Response of Greater Sage-Grouse to the Conservation Reserve Program in Washington State

Michael A. Schroeder and W. Matthew Vander Haegen

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:
Response of Greater Sage-Grouse to the Conservation Reserve Program in Washington State

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This study examined the relationship between the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands and Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Washington state including an assessment of population change, nest-site selection, and general habitat use. Nest-site selection of eighty-nine female sage-grouse was monitored between 1992 and 1997 with the aid of radiotelemetry. The proportion of nests in CRP lands significantly increased from 31% in 1992–1994 to 50% in 1995–1997, although more nests were detected in shrub steppe (59% vs. 41% of 202 nests). The increase appeared to be associated with maturation of CRP fields, which were characterized by increased cover of perennial grass and big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata). Nest success was similar for nests placed in the two cover types. Analysis of male lek attendance prior to implementation of CRP (1970–1988) illustrated similar rates of population declines in two separate groups of sage-grouse in north-central and south-central Washington. Data from 1992 to 2007 following establishment of the CRP revealed a reversal of the population decline in north-central Washington while the south-central population continued a long-term decline.

Keywords: big sagebrush; Centrocercus urophasianus; Conservation Reserve Program; Greater Sage-Grouse; population declines; shrub steppe; Washington; nest-site selection; habitat use

Chapter.  7840 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Vertebrates

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