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Job Progress Report: Project #3 - Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration: Upland Bird Population Dynamics and Management

Category: Wildlife Research and Management - Game Management and Conservation

Date Published: December 2001

Number of Pages: 123

Author(s): Michael A. Schroeder, David W. Hays, Michael F. Livingston, Leray E. Stream, John E. Jacobson and D. John Pierce

Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) historically occurred in shrubsteppe and meadow-steppe communities throughout much of eastern Washington. The decline in distribution has been dramatic; 74% of 68 lek complexes documented since 1960 are currently vacant. Many vacant lek complexes (52%) are in areas where sagegrouse have been extirpated since 1960. The current range is about 8% of the historic range, occurring in 2 relatively isolated areas. Based on changes in number of males counted on lek complexes, the sage-grouse population size in Washington declined by approximately 85% from 1960 to 2001; the 2001 spring population was estimated to be about 700 birds. Historic and recent declines of greater sage-grouse are linked to conversion of native habitat for production of crops and degradation of the remaining native habitat. Although declines in populations of sage-grouse appear to be slowing, the small size and isolated nature of the 2 remaining populations may be a long-term problem. Management should be directed toward protecting, enhancing, expanding, and connecting the existing populations.

Suggested Citation:
Schroeder, M.A. 2001. Job Progress Report Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration: Upland bird population dynamics and management. Project #3. Progress Report. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia WA, USA. 121p.