The Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), endemic to western North Amer-ica, is of great conservation interest. Its popula-tions are tracked by spring counts of males at lek sites. We explored the relations between trends of Greater Sage-Grouse lek counts from 1997 to 2007 and a variety of natural and anthropogenic fea-tures. We found 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 5 km and 18 km. 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 pro-portion of their surrounding landscape had been burned. Few leks were located within 5 km of developed land and trends were lower for those leks with more developed land within 5 km or 18 km. Lek trends were reduced where communi-cation 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. Effects of some anthropogenic features may have already been manifested before our study period and thus not have been detected in this analysis. Results of this range-wide analysis complement those from more intensive studies on smaller areas. Our findings are important for identifying features that could threaten Greater Sage-Grouse populations.
Additional Publication Details
Influences of environmental and anthropogenic features on greater sage-grouse populations, 1997-2007