Energy Development and Greater Sage-Grouse

David E. Naugle, Kevin E. Doherty, Brett L. Walker, Matthew J. Holloran and Holly E. Copeland

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:
Energy Development and Greater Sage-Grouse

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Rapidly expanding energy development in western North America poses a major new challenge for conservation of Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). This chapter reviews the scientific literature documenting biological responses of sage-grouse to development, examines changes in landscape features detrimental to sage-grouse that result from development, assesses the potential for landscape-level expansion of energy development within sage-grouse range, and outlines recommended landscape-scale conservation strategies. Shrublands developed for energy production contained twice as many roads and power lines, and where ranching, energy development, and tillage agriculture coincided, human features were so dense that every square kilometer could be bounded by a road and bisected by a power line. Sage-grouse respond negatively to three different types of energy development, and conventional densities of oil and gas wells far exceed the species' threshold of tolerance.

Keywords: Centrocercus urophasianus; conservation; Greater Sage-Grouse; energy development; gas wells; shrublands; ranching; tillage agriculture; roads; power lines

Chapter.  7858 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Vertebrates

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