Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) nesting and brood-rearing microhabitat in Nevada and California—Spatial variation in selection and survival patterns

Open-File Report 2017-1087
Prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management and Nevada Department of Wildlife
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereinafter, "sage-grouse") are highly dependent on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) dominated vegetation communities for food and cover from predators. Although this species requires the presence of sagebrush shrubs in the overstory, it also inhabits a broad geographic distribution with significant gradients in precipitation and temperature that drive variation in sagebrush ecosystem structure and concomitant shrub understory conditions. Variability in understory conditions across the species’ range may be responsible for the sometimes contradictory findings in the scientific literature describing sage-grouse habitat use and selection during important life history stages, such as nesting. To help understand the importance of this variability and to help guide management actions, we evaluated the nesting and brood-rearing microhabitat factors that influence selection and survival patterns in the Great Basin using a large dataset of microhabitat characteristics from study areas spanning northern Nevada and a portion of northeastern California from 2009 to 2016. The spatial and temporal coverage of the dataset provided a powerful opportunity to evaluate microhabitat factors important to sage-grouse reproduction, while also considering habitat variation associated with different climatic conditions and areas affected by wildfire. The summary statistics for numerous microhabitat factors, and the strength of their association with sage-grouse habitat selection and survival, are provided in this report to support decisions by land managers, policy-makers, and others with the best-available science in a timely manner.

Suggested Citation

Coates, P.S., Brussee, B.E., Ricca, M.A., Dudko, J.E., Prochazka, B.G., Espinosa, S.P., Casazza, M.L., and Delehanty, D.J., 2017, Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) nesting and brood-rearing microhabitat in Nevada and California—Spatial variation in selection and survival patterns: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017-1087, 79 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171087.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Study Areas
  • Study Methods
  • Greater Sage-Grouse Microhabitat Findings
  • Interpretation
  • References
  • Appendixes 1–14

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) nesting and brood-rearing microhabitat in Nevada and California—Spatial variation in selection and survival patterns
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2017-1087
DOI 10.3133/ofr20171087
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description Report: viii, 79 p.; Data Release
Country United States
State California, Nevada
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y