Chapter 2: Sagebrush-associated species of conservation concern

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Selection of species of concern is a critical early step in conducting broad-scale ecological assessments for conservation planning and management. Many criteria can be used to guide this selection, such as conservation status, existing knowledge base, and association with plant communities of interest. In conducting the Wyoming Basins Ecoregional Assessment (WBEA), we followed a step-wise process to select vascular plant and vertebrate species of concern. Based on our selection process, we identified 65 taxa of sagebrush-associated (Artemisia spp.) vascular plants of conservation concern. The vast majority were forbs, and nearly all are found in Wyoming (n = 59; 91%), reflecting its central location and spatial dominance (51%) of the study area. Forty-eight plants (74%) were ranked either S1 or S2 (state-level ranks indicating imperilment due to rarity, threats, or other factors) in at least one state within the assessment area. Forty vertebrates of concern were selected for our assessment, including 17 mammals, 18 birds, and 4 reptiles. Among these were 7 vertebrates commonly considered sagebrush-obligate species: sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus), greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), sage thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus), sage sparrow (Amphispiza belli), Brewer’s sparrow (Spizella breweri), pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), and pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). Several vertebrate species of concern in the Wyoming Basins are either rare or imperiled, including black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) and Wyoming pocket gopher (Thomomys clusius).

Study Area

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Chapter 2: Sagebrush-associated species of conservation concern
Chapter 2
ISBN 978-0-615-55530-0
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Allen Press
Publisher location Lawrence, Kansas
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description 23 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Sagebrush ecosystem conservation and management: Ecoregional assessment tools and models for the Wyoming Basins
First page 46
Last page 68
Public Comments The U.S. Geological Survey has been given express permission by the publisher to provide full-text access online for this publication, and is posted with the express permission from the Publications Warehouse Guidance Subcommittee
Country United States
State Wyoming
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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