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Range-wide network of priority areas for greater sage-grouse - a design for conserving connected distributions or isolating individual zoos?

Open-File Report 2015-1158

Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
By:
, ORCID iD , and ORCID iD
https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20151158

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Abstract

The network of areas delineated in 11 Western States for prioritizing management of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) represents a grand experiment in conservation biology and reserve design. We used centrality metrics from social network theory to gain insights into how this priority area network might function. The network was highly centralized. Twenty of 188 priority areas accounted for 80 percent of the total centrality scores. These priority areas, characterized by large size and a central location in the range-wide distribution, are strongholds for greater sage-grouse populations and also might function as sources. Mid-ranking priority areas may serve as stepping stones because of their location between large central and smaller peripheral priority areas. The current network design and conservation strategy has risks. The contribution of almost one-half (n = 93) of the priority areas combined for less than 1 percent of the cumulative centrality scores for the network. These priority areas individually are likely too small to support viable sage-grouse populations within their boundary. Without habitat corridors to connect small priority areas either to larger priority areas or as a clustered group within the network, their isolation could lead to loss of sage-grouse within these regions of the network. 

Suggested Citation

Crist, M.R., Knick, S.T., and Hanser, S.E., 2015, Range-wide network of priority areas for greater sage-grouse—A design for conserving connected distributions or isolating individual zoos?: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015-1158, 34 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/20151158.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract 
  • Introduction 
  • Description of Study Area 
  • Methods 
  • Results 
  • Discussion 
  • Acknowledgments 
  • References Cited 
  • Appendix A. Crosswalk Table Depicting Priority Area Identifiers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unique Identifiers, Sage-Grouse Population Name, and Management Zone
  • Appendix B. Centrality Results for Degree and Betweenness Metrics for Each Priority Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Range-wide network of priority areas for greater sage-grouse - a design for conserving connected distributions or isolating individual zoos?
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
2015-1158
DOI:
10.3133/ofr20151158
Year Published:
2015
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description:
iv, 34 p.
Country:
United States
Online Only (Y/N):
Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N