Chapter 5: Greater sage-grouse: General use and roost site occurrence with pellet counts as a measure of relative abundance

By: , and 



Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) have been declining both spatially and numerically throughout their range because of anthropogenic disturbance and loss and fragmentation of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) habitats. Understanding how sage-grouse respond to these habitat alterations and disturbances, particularly the types of disturbances and extent at which they respond, is critical to designing management actions and prioritizing areas of conservation. To address these needs, we developed statistical models of the relationships between occurrence and abundance of greater sage-grouse and multi-scaled measures of vegetation, abiotic, and disturbance in the Wyoming Basins Ecoregional Assessment (WBEA) area. Sage-grouse occurrence was strongly related to the amount of sagebrush within 1 km for both roost site and general use locations. Roost sites were identified by presence of sage-grouse fecal pellet groups whereas general use locations had single pellets. Proximity to anthropogenic disturbance including energy development, power lines, and major roads was negatively associated with sage-grouse occurrence. Models of sage-grouse occurrence correctly predicted active lek locations with >75% accuracy. Our spatially explicit models identified areas of high occurrence probability in the WBEA area that can be used to delineate areas for conservation and refine existing conservation plans. These models can also facilitate identification of pathways and corridors important for maintenance of sage-grouse population connectivity.

Study Area

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Chapter 5: Greater sage-grouse: General use and roost site occurrence with pellet counts as a measure of relative abundance
Chapter 5
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, Fort Collins Science Center
Description 29 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 112
Last page 140
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
Additional publication details