Characteristics of Greater Sage-Grouse Habitats: A Landscape Species at Micro-and Macroscales

John W. Connelly, E. Thomas Rinkes and Clait E. Braun

in Greater Sage-Grouse

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267114
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948686 | DOI:
Characteristics of Greater Sage-Grouse Habitats: A Landscape Species at Micro-and Macroscales

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Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) depend on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) for much of their annual food and cover. This association is most pronounced in late autumn, winter, and early spring when sage-grouse are dependent on sagebrush for both food and cover. However, sage-grouse also rely on sagebrush at other times of year, especially for nesting cover during the breeding season. Other habitat characteristics may not be as obviously important as sagebrush, but may be nearly as essential. For example, herbaceous vegetation provides important food and cover during nesting and early brood-rearing seasons, and thus has a major role in the population dynamics of sage-grouse. Available evidence clearly supports the conclusion that conserving large landscapes with suitable habitat is important for conservation of sage-grouse. Sagebrush habitats have been lost, fragmented, and degraded as a result of many different anthropogenic disturbances. Land management agencies must establish sagebrush conservation as one of their highest priorities if remaining habitats are to be maintained.

Keywords: Artemisia; Centrocercus urophasianus; Greater Sage-Grouse; sagebrush habitats; herbaceous vegetation; sagebrush; population dynamics; conservation; breeding; nesting

Chapter.  10504 words. 

Subjects: Vertebrates

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