, litter, and bare ground) and 2) locate sage grouse using representative decoys. The field plots were located on the Idaho National Laboratory site west of Idaho Falls, Idaho, in areas with varying amounts and types of vegetation cover. A software program called SamplePoint was used along with visual inspection to evaluate percentage of cover for the six cover types. Results were compared against standard field measurements to assess accuracy. The comparison of fixed-wing and helicopter UAV technology against field estimates shows good agreement for the measurement of bare ground. This study shows that if a high degree of detail and data accuracy is desired, then a helicopter UAV may be a good platform to use. If the data collection objective is to assess broad-scale landscape level changes, then the collection of imagery with a fixed-wing system is probably more appropriate.

Authors

Breckenridge, Robert P.; Dakins, Maxine; Bunting, Stephen; Harbour, Jerry L.; White, Sera

Year Published

2011

Publication

Rangeland Ecology & Management

Locations
DOI

10.2111/REM-D-10-00030.1

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...

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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

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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...

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