Factors Associated with Extirpation of Sage-Grouse

Michael J. Wisdom, Cara W. Meinke, Steven T. Knick and Michael A. Schroeder

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:
Factors Associated with Extirpation of Sage-Grouse

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Geographic ranges of Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and Gunnison Sage-Grouse (C. minimus) have contracted across large areas in response to habitat loss and detrimental land uses. However, quantitative analyses of the environmental factors most closely associated with range contraction have been lacking, results of which could be highly relevant to conservation planning. This study analyzed differences in twenty-two environmental variables between areas of former range (extirpated range), and areas still occupied by the two species (occupied range). Fifteen of the twenty-two variables, representing a broad spectrum of biotic, abiotic, and anthropogenic conditions, had mean values that were significantly different between extirpated and occupied ranges. Best discrimination between extirpated and occupied ranges, using discriminant function analysis (DFA), was provided by five of these variables: sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) area, elevation, distance to transmission lines, distance to cellular towers, and land ownership. The DFA model was used to estimate the similarity between areas of occupied range with areas where extirpation has occurred. These results have direct relevance to conservation planning.

Keywords: extirpated range; extirpation; Greater Sage-Grouse; range contraction; sagebrush; occupied range; elevation; land ownership; transmission lines; conservation planning

Chapter.  10928 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Vertebrates

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