Predation on Greater Sage-Grouse: Facts, Process, and Effects

Christian A. Hagen

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:
Predation on Greater Sage-Grouse: Facts, Process, and Effects

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Although Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) face a suite of predators in sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) communities across the species' range, none of these predators specializes on sage-grouse. Greater Sage-Grouse are susceptible to predation from egg to adult, leading to the hypothesis that predator control would be an effective conservation tool for sage-grouse populations. This chapter reviews the literature pertaining to predator communities across the range of Greater Sage-Grouse and assesses the effects of predation on sage-grouse life history. It then provides a framework for evaluating when predator management may be warranted. Generally, nest-success rates and adult survival are high, suggesting that on average predation is not limiting. However, in fragmented landscapes or in areas with subsidized predator populations, predation may limit population growth. Few studies linked habitat quality to mortality rates, and fewer still linked these rates to predation. Evaluating the need for predator management will require linking reduced demographic rates to habitat fragmentation or habitat degradation or predator populations out of the natural range of variability (exotic species of subsidized populations).

Keywords: Artemisia; Centrocercus urophasianus; Greater Sage-Grouse; habitat fragmentation; predators; predation; sagebrush; predator control; conservation; life history

Chapter.  3897 words. 

Subjects: Vertebrates

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