Chapter

Influences of Environmental and Anthropogenic Features on Greater Sage-Grouse Populations, 1997–2007

Douglas H. Johnson, Matthew J. Holloran, John W. Connelly, Steven E. Hanser, Courtney L. Amundson and Steven T. Knick

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520267114.003.0018
Influences of Environmental and Anthropogenic Features on Greater Sage-Grouse Populations, 1997–2007

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The Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), endemic to western North America, is of great conservation interest. Its populations are tracked by spring counts of males at lek sites. This study explored the relations between trends of Greater Sage-Grouse lek counts from 1997 to 2007 and a variety of natural and anthropogenic features. The results show that trends were correlated with several habitat features, but not always similarly throughout the range. Lek trends were positively associated with proportion of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) cover, within five and eighteen kilometers. Lek trends had negative associations with the coverage of agriculture and exotic plant species. Trends also tended to be lower for leks where a greater proportion of their surrounding landscape had been burned. Lek trends were reduced where communication towers were nearby, whereas no effect of power lines was detected. Active oil or natural gas wells and highways, but not secondary roads, were associated with lower trends. These findings are important for identifying features that could threaten Greater Sage-Grouse populations.

Keywords: Centrocercus urophasianus; communication towers; Greater Sage-Grouse; leks; exotic plant species; highways; Artemisia; conservation; sagebrush; agriculture

Chapter.  12310 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Vertebrates

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