Importance of Sage-Grouse to Wyoming—The greater sage-grouse is an icon of sagebrush country. Not only is it a popular game species, the birds’ dramatic behaviors on their mating grounds (leks) draw birdwatchers from around the world. However, the species has undergone long-term population declines and range contractions largely resulting from habitat loss and fragmentation. Because Wyoming contains some of the largest expanses of intact sagebrush and supports a large percentage of the remaining sage-grouse populations, it plays a crucial role in the species’ survival.
Seasonal Habitats are Crucial to Sage-Grouse—Sage-grouse use different habitat types for breeding, brood-rearing, and wintering. Each of these seasonal habitats provides unique resources needed at particular times of year, without which sage-grouse reproduction and survival could be reduced. It is also important that these seasonal habitats be located near one another without significant barriers between them.