A Blueprint for Sage-grouse Conservation and Recovery

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Publication Date: 2006-05
Tags: WLCI Related Publication

The distribution of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) has declined by at least 44% while overall abundance has decreased by up to 93% from presumed historic levels. These decreases are the result of habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation. Federal and state public land management agencies currently are responsible for about 70% of the remaining sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) steppe, with the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service managing most of these lands for multiple uses. The goals of strategies outlined here are to improve sagebrush habitats to increase greater sage-grouse abundance by at least 33% by 2015, and overall distribution of greater sage-grouse by at least 20% by 2030. The abundance goal is achievable following recommendations presented in this document while the distribution goal will be more difficult to obtain. Federal land management agencies are key to achieving both goals, as they are responsible for managing public lands, which support most of the remaining populations of greater sage-grouse. Improved vegetation management to restore degraded habitat (from domestic livestock grazing and development, such as from mining and gas/oil extraction) followed by reduction of habitat fragmentation has the greatest potential for maintaining and enhancing viable populations of greater sage- grouse. While the habitat management strategies and recommendations in this report focus on greater sage-grouse, they are also applicable to Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus).

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